Active Alpha Linux Distributions? - Linux

This is a discussion on Active Alpha Linux Distributions? - Linux ; I am in search of a current Linux distribution for an Alpha DS20, ES40, and Alphaserver 1000 with an active community. I also need to have a corresponding Linux release to run on a couple of X86 boxes (IBM eServer ...

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

  1. Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    I am in search of a current Linux distribution for an Alpha DS20,
    ES40, and Alphaserver 1000 with an active community. I also need to
    have a corresponding Linux release to run on a couple of X86 boxes
    (IBM eServer X300s).

    I'm hoping to find a distribution with an active community around it
    because 1) I want to run a distribution that is somewhat up to date
    with the latest kernel and userland and 2) I'm relatively new to Alpha/
    Linux and expect to need some newbie guidance occasionally.

    I looked at the AlphaLinux distribution pointers off the
    alphalinux.org main page and looks like Debian is the only
    distribution with any active development being done and current
    community activity - true?

    Can folks on the list confirm this conclusion, or point me in the
    direction of a distribution for Alpha and X86 that is current and
    being maintained.

    Thanks!

    Lee C.

  2. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    "leec" wrote in message
    news:ac012c16-5e9c-4528-b1bf-b09ed927c34b@o40g2000prn.googlegroups.com...
    >I am in search of a current Linux distribution for an Alpha DS20,
    > ES40, and Alphaserver 1000 with an active community. I also need to
    > have a corresponding Linux release to run on a couple of X86 boxes
    > (IBM eServer X300s).



    FYI, This group has been virtually silent for the last 5 months. I started
    monitoring it for the same reason, but I have an XL box (NT only) and am
    more limited since LILO is no longer supported and I have 0 Linux
    experience. I have gotten an old version of RedHat booted on it, but it is
    not a usable environment at the moment (need bigger disks for that).


  3. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    leec wrote:

    > I am in search of a current Linux distribution for an Alpha DS20,
    > ES40, and Alphaserver 1000 with an active community. I also need to
    > have a corresponding Linux release to run on a couple of X86 boxes
    > (IBM eServer X300s).
    >
    > I'm hoping to find a distribution with an active community around it
    > because 1) I want to run a distribution that is somewhat up to date
    > with the latest kernel and userland and 2) I'm relatively new to Alpha/
    > Linux and expect to need some newbie guidance occasionally.
    >
    > I looked at the AlphaLinux distribution pointers off the
    > alphalinux.org main page and looks like Debian is the only
    > distribution with any active development being done and current
    > community activity - true?
    >
    > Can folks on the list confirm this conclusion, or point me in the
    > direction of a distribution for Alpha and X86 that is current and
    > being maintained.
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Lee C.



    Debian

  4. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    leec wrote:
    > I looked at the AlphaLinux distribution pointers off the
    > alphalinux.org main page and looks like Debian is the only
    > distribution with any active development being done and current
    > community activity - true?


    Gentoo still actively maintains an alpha port. Feel free to stop
    by on #gentoo-alpha on Freenode.

    Regards,
    Tobias



    --
    fs_dprintk (FS_DEBUG_IRQ, "Iiiin-coming (0)!!!!\n");
    linux-2.6.6/drivers/atm/firestream.c

  5. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    "Steven Underwood" writes:
    >"leec" wrote in message
    >news:ac012c16-5e9c-4528-b1bf-b09ed927c34b@o40g2000prn.googlegroups.com...
    >>I am in search of a current Linux distribution for an Alpha DS20,
    >> ES40, and Alphaserver 1000 with an active community. I also need to
    >> have a corresponding Linux release to run on a couple of X86 boxes
    >> (IBM eServer X300s).


    We are running Debian (mostly stable) on most of our boxes, including
    two Alpha UP1500 boxes.

    >FYI, This group has been virtually silent for the last 5 months. I started
    >monitoring it for the same reason, but I have an XL box (NT only) and am
    >more limited since LILO is no longer supported


    I guess you mean MILO. Yes, I remember something like this. Also,
    dealing with the ARC console and especially AlphaBIOS was so painful
    that you would not want to use it. Maybe you can find an SRM console
    upgrade for your box (but I remember that on one box where we tried to
    switch to SRM, SRM talked only to a serial terminal, and we had to
    solder a cable to talk to it and switch it back to ARC/AlphaBIOS).

