Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?) - Linux

This is a discussion on Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?) - Linux ; I've have some old 500 mhz Alpha systems (about 6 years old) that were originally setup to run NT 4. I'd like to try installing Linux on them. I realize there are several distibs that have Alpha ports. My Linux ...

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Thread: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

  1. Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    I've have some old 500 mhz Alpha systems (about 6 years old) that were
    originally setup to run NT 4. I'd like to try installing Linux on
    them. I realize there are several distibs that have Alpha ports.

    My Linux experience so far has been with REDHAT/Fedora, Slackware,
    Debian and Yellow Dog (on x86 or PPC) and that has all been over the
    past year. I've had some difficulty setting up Debian systems from
    scratch (unless I've used Knoppix for the base install). I'm still
    very much of a newb when it comes to Unix-like operating systems.

    I'm specifically interested in knowing which alpha port distributions
    would be best suited for a novice like me. I have no problem compiling
    applications from source, however when it comes to fine tuning a
    system for a particular device or driver I'm sometimes at a loss. The
    more plug & play the better (which is the reason I've resorted to
    knoppix or morphix for my Debian installs).

  2. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    > I've have some old 500 mhz Alpha systems (about 6 years old) that were
    > originally setup to run NT 4. I'd like to try installing Linux on
    > them. I realize there are several distibs that have Alpha ports.
    >
    > My Linux experience so far has been with REDHAT/Fedora, Slackware,
    > Debian and Yellow Dog (on x86 or PPC) and that has all been over the
    > past year. I've had some difficulty setting up Debian systems from
    > scratch (unless I've used Knoppix for the base install). I'm still
    > very much of a newb when it comes to Unix-like operating systems.
    >
    > I'm specifically interested in knowing which alpha port distributions
    > would be best suited for a novice like me. I have no problem compiling
    > applications from source, however when it comes to fine tuning a
    > system for a particular device or driver I'm sometimes at a loss. The
    > more plug & play the better (which is the reason I've resorted to
    > knoppix or morphix for my Debian installs).


    Mandrake is the most user friendly distro, and they certainly mention alpha
    on their site. Lycoris is the other main user-friendly distro.

  3. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    Quoth turd.niblets@caffeine.mor.test-labs.net (Phurd Triblet):
    > I've have some old 500 mhz Alpha systems (about 6 years old) that were
    > originally setup to run NT 4. I'd like to try installing Linux on
    > them. I realize there are several distibs that have Alpha ports.
    >
    > My Linux experience so far has been with REDHAT/Fedora, Slackware,
    > Debian and Yellow Dog (on x86 or PPC) and that has all been over the
    > past year. I've had some difficulty setting up Debian systems from
    > scratch (unless I've used Knoppix for the base install). I'm still
    > very much of a newb when it comes to Unix-like operating systems.
    >
    > I'm specifically interested in knowing which alpha port
    > distributions would be best suited for a novice like me. I have no
    > problem compiling applications from source, however when it comes to
    > fine tuning a system for a particular device or driver I'm sometimes
    > at a loss. The more plug & play the better (which is the reason I've
    > resorted to knoppix or morphix for my Debian installs).


    In this case, you are better off exploring what distributions are
    still being actively maintained, as that will demonstrate the
    existence of a development community that might be able to be of
    assistance.

    "Help" appears more likely to be of value than "novice-oriented boot
    disks," particularly when you probably won't find much of the latter.
    --
    If this was helpful, rate me
    http://www3.sympatico.ca/cbbrowne/unix.html
    "If you were to implement this in ML, most of you would say : SCREAM,
    run from the room in terror, but we could set it as a tickable problem
    whatever, and give it to part 1A [first year students]... and that
    idea seems rather pleasing doesn't it?" -- Arthur Norman

  4. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 09:35:53 -0800, Phurd Triblet wrote:

    > I've have some old 500 mhz Alpha systems (about 6 years old) that were
    > originally setup to run NT 4. I'd like to try installing Linux on
    > them. I realize there are several distibs that have Alpha ports.
    >
    > My Linux experience so far has been with REDHAT/Fedora, Slackware,
    > Debian and Yellow Dog (on x86 or PPC) and that has all been over the
    > past year. I've had some difficulty setting up Debian systems from
    > scratch (unless I've used Knoppix for the base install). I'm still
    > very much of a newb when it comes to Unix-like operating systems.
    >
    > I'm specifically interested in knowing which alpha port distributions
    > would be best suited for a novice like me. I have no problem compiling
    > applications from source, however when it comes to fine tuning a
    > system for a particular device or driver I'm sometimes at a loss. The
    > more plug & play the better (which is the reason I've resorted to
    > knoppix or morphix for my Debian installs).


    I would go with Debian. All the others are great distro's but Debian is
    still being maintained. If those Alpha's were setup to run NT then you
    might need to flash the firmware from the current 'AlphaBios' to the 'SRM'
    console. If you post what the exact models are I can help find the SRM
    firmware and get you rolling. Also you might want to check the
    comp.os.linux.alpha group for more focused help.

