OpenVistA VivA FOIA Gold 0.2 Available

OpenVistA VivA FOIA Gold combines Knoppix 3.7 (, the state of the art in Linux live CDs with GT.M V5.0-FT01 ( and, the open source (GPL) release on Linux of the most widely used MUMPS in banking and finance and the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ proven VistA hospital information software as released on November 26, 2004 under the Freedom of Information Act ( is a good starting place for VistA).

To run VistA, you will need a PC with one of the following:

– a 512MB USB flash drive (also known as a zip drive or thumb drive); or

– a hard disk partition with over 300MB available with a FAT file system, or a Linux file system (or which can be formatted with a FAT or Linux file system).

Mount the partition read-write (/mnt/sda1, /mnt/hda2, etc. – Knoppix provides an icon on the screen for each, right click on the icon to mount and then change status from read-only to read-write).

To first install and subsequently run VistA, in a shell, execute “sudo /usr/local/OpenVistA/vista”. If the partition is a Linux file system, and read-writable by the default user knoppix, just execute “/usr/local/OpenVistA/vista”.

Owing to the fact that Knoppix occupies an entire CD image, the combination of Knoppix, GT.M and VistA is requires a DVD, and is technically therefore a live DVD rather than a live CD.

Knoppix 3.7 is used unchanged. You can use OpenVistA VivA FOIA Gold in lieu of Knoppix 3.7 for all applications. [Check out Kyle Rankin’s “Knoppix Hacks” – – on why a Knoppix live CD is so useful even if you are a Windows system administrator.]

GT.M V5.0-FT01 is installed in /usr/local/gtm. The script /usr/local/gtm/gtmprofile is changed to set the EDITOR environment variable to /bin/vi only if it is not already set (the default is to set it unconditionally). The GT.M documentation is in subdirectories of /usr/share/doc/gtm – for the Programmers Guide and the Messages & Recovery Procedures Guide, point your browser at the index.htm file in each manual’s directory; the Administration and Operations Guide is still in the older PDF format. This version of GT.M supports long names as well as the $Increment() function.

VistA is as released by the VA FTP site, with the routines and database packaged for GT.M. ZTMGRSET was executed in order to select GT.M as the underlying M platform. This release is called OpenVistA VivA FOIA Gold 0.2 because the VistA software as released on the VA’s FTP site is sometimes referred to as the “gold standard”. At least in the US, there is a tremendous level of interest in VistA as an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system.

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/sda1, to run the application, start a shell, and execute the command “sudo /usr/local/OpenVistA/vista –run /mnt/sda1/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).

The creation of OpenVistA VivA releases are my own personal work, and your dissatisfaction with them, if any, should not reflect in any way on my employer, Fidelity Information Services, Inc. OpenVistA VivA releases come with no warranty, and you must take full responsibility for their use.

— Bhaskar

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