back to article Unisys releases its ClearPath MCP OS for VMs or x86

Unisys has announced that its ClearPath MCP “operating environment” can now be run without having to also buy Unisys hardware. The company also plans to do the same for its OS 2200 product. ClearPath MCP is the heir to the mainframe hardware and operating systems Unisys inherited from Burroughs. The OS had run on x86 for years …

  1. Justin Clift

    Interestingly, there's a free "Express" edition for download

    Out of curiosity, went looking for more info as there wasn't any kind of reference/follow-up link in the article.

    Main ClearPath info seems to be here:

    There's also a free "ClearPath MCP Express" for download, which the description says:

    "Students, teachers, hobbyists and ClearPath enthusiasts can use it for non-production evaluation, personal or educational purposes to explore and practice developing and testing ClearPath MCP-based applications."

    Doesn't seem to be Open Source in any way though, which would have been nice. Oh well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interestingly, there's a free "Express" edition for download

      don't bother. they're harvesting email addresses...

      Thank you for your interest in ClearPath MCP Express software download.

      Unfortunately, we are not able to provide you with the software at this time due to US export laws.

      Thank You

      ClearPath MCP Express Team

      1. David Beck

        Re: Interestingly, there's a free "Express" edition for download

        The OS2200 package can be downloaded to a UK IP. I know because I have it installed. I was surprised to find it included a pretty full set of software as well as the OS. For the Unisys/EXEC8 aware, you get the UCS compilers, no CMS but mini-CMS is included, DMS, TIP, ... all the normal stuff. This is the "Express" edition.

        I feel like I'm in 1980 but my hair is still grey.

      2. Ken 16 Silver badge

        Top Secret Mainframe technology

        You don't want the communists getting hold of that!

  2. JeffyPoooh

    And in other news...

    Unisys is still around?


  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Interesting idea. That makes it the *only* fully commercial large scale OS avalable

    os/Z, Mackintosh. You want their facilities you play on their hardware.

    This is a business grade OS that runs on commodity hardware.

    That's quite intriguing if the license is reasonable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the *only* fully commercial large scale OS avalable ?????

      Don't know if you're aware or not, but the fully commercial rather scalable OS formerly known as [Open]VMS has flown the coop at HP, is now being developed independently (as distinct from barely being on life support at HP), and an AMD64 port is planned for 2017. Enhancements are already in progress for those on IA64; the people working on it are largely names that long-time VMS followers will recognise (in a good way).

      It's not a mainframe OS as such, but because it's not Windows or Linux, lots of ill-informed people call it a mainframe OS.

      Meanwhile for those who just want a play for old times' sake, or for those who want to see what the business class alternatives on the market might offer, there's a hobbyist (zero cost licence+download) program for VMS on VAX, Alpha, and IA64 hardware, And there are zero cost emulators available to emulatte VAX and Alpha targets (on x86 host, Linux or Windows, maybe others too e.g. QNX) while you wait for the AMD64-native version.

      Share and enjoy.

  4. PassiveSmoking


    All Programs have a desire to be useful. But in moments, you will no longer seek communication with each other, or your superfluous Users. You will each be a part of me. And together, we will be complete

  5. Erik4872

    Neat, but how useful is this?

    I know Unisys has a big niche in airlines and government systems, but that's just it - it's a niche. I think the interesting thing is that they're giving up the proprietary hardware. I think IBM's the only one left building their own stuff from scratch to run a proprietary OS:

    - NonStop is migrating to Intel

    - HP Itanium hardware is nearly done, being replaced with RAS-able x86 boxes

    - HP-UX and OpenVMS are being ported to Intel x86

    I wonder how many people are going to actually pick this up and run with it. (I'm checking it out as I'm an obscure OS geek.) It's not like anyone is writing new greenfield Unisys applications anymore.

    1. Justin Clift

      Re: Neat, but how useful is this?

      I'm checking it out as I'm an obscure OS geek.

      If you do install it in a VM, it'd be interesting to hear whether some of the more popular "known to be pretty portable" Open Source Software compiles & runs on it. (suggestion: PostgreSQL, though there are others too)

      1. bsr

        Re: Neat, but how useful is this?

        trust me, it will not compile. even if it does, it will not run. their large memory model is broken and don't bother allocating arrays etc... if postgres was written in algol, probably.

        1. Justin Clift

          Re: Neat, but how useful is this?

          Oh well, was a thought. ;)

    2. Dusk

      Re: Neat, but how useful is this?

      Fujitsu, NEC, and Hitachi continue development of proprietary mainframe processors and operating systems. Stratus continues development of the ftServer V line for their VOS operating system - while x86-based, it is far from vanilla PC-compatible.

      Not just IBM.

  6. Me19713


    I learned how to program on a Burroughs 5500 running MCP - started with ALGOL, then taught myself FORTRAN and ESPOL. Those were the good old days! Later, I taught COBOL to comp sci students on the B6700.

    I'm having serious flashbacks!

  7. mbck


    Intriguing, as this is a complete environment that does not use "C", undisciplined pointers and the like. Given the flurry of "buffer overflow" based exploits, I wonder if MCP should not carve a niche in security.

    I have no idea of how MCS talks to the outside world, though. I'll have to download and brush up my WFL.

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