/V-M-S/ n. DEC's proprietary operating system for its VAX minicomputers and workstations; one of the seven or so environments that loom largest in hacker folklore. Many UNIX fans generously concede that VMS would probably be the hacker's favorite commercial OS if UNIX didn't exist; though true, this makes some VMS fans furious.

Many hackers will boast of various instances of hacking remote UNIX systems, but very seldom will anyone claim to have hacked a VAX running VMS version 5 or above, perhaps because it is generally impossible without access to the system console. VMS is very stable, and is widely known for its 24-7 reliability. The current version of VMS is 7.2, including Galaxy

VMS is ubiquitous, conforms to the OSF "open" standard, and preferred by many banking, scientific, and governmental institutions. VMS celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1998.