FOIA VistA Audita 20060923 available - caveat: experimental

Before you read further: this is an experimental package, definitely not ready for prime time. Please play with it only to help get it working properly.

FOIA VistA 20060923 Audita is a packaging of FOIA VistA SemiVivA 20060923 with Oralux 0.7 alpha (see and\) which in turn is a remastering of the Knoppix 4.02 Linux live CD (

Oralux 0.7 boots up Linux that supposedly speaks the listener's choice of six languages - Brazilian Portuguese, English, French, German, Russian, Spanish. I used the emacspeak interface with English for my testing.

Oralux boots into an emacs session with emacspeak, and an emacs tutorial is available from that emacs session. To get a shell inside an emacs buffer, type Alt-X s h e l l ENTER or ESC x s h e l l ENTER. Commands are typed at the shell. I recommend changing the default directory of the shell to /home/knoppix by executing the command "cd ~".

The use of FOIA VistA 20060923 Audita is basically the same as any VistA live CD, and requires a read-write file system to be mounted for the database. Everything else runs off the CD ROM or of a RAM file system.

The read-write file system for the database can be a Linux file system (e.g., ext3, jfs) or a Windows FAT file system, but not a Windows NTFS file system. The file /etc/fstab (type "cat /etc/fstab" in a shell in emacs to list it; it can also be brought into an edit buffer) will give a list of partitions that Knoppix detected on boot-up. A USB flash drive will have an entry in /etc/fstab such as "/dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1 vfat noauto,users,exec 0 0" and a Linux file system on hard drive will have an entry such as "/dev/hda2 /mnt/hda2 ext3 noauto,users,exec 0 0".

Mount the read-write storage with a command such as "mount /mnt/sda1" and create a directory within it called myVistA with a command such as "mkdir /mnt/sda1/myVistA". Link to it from the knoppix home directory with a command such as "ln -s /mnt/sda1/myVistA /home/knoppix/".

I have not reworked the "vista" script to avoid the use of Xdialog, which is not included in Oralux. So, for now, please use the following commands to create the initial database (this assumes that you have changed directory to /home/knoppix and that myVistA is a symbolic link to the directory with read/write storage, e.g., /mnt/sda1/myVistA:

1. Create the directory structure: mkdir -p myVistA/{p,r,tmp} myVistA/gtm_V5.1-000/{g,o,p,r}

2. Install the database: gzip -d </usr/local/FOIAVistA20060923/g/mumps.dat.gz >myVistA/gtm_V5.1-000/g/mumps.dat

To run VistA, first set the appropriate terminal type for use inside an emacs buffer: export TERM=Eterm
Then execute VistA: /usr/local/FOIAVistA/vista --run ~/myVistA
You will probably need to set the terminal type inside VistA to be a dumb terminal.

Known annoyance: you must explicitly set $ZROUtines once inside GT.M (one long line here - watch for breaks caused by mailers): set $ZRO="/home/knoppix/myVistA/gtm_V5.1-000/o(/home/knoppix/myVistA/gtm_V5.1-000/p /home/knoppix/myVistA/gtm_V5.1-000/r /home/knoppix/myVistA/p /home/knoppix/myVistA/r) /usr/local/FOIAVistA20060923/gtm_V5.1-000/o(/usr/local/FOIAVistA20060923/gtm_V5.1-000/p /usr/local/FOIAVistA20060923/gtm_V5.1-000/r /usr/local/FOIAVistA20060923/p /usr/local/FOIAVistA20060923/r)"
I don't know why the environment doesn't get properly passed in.

Once you are at the GTM> prompt and have set $ZROutines, commands such as "s DUZ=1 d Q^DI" appear to work. Also, a direct connect server for CPRS GUI connections is enabled at port 9297. You will of course have to start the Taskman background processes, but you don't need the call-back broker.

Oh, yes, in case I forgot to mention earlier: this is an experimental package not ready for prime time. Please send comments to me (as well as fixes if you figure them out). Thank you for your help in making VistA more accessible.

-- Bhaskar

Posted by K.S. Bhaskar 2006-12-27

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