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ZXnet http server: Note N00011: The DECserver 100 and Linux


Note Archive
Number: N00011
Created: 02 March 2008
Revised: 09 March 2008

This document is an overview of how to make the DECserver 100 terminal server work with a Linux system. It is a slightly reformatted and tidied up version of the original I put on the Waikato Linux Users Group wiki at

The DECserver was a highly successful family of asynchronous Terminal Servers made by DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation). The DECserver can be used with linux with the help of the linux-DECnet project and a few other things. On this page are some notes on setting up the DECserver 100 to run with Linux.

The DECserver 100 is a terminal server with a single Ethernet AUI port and 8 serial ports. The server has to download its boot image from a computer via the MOP protocol.


4 steps to win

  1. Install both latd and mopd
  2. make the directory /tftpboot/mop
  3. copy PS0801ENG.SYS into /tftpboot/mop. The filename for the DECserver 100 MUST be PS0801ENG.SYS - ps0801eng.sys wont work.
  4. Plugin a terminal to serial port 1 on the DECserver and a network cable to the adapter attached to the AUI port


When you turn on the DECserver you should see something like the following printed to the terminal on serial port 1:

  Local -901- Initializing DECserver "08-00-2B-04-8B-A7" -- ROM BL8A, H/W Rev B.B
  Local -902- Waiting for image load
  Local -903- Loading from host "08-00-20-8E-16-0B"
  Local -904- Image load complete
You should be able to press enter now to get the DECserver login prompt. Hyperterminal doesn't seem to work for this - if you are using hyperterminal you probably wont be able to press enter.


  Local -911- WARNING -- Non-fatal Hardware error detected
  Server code 1000, terminal codes 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  
Solution If the above error appears after "Initializing DECserver..." then you have an Ethernet 1.0 transceiver - the DECserver 100 is designed to work with Ethernet 2.0 transceivers. See section of the DECserver 100 Terminal Server Operations Guide (AA-Z085A-TK, January 1985) for more information.
  Local -902- Waiting for image load
  Local -912- Load failure, timeout
Solution Check that the filename of the image is "PS0801ENG.SYS" and is in the directory /tftpboot/mop - if it is not then this is probabily your problem. Otherwise check that mopd and latd are running and your network link is functional. You could also try setting the DECserver 100 to the factory default settings.

Resetting the DECserver 100

To set to factory default settings hold down the S1 button while unplugging and plugging in the power cable. This should reset all settings to factory defaults including the image name and privileged password (to SYSTEM).