    Jayson G.



  5. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 20:52:52 +0000, Christopher Browne wrote:


    >
    > In this case, you are better off exploring what distributions are
    > still being actively maintained, as that will demonstrate the
    > existence of a development community that might be able to be of
    > assistance.
    >
    > "Help" appears more likely to be of value than "novice-oriented boot
    > disks," particularly when you probably won't find much of the latter.


    Are there distributions out there that are keeping their ALPHA ports
    current?

    The lastest RH with support for alpha was 7.2 I believe though I didn't
    come across this little post which indicates that some people are trying
    to work up a Fedora Alpha port.


  6. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    "me@127.0.0.1" writes:

    > On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 20:52:52 +0000, Christopher Browne wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> In this case, you are better off exploring what distributions are
    >> still being actively maintained, as that will demonstrate the
    >> existence of a development community that might be able to be of
    >> assistance.
    >>
    >> "Help" appears more likely to be of value than "novice-oriented boot
    >> disks," particularly when you probably won't find much of the latter.

    >
    > Are there distributions out there that are keeping their ALPHA ports
    > current?


    I believe gentoo is still active for Alpha. Debian might also be up
    to date.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mru@kth.se

  7. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 12:55:54 +0100, Måns Rullgård wrote:
    >> Are there distributions out there that are keeping their ALPHA ports
    >> current?

    >I believe gentoo is still active for Alpha.


    Yes.

    >Debian might also be up to date.


    FSVO "up to date"...the Debian install CD uses a 2.2.20 kernel, which is way
    old by now. I dunno about the system itself.

  8. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    jmaynard@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) writes:

    >>Debian might also be up to date.

    >
    > FSVO "up to date"...the Debian install CD uses a 2.2.20 kernel, which is way
    > old by now. I dunno about the system itself.


    I naturally meant "as up to date as Debian is for other systems". I
    don't use Debian anyway, since I prefer something that includes
    software based on usefulness instead of based on silly political
    reasons. If a program is useful and allows distribution, include it.
    So what if it isn't compatible with the GPL or whatever.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mru@kth.se

  9. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    mru@kth.se (Måns Rullgård) writes:

    > jmaynard@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) writes:
    >
    > >>Debian might also be up to date.

    > >
    > > FSVO "up to date"...the Debian install CD uses a 2.2.20 kernel,
    > > which is way old by now. I dunno about the system itself.

    >
    > I naturally meant "as up to date as Debian is for other systems". I
    > don't use Debian anyway, since I prefer something that includes
    > software based on usefulness instead of based on silly political
    > reasons. If a program is useful and allows distribution, include it.
    > So what if it isn't compatible with the GPL or whatever.


    You're confused. Incompatibility with GPL is certainly not a reason
    for a package to not be distributed in Debian; there are hundreds of
    such packages.

    --
    Falk

  10. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    Falk Hueffner writes:

    > mru@kth.se (Måns Rullgård) writes:
    >
    >> jmaynard@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) writes:
    >>
    >> >>Debian might also be up to date.
    >> >
    >> > FSVO "up to date"...the Debian install CD uses a 2.2.20 kernel,
    >> > which is way old by now. I dunno about the system itself.

    >>
    >> I naturally meant "as up to date as Debian is for other systems". I
    >> don't use Debian anyway, since I prefer something that includes
    >> software based on usefulness instead of based on silly political
    >> reasons. If a program is useful and allows distribution, include it.
    >> So what if it isn't compatible with the GPL or whatever.

    >
    > You're confused. Incompatibility with GPL is certainly not a reason
    > for a package to not be distributed in Debian; there are hundreds of
    > such packages.


    OK, they include GPL incompatible packages. What they refuse are
    things that are not DFSG free. This includes the manuals for many GNU
    programs.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mru@kth.se

  11. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 15:44:59 +0100, Måns Rullgård wrote:
    >I don't use Debian anyway, since I prefer something that includes
    >software based on usefulness instead of based on silly political
    >reasons. If a program is useful and allows distribution, include it.
    >So what if it isn't compatible with the GPL or whatever.




    Debian ran me off for good when they took their silly position regarding KDE
    programs.

  12. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    jmaynard@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) writes:

    > On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 15:44:59 +0100, Måns Rullgård wrote:
    > >I don't use Debian anyway, since I prefer something that includes
    > >software based on usefulness instead of based on silly political
    > >reasons. If a program is useful and allows distribution, include it.
    > >So what if it isn't compatible with the GPL or whatever.

    >
    > Debian ran me off for good when they took their silly position
    > regarding KDE programs.


    Which silly position? I don't see any special position about KDE
    programs in Debian.

    --
    Falk

  13. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    jmaynard@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) writes:

    > Personally, no matter what their protestations, I believe


    It's nice of you to point out that you're immune to clues, this saves
    me some time for writing a reply.

    --
    Falk

  14. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    Jay Maynard wrote:
    >
    > On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 12:55:54 +0100, Måns Rullgård wrote:
    > >> Are there distributions out there that are keeping their ALPHA ports
    > >> current?

