Discussion:
VAX object and executable file formats documented?
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Galen
2021-09-20 00:46:11 UTC
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Are the formats used by VMS for .obj and .exe files documented somewhere?

A long time ago I wouldn't have needed to ask this question, but it's been a very long time since I worked at that level with these files, and I haven't had access to a grey wall (or white, if perfect bound) in 13 years.

Simple Google searches, including in comp.os.vms, haven't turned up anything, but I haven't looked at more than a few screens worth of results. Too many useless hits.

(Just reminiscing--I know that on RSX-11M, even longer ago, I had documentation of the equivalent files for that OS, but I don't remember if that was something that came with the docs, something I brought back from the RSX internals courses, or something from DECUS.)
Stephen Hoffman
2021-09-20 01:57:15 UTC
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Post by Galen
Are the formats used by VMS for .obj and .exe files documented somewhere?
For the VAX and Alpha object file formats, see appendices A and B in
the old LINKER manual:

https://livingcomputers.org/UI/UserDocs/OpenVMS-7-3/5_VMS_Linker_Utility.pdf

This particular material has seemingly (and unsurprisingly) been
expunged from the VSI OpenVMS documentation.

AFAIK, the executable file format was only ever "documented" in the IDSM.

For that, see page 949ff in the OpenVMS AXP V1.5 IDSM, and page 737ff
in the VAX V5.2 IDSM.

Rummage the LIB definitions and comments in the various object- and
executable-related header files, as well.

There's a fair amount of info on ELF and DWARF for x86-64 in the newer
VSI manuals, and particularly where it diverges from typical usage.

ELF and DWARF was also used on Itanium.
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