OpenVistA VivA FOIA Gold 20050825 available

OpenVistA VivA FOIA Gold 20050825 is now available at Source Forge ( The text below is from the "About" file on the live DVD. [It will probably take some hours to be replicated to all the mirrors; until then download performance may be slow.]

Note that this DVD includes an icon that starts the CPRS GUI under wine. With an installation of the unconfigured database as distributed, it comes up to as for the id and access code. I don't know enough to configure a VistA database to accept connections, but it at least gets as far sa the login screen. One hiccup is that the splash screen does not go away - perhaps it will after a successful login; I just don't know. But this is the first time that a single CD/DVD demo of VistA+CPRS even appears within reach, so I feel encouraged. (Also, the CPRS GUI no longer looks ugly - all it needed was to have the msttcorefonts package installed).

I hope that someone in the VistA community will know enough to configure a database for a successful CPRS session, as well as perhaps tweak the CPRS GUI and/or wine to get the splash screen to go away.

My future plans are to release an updated version of this live DVD with M2Web also included and configured, and with a CPRS GUI with a less intrusive splash screen. I wanted to do it for this one, but just ran out of time.

As always, comments are welcome. Please do help me to help you more next time around.

-- Bhaskar

This OpenVistA VivA FOIA Gold live DVD is a remastered version of Knoppix (version 3.9 upgraded to current versions of packages), the state of the art in Linux live CDs, with with the VistA release dated August 25, 2005 as released by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under the Freedom of Information Act on GT.M (V5.0-000, as released under the terms of the GNU General Public License at Source Forge).

To run VistA, you will need one of (a) a USB flash drive (also known as a zip drive or thumb drive); (b) a hard disk partition with a FAT file system, or (c) a Linux file system; or a hard disk partition which can be partitioned with a FAT or Linux file system. A minimum of 300MB of available space is required; more if sample health records are to be stored in the database.

There is an initial zipped database on the DVD-ROM; it must be "installed" to a read/write storage medium in order to use VistA. Mount the partition read-write storage device (e.g., /mnt/uba1, /mnt/hda2, etc. - Knoppix provides an icon on the screen for each storage device that it recognizes during the boot process). First, right click on the icon and then choose mount and then right click a second time to that change the mount mode from read-only to read-write). Once the database is installed, on subsequent occasions, it does not need to be installed. The read/write device, however, must be mounted on each boot-up.

It is recommended that a symbolic link /home/knoppix/myVistA be created pointing to the location of the read/write storage, e.g., ln -sf /mnt/hda2/VistA /home/knoppix/myVistA. The CPRS GUI requires that /home/knoppix/myVistA be a directory, or point to a directory, with read/write permissions for user knoppix, and an installed VistA environment therein.

To install the initial database, start a shell, and execute the command /usr/local/OpenVistA/vista --install <directory> where <directory> is the installation directory without a trailing slash (/), e.g., /usr/local/OpenVistA/vista --install /home/knoppix/myVistA.

To subsequently run VistA, in a shell, execute /usr/local/OpenVistA/vista --run <directory>.

If the directory, or the directory and the command (--install or --run) are omitted, you will be prompted. You can also single click on the appropriate icons for installing and running VistA.

OpenVistA VivA FOIA Gold 20050825 is configured to allow the new "direct connect" CPRS GUI to connect to VistA at TCP port 9297. This configuration does not need Taskman or the RPC Broker to be started. cprs-gui is defined as a service in /etc/services, and /etc/inetd.conf is setup to start the shell script /usr/local/OpenVistA/cprs_direct to receive the connection request. cprs_direct sets up environment variables to look for a VistA installation in /home/knoppix/myVistA and executes mumps -run GTMLNX^XWBTCPM to communicate with the client. Some configuration of the database after installation may be required. Note that old style connections continue to be handled, but you will need to start Taskman and the RPC Broker - remember to shut them down cleanly before shutting down the PC.

The CPRS GUI executable is /usr/local/OpenVistA/CPRS/CPRSChart.exe. Copy it to a Windows PC of your choice, or make it available via Samba. An icon to attempt to run the GUI under wine is on the desktop. You may or may not be successful with it. Good luck - and please let the VistA community know of your success when you try it.

VistA as provided on this DVD is as released by the VA with two small changes to XWBTCPM.m and _ZOSV.m to permit the new "direct connect" CPRS GUI client to connect. Routine ZTMGRSET was run to configure VistA for GT.M. Finally, the two extraneous NULL devices in the database were renamed.

The GT.M documentation is provided under /usr/share/doc/gtm. The Administration and Operations Guide is provided in PDF format. The Programmers Guide and Messages and Recovery Procedures documentation are in HTML - point your browser at the index.htm files in their directories. For those who know MUMPS but want to learn GT.M the exercises from the GT.M Acculturation live CD are also provided (use mozilla for the exercises, rather than konqueror). Please be aware that the exercises on the Acculturation live CD use a home directory of /home/morph; on the OpenVistA VivA FOIA Gold 20050825 live DVD, you will need to use /home/knoppix instead. Also, some of the sample outputs may have small (inconsequential) changes in them because the GT.M Acculturation live CD uses GT.M V4.4-004, whereas this live DVD uses GT.M V5.0-000.

Knoppix 3.9 is used unchanged. You can use OpenVistA VivA FOIA Gold in lieu of Knoppix 3.9 for all applications. [Check out Kyle Rankin's Knoppix Hacks on why a Knoppix live CD/DVD is so useful even if you are a Windows system administrator. It is also possible to install Linux, GT.M and VistA to the hard drive with this DVD - refer to the Knoppix community for non VistA/GT.M use of this DVD..

Like all Linux live CDs that I have released with VistA and GT.M, OpenVistA VivA FOIA Gold 0.2 can be used unaltered to demonstrate your GT.M based application. On a USB flash drive, create a directory, e.g., myApp with subdirectories myApp/g, myApp/r and myApp/o. Copy the database to myApp/g/mumps.dat and put the routines in myApp/r. Then, assuming that the USB flash drive is mounted as /mnt/uba1, to run the application, start a shell, and execute the command /usr/local/OpenVistA/vista --run /mnt/uba1/myApp LAB^ROUTINE where LAB^ROUTINE is the initial entry point for your application.

I realize that a live DVD is a large download. If you donate US$ 25 or more to WorldVistA - a registered non-profit charitable organization in the US, so you may be able to take a deduction against your taxes - I will burn and mail you a DVD (anywhere on the planet that I can airmail to from the United States).

OpenVistA VivA releases are intended to be used purely for illustration / demonstration purposes, and come with no warranty whatsoever. They are neither tested nor certified for use in production. You take full responsibility for their use.

Posted by K.S. Bhaskar 2005-09-18

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