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  6. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Anton Ertl) writes:

    > "Steven Underwood" writes:
    >>"leec" wrote in message
    >>news:ac012c16-5e9c-4528-b1bf-b09ed927c34b@o40g2000prn.googlegroups.com...
    >>>I am in search of a current Linux distribution for an Alpha DS20,
    >>> ES40, and Alphaserver 1000 with an active community. I also need to
    >>> have a corresponding Linux release to run on a couple of X86 boxes
    >>> (IBM eServer X300s).

    >
    > We are running Debian (mostly stable) on most of our boxes, including
    > two Alpha UP1500 boxes.


    I've used Gentoo with good success on Alpha, although my Alpha machine
    hasn't been powered on for some time.

    >>FYI, This group has been virtually silent for the last 5 months. I started
    >>monitoring it for the same reason, but I have an XL box (NT only) and am
    >>more limited since LILO is no longer supported

    >
    > I guess you mean MILO. Yes, I remember something like this. Also,
    > dealing with the ARC console and especially AlphaBIOS was so painful
    > that you would not want to use it. Maybe you can find an SRM console
    > upgrade for your box (but I remember that on one box where we tried to
    > switch to SRM, SRM talked only to a serial terminal, and we had to
    > solder a cable to talk to it and switch it back to ARC/AlphaBIOS).


    The XL should work fine with SRM, IIRC.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mans@mansr.com

  7. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    On 2008-10-18, Steven Underwood wrote:
    > "leec" wrote in message
    > news:ac012c16-5e9c-4528-b1bf-b09ed927c34b@o40g2000prn.googlegroups.com...
    >>I am in search of a current Linux distribution for an Alpha DS20,
    >> ES40, and Alphaserver 1000 with an active community. I also need to
    >> have a corresponding Linux release to run on a couple of X86 boxes
    >> (IBM eServer X300s).

    >
    >
    > FYI, This group has been virtually silent for the last 5 months. I started
    > monitoring it for the same reason, but I have an XL box (NT only) and am
    > more limited since LILO is no longer supported and I have 0 Linux
    > experience. I have gotten an old version of RedHat booted on it, but it is
    > not a usable environment at the moment (need bigger disks for that).
    >


    MILO can load never kernels too, maybe not supported but before sold
    out my Alpha, I used MILO to boot 2.6 series kernel on Debian. Try
    googling for newer or some custom build MILO's, I didn't have luck
    with distro milos.

    Can't remember could XL have SRM, in Miata I used SRM for awhile but
    SRM couldn't handle Adaptec 2940 SCSIs so turned back to MILO.

    -juhana

  8. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    "Anton Ertl" wrote in message
    news:2008Oct19.145030@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at.. .
    >
    > I guess you mean MILO. Yes, I remember something like this. Also,
    > dealing with the ARC console and especially AlphaBIOS was so painful
    > that you would not want to use it. Maybe you can find an SRM console
    > upgrade for your box (but I remember that on one box where we tried to
    > switch to SRM, SRM talked only to a serial terminal, and we had to
    > solder a cable to talk to it and switch it back to ARC/AlphaBIOS).
    >
    > - anton
    > --
    > M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be
    > believed
    > anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be
    > seen
    > http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html



    Yes MILO... and as far as I have been able to find, there is no publically
    available SRM console for this machine (XL266), ARC only.

    As I said. I got it working with an old version of RedHat via some
    instructions I found on the web, but due to disk size, I was unable to load
    a GUI and as such is not much use to me for a desktop plaything. I
    currently have no need for a server.


  9. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    "Måns Rullgård" wrote in message
    news:yw1xmyh0k8z7.fsf@thrashbarg.mansr.com...
    > anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Anton Ertl) writes:
    >
    > The XL should work fine with SRM, IIRC.
    >
    > --
    > Måns Rullgård
    > mans@mansr.com


    Not according to any of Digital's documentation. There is no SRM available.
    If you know otherwise, please let me know where I can get it.


  10. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    "Steven Underwood" writes:

    > "Måns Rullgård" wrote in message
    > news:yw1xmyh0k8z7.fsf@thrashbarg.mansr.com...
    >> anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Anton Ertl) writes:
    >>
    >> The XL should work fine with SRM, IIRC.

    >
    > Not according to any of Digital's documentation. There is no SRM
    > available. If you know otherwise, please let me know where I can get
    > it.


    Sorry, I had it confused with another machine, such as the LX164
    which, although stubborn, can be coaxed into switching firmware. Or
    was that the SX164? It's so hard to remember all those names and
    code-names. People who pick model designators should be banned from
    using the letters X and Z.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mans@mansr.com

  11. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    =?iso-8859-1?Q?M=E5ns_Rullg=E5rd?= writes:
    >Sorry, I had it confused with another machine, such as the LX164
    >which, although stubborn, can be coaxed into switching firmware.


