OPAL Apollo Workstation Mini-guide


The OPAL Apollos are in their twilight years. We have been weeding out the REALLY old ones, and we are bringing back useful Apollos from the experiment site as they are freed up from pit duties. There are still 22 functioning Apollos at this moment.

Currently our aim is to create an Apollo environment which is still useful, but is easily maintained. Thus we are running Release 5 of X; and only relevant X software is being upgraded (for example, Mosaic and ghostscript).

This WWW entry presents a few useful tidbits to guide Apollo users. For further CERN information on apollo support see the CN link. Some general UNIX info is also available.


The operating system on Apollos is called Domain/OS. It is not really UNIX but it does a credible job of emulating UNIX. There are three possible environments that you can work in: Aegis, UNIX (SYS V), and UNIX (BSD). By default you are running sys5.3, since we only have a limited amount of disk space on each node. You can use the apollo command ver to change versions, or flavours, of UNIX. Note that the BSD version is still available to you, but it is installed as a link to a server node. However, it should be in your PATH, since a few important commands are there (like lpr for printing).

Your node is known in two ways. It has an (Internet Protocol) IP hostname (for example, apoopep16). It also has a catalogued name (for example, //opal_ep16). The IP hostname is important for networking (ie: ftp, telnet, X). The catalogued name is used to link all apollos in the same domain together. This is like some strange brotherhood that magically binds together apollos. This brotherhood means that you can 'cd' to any directory on any apollo (unless the directory is protected).

To find out your IP hostname, try either of the commands:
uname -n

To find out your catalogued name, enter the command


The original windowing environment on an Apollo is the DM (Display Manager). It comes with the DM command line (the bar at the bottom of the screen), and each new window is called a 'pad'. The DM has some really nice features (like the editor), but it is a proprietary windowing environment whose day has come and gone. However a description of some basic navigation features is still useful.

The Apollo Keyboard

The left-hand keypad contains the navigation keys for the DM. When using the Apollo editor, you can mark, copy, cut and paste using the associated keys on the left-hand keypad. For all keys, you use the
< SHIFT> key to give you the functionality mentioned in the upper word on the key. Thus
< SHIFT> < MOVE> lets you move the pad under the mouse cursor, while just pressing
< GROW> will let you alter its size. For these kinds of operations you use the mouse to position or resize the pad, and you press the left mouse button to terminate the operation.

There are 10 kinds of arrow keys: 4 normal arrow keys, 4 keys that let you page left, right, up and down in a pad, and 2 keys that let you move all the way to the left and all the way to the right on any line of text in the pad. It should be obvious which ones are which.

One special key on the left-hand keypad is the
< SHELL / COMMAND> key. < SHIFT> < SHELL> creates a new pad (ie: a new shell). < COMMAND> moves the cursor the the DM command line.

On the right-hand upper part of the keyboard are some special keys. Following is what each does:


To log into an apollo, you log in via the DM login prompt. Logging out is a simple matter of typing:
in the DM command-line. But please note that you must exit your X session before you do this. Otherwise, if X and the motif window manager are still running, then the apollo will ask you if you want to blast some processes. Just say no, terminate your X session, and then log out.


You do not need to be super-user to shutdown an apollo. Simply log out, then enter the comand:
in the DM command-line. When the message shutdown successful is on your screen then you can power off the node. At this point you are at the debugger level. You can reset and boot the node at this point. It is IMPORTANT to reset the node before booting it. This is accomplished automatically if you have just powered-on the node. If you have shutdown the node to the debugger level you will see the simple 'arrow prompt':

to reset the node, and press the return key (sometimes a few times). The node will beep and report the ROM revision level. Now you can boot the node:


The windowing focus on the apollo is now on X. At Release 5 the X-windows Server is called Xdomain. It cannot co-exist with the DM. So you are forced to 'toggle' between the DM environment and the X environment. You can either run X locally, or you can use your Apollo as an X-terminal, logged onto a supporting workstation (like an HP snake). To run X locally, enter in the command:

To run it as an X-terminal, enter the command:
Xterminal SomeHostName
where SomeHostName is the name of a workstation that allows your apollo to connect.

In either case, the apollo will present you with an alternate 'screen'. In the first case you will be running locally on your machine and the Motif Window Manager (mwm) will manage your windows. In the second case you will get a log-in prompt from SomeHostName.

To toggle between your X-session and the DM, you use the key combination:
< CTRL> < SHIFT> < F9>
If you are in your X-session, then this key comination will ALWAYS take you to the DM. Sometimes if your key definitions are 'odd' you will not be able to toggle back to X. In this case, you can always run the command:
(and you can ask me to help you with your apollo key defs).

If you are X-terminal-ed onto SomeHostName, then when you log out of that session your X-session will be terminated. If you are running X locally, then you MUST exit your X-session in order to log out. You can do this from the mwm root menu "Quit X...". Occasionally this doesn't work. The key combination:
always works.


The Motif Window Manager is a simple (though piggy) window manager. When you place the cursor on the root window (ie. on the background) and press the left or right mouse button you will get a menu. Currently the menu gives you a choice of an 'xterm', '3270', 'shift8', 'Mosaic' and 'PAW', as well as some restart and quit options. You can create your own menus if you copy the file:
to your home directory and name it
You can then alter it to suit your needs.


The old apollo printing environment is mostly gone; in its place is a BSD interface to printing. You can send your print job to any postscript printer. Use the command:
lpr -Psome-printer the_file_to_print
where some-printer is the name of the printer you want to queue to. Note that there is no space between the -P and the name of the printer. You do not need to specify the printer if you have set your PRINTER variable. By default this is set to '28-prod2'. You can reset it to any other printer; for example:
export PRINTER=513-lps
Do this in your .profile, but place it after the OpalLogin.

You can specify a few options to change the appearance of your print job. For example, to print in portrait mode, try
lpr -Psome-printer -w80 the_file_to_print
Other useful options include:

To check the print queue, enter
lpq -Psome-printer

To cancel a print job, enter
lprm -Psome-printer job-id
The rule about the PRINTER variable applies for both lpq and lprm. Note that if you want to see the man pages on any of these utilities, you must use the ver bsd4.3 option to get the man page:
ver bsd4.3 man lpr
For a list of registered printers, see the Springer www page. 3 printers that are readily accessed in building 28 are 28-prod, 28-prod2 and 28-prod3.


You can still print using the Aegis print command, but you are limited to the printers configured on //cernapo. Type:
/com/prf -list_pr
to see a list of printers that are linked to cernapo (and be patient). The only useful printer is 513-pub. Typically you would print with the following:
/com/prf -pr 513-pub the_file_to_print
To check the queue, do the following:
/com/prf -pr 513-pub -r
See the help page on 'prf' to learn about the options:
/com/help prf

You can also print using the xprint command, which ftp's your job to springer. This is useful to send jobs to an old IBM printer, for example. Note that the default printer is PR28B. Enter the following to get a little help:
If you enter
xprint -H
the script will attempt to give you a list of all printers. This is never very pretty since it doesn't entirely work, but it always ends with a nice list of IBM printers.


A few systems have been NFS-mounted for your convenience. These systems are mounted via the automounter. This means that the remote file system is not visible to you until you 'access' it. If the mounted system is subsequently not referenced for some minutes, then the automounter dismounts it again. The following file systems are available:
Denice Deatrich 12-Dec-94