    > >I believe gentoo is still active for Alpha.

    >
    > Yes.
    >
    > >Debian might also be up to date.

    >
    > FSVO "up to date"...the Debian install CD uses a 2.2.20 kernel, which is way
    > old by now. I dunno about the system itself.


    Use Debian/unstable or Debian/testing and you'll get much newer packages
    for everything. Of course you have to install Debian/stable first then
    upgrade, but there should be 2.4.x kernel available on the installation
    media. (At least there is for the x86 installation.)

  15. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 14:22:43 GMT, Jay Maynard wrote:
    >>Debian might also be up to date.

    >
    > FSVO "up to date"...the Debian install CD uses a 2.2.20 kernel, which is way
    > old by now. I dunno about the system itself.


    Maybe so... but the x86 install CD comes with 2.2.20 and 2.4.18, and
    there's nothing to stop you installing 2.4.24 or 2.6.2 when you have the
    system up and running.

    And you're thinking of debian stable... you can also run testing or
    unstable, which are a lot more up to date.

    chris

  16. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    In the last exciting episode, jmaynard@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) wrote:
    > On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 12:55:54 +0100, Måns Rullgård wrote:
    >>> Are there distributions out there that are keeping their ALPHA ports
    >>> current?

    >>I believe gentoo is still active for Alpha.

    >
    > Yes.
    >
    >>Debian might also be up to date.

    >
    > FSVO "up to date"...the Debian install CD uses a 2.2.20 kernel, which is way
    > old by now. I dunno about the system itself.


    Who cares what's on the install disk? That's used to _install_ the
    system, and can readily be replaced with packages containing newer
    kernels, if you so desire.

    The reason to upgrade the install system to use newer kernels would be
    if there were new devices, needed at install time, that were not
    supported by an older kernel.

    In the situation of Alpha hardware, that's not the case, as there
    isn't much in the way of "newly crafted" hardware coming out.
    --
    output = ("aa454" "@" "freenet.carleton.ca")
    http://www.ntlug.org/~cbbrowne/unix.html
    "Computers let you make more mistakes faster than any other invention
    in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and
    tequila." -- Mitch Radcliffe

  17. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    Christopher Browne writes:

    > In the last exciting episode, jmaynard@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) wrote:
    >> On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 12:55:54 +0100, Måns Rullgård wrote:
    >>>> Are there distributions out there that are keeping their ALPHA ports
    >>>> current?
    >>>I believe gentoo is still active for Alpha.

    >>
    >> Yes.
    >>
    >>>Debian might also be up to date.

    >>
    >> FSVO "up to date"...the Debian install CD uses a 2.2.20 kernel, which is way
    >> old by now. I dunno about the system itself.

    >
    > Who cares what's on the install disk? That's used to _install_ the
    > system, and can readily be replaced with packages containing newer
    > kernels, if you so desire.
    >
    > The reason to upgrade the install system to use newer kernels would be
    > if there were new devices, needed at install time, that were not
    > supported by an older kernel.


    There's lots of such hardware around. In fact, most new systems
    require a 2.4 kernel or later to run.

    > In the situation of Alpha hardware, that's not the case, as there
    > isn't much in the way of "newly crafted" hardware coming out.


    AFAIK, the ev7 based systems are not supported by 2.2 kernels.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mru@kth.se

  18. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    >>>>> "Måns" == Måns Rullgård writes:



    Måns> are things that are not DFSG free. This includes the manuals
    Måns> for many GNU programs.

    yes this does not make any sense at all about the manuals. Their
    reason for not including some GNU manuals has no logic. If you use the
    debian reason for not including the GNU manuals then why do they
    include the GNU programs or even call their system GNU/Linux.

    Anyway strange but at least the manuals are still at the GNU site.

    Later,

    Alan

  19. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    Spamme Now writes:

    > >>>>> "Måns" == Måns Rullgård writes:

    > Måns> are things that are not DFSG free. This includes the manuals
    > Måns> for many GNU programs.
    >
    > yes this does not make any sense at all about the manuals. Their
    > reason for not including some GNU manuals has no logic. If you use the
    > debian reason for not including the GNU manuals then why do they
    > include the GNU programs


    Because they have a different license. Duh. Try getting a clue next
    time before you open your mouth.

    --
    Falk

  20. Re: Linux on 500 mhz DEC Alpha (user friendly install?)

    Falk Hueffner writes:

    > Spamme Now writes:
    >
    >> >>>>> "Måns" == Måns Rullgård writes:

    >> Måns> are things that are not DFSG free. This includes the manuals
    >> Måns> for many GNU programs.
    >>
    >> yes this does not make any sense at all about the manuals. Their
    >> reason for not including some GNU manuals has no logic. If you use the
    >> debian reason for not including the GNU manuals then why do they
    >> include the GNU programs

    >
    > Because they have a different license. Duh. Try getting a clue next
    > time before you open your mouth.


    But why is the GFDL so terrible that it can't be included in Debian?
    There are no legal obstacles for inclusion, only political and
    philosophical.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mru@kth.se