Virtual Memory System

Also found in: Acronyms.

Virtual Memory System

(operating system)
(VMS) DEC's proprietary operating system originally produced for its VAX minicomputer.

VMS V1 was released in August 1978. VMS was renamed "OpenVMS" around version 5.5. The first version of VMS on DEC Alpha was known as OpenVMS for AXP V1.0, and the correct way to refer to the operating system now is OpenVMS for VAX or OpenVMS for Alpha. The renaming also signified the fact that the X/Open consortium had certified OpenVMS as having a high support for POSIX standards.

VMS is one of the most secure operating systems on the market (making it popular in financial institutions). It currently (October 1997) has the best clustering capability (both number and distance) and is very scalable with binaries portable from small desktop workstations up to huge mainframes.

Many Unix fans generously concede that VMS would probably be the hacker's favourite commercial OS if Unix didn't exist; though true, this makes VMS fans furious.


Usenet newsgroup: news:comp.os.vms.

This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
Radix has an unfortunate interaction with the lazy evaluation policies of the IRIX virtual memory system. IRIX defers setting up the page table entries of each parallel thread until the memory is touched by the thread.
We implemented Hive by starting with an existing Unix kernel (IRIX 5.2) and making extensive modifications to the process management s stem, virtual memory system, file system, and I/O system.
Perhaps the most important advantage of running engineering applications on an 80386 workstation under Unix is the workstation's full virtual memory system. The powerful features of engineering software make them large, memory-hungry applications.

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