It is necessary to start the master pvmd by hand if you will use the so=pw or so=ms options in the host file or when adding hosts. These options require direct interaction with the pvmd when adding a host. If the pvmd is started by the console, or otherwise backgrounded, it will not be able to read passwords from a TTY.
The syntax to start the master pvmd by hand is:
$PVM_ROOT/lib/pvmd [-ddebugmask] [-nhostname] [hostfile]
If you start a PVM console or application, use another window. When the pvmd finishes starting up, it prints out a line like either: 80a95ee4:0a9a or /tmp/aaa026175. If it can't start up, you may not see an error message, depending on whether the problem occurs before or after the pvmd stops logging to its standard error output. Check the pvmd log file for a complete record.