    IIRC we have one 164LX where we switched the firmware to SRM and
    another where we did not manage to do that.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  12. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 20:24:58 GMT
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Anton Ertl) wrote:

    > =?iso-8859-1?Q?M=E5ns_Rullg=E5rd?= writes:
    > >Sorry, I had it confused with another machine, such as the LX164
    > >which, although stubborn, can be coaxed into switching firmware.

    >
    > IIRC we have one 164LX where we switched the firmware to SRM and
    > another where we did not manage to do that.


    LX and SX both shouldn't be problematic. What *is* problematic (or
    rather: impossible), though, is the UX.

    YMVV

  13. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    juhana paavola wrote:
    > On 2008-10-18, Steven Underwood wrote:
    >> "leec" wrote in message
    >> news:ac012c16-5e9c-4528-b1bf-b09ed927c34b@o40g2000prn.googlegroups.com...
    >>> I am in search of a current Linux distribution for an Alpha DS20,
    >>> ES40, and Alphaserver 1000 with an active community. I also need to
    >>> have a corresponding Linux release to run on a couple of X86 boxes
    >>> (IBM eServer X300s).

    >>
    >> FYI, This group has been virtually silent for the last 5 months. I started
    >> monitoring it for the same reason, but I have an XL box (NT only) and am
    >> more limited since LILO is no longer supported and I have 0 Linux
    >> experience. I have gotten an old version of RedHat booted on it, but it is
    >> not a usable environment at the moment (need bigger disks for that).
    >>

    >
    > MILO can load never kernels too, maybe not supported but before sold
    > out my Alpha, I used MILO to boot 2.6 series kernel on Debian. Try
    > googling for newer or some custom build MILO's, I didn't have luck
    > with distro milos.


    Something in the back of my mind says that either Milo or the kernel needs to
    be set correctly in terms of the memory model. And that magic setting may not
    be the default. Wish I could remember more specifics, but since I gave away
    my Multia all the boxen have used SRM.


  14. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    Marc Schlensog writes:

    > On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 20:24:58 GMT
    > anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Anton Ertl) wrote:
    >
    >> =?iso-8859-1?Q?M=E5ns_Rullg=E5rd?= writes:
    >> >Sorry, I had it confused with another machine, such as the LX164
    >> >which, although stubborn, can be coaxed into switching firmware.

    >>
    >> IIRC we have one 164LX where we switched the firmware to SRM and
    >> another where we did not manage to do that.

    >
    > LX and SX both shouldn't be problematic.


    I have an SX that I switched. The process itself was simple. The
    trouble was finding versions of SRM and the flashing tool that would
    fit on the same floppy.

    Still not as hard as bypassing the SRM password on a Miata...

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mans@mansr.com

  15. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    I will resume what I know: i have an AS1200 and an AS4100 that can boot
    Debian, and Gentoo. The boot loader is not Lilo (Steve, where did you
    have this idea ?), but Milo.

    Booting an alpha was been painfull for me, because my hardware trigerred
    many bugs, known and not known. Even booting the installation materials
    was difficult.

    Both distributions have bugs and various problems. Both are weakly
    maintained for Alpha. But both can run fine, if you take enough time.

    The key for Linux is: upgrade your SRM to the latest available one,
    check compatibility list, bug list. As example, latest Milo requires
    SRM5 (when my Alphas were provided with SRM4), and, my SCSI chipset
    trigered a bug in the corresponding driver on SMP kernels (bug occured
    on all kernels with SMP enabled, whenever the driver is loaded, whether
    the HW is in or not - bug been fixed for this driver early 2007; bug was
    driver specific, and common with other arch).

    I have a Debian with 2.6.21 (not so old). Debian changed their philosphy
    those last years: the tronk is no more common: package introdcution and
    stabilisation will no longer be common for all arch (old idea, but took
    time to realise); this will help live arch (x86* and PPC; but since
    Apple is now using x86, PPC may also leave this pool as well), and let
    deprecated arch have "slower life" (less release per year).

    Gentoo also have by essence different package list per arch.

    Thus, it will be impossible, if that was your aim, to have an Alpha with
    exactly the same packages and versions than an x86. You can in the best
    case, "try" to have the same distro; not the same taste.

    In any case, there are many ressources, and still active help rooms
    (webforums, IRC, NNTP ...)

    Good luck.

    --
    >o_/ DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP) http://benoit.demaine.info/

    If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work \_o<

    "So all that's left, Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf."
    (FAKE TALES OF SAN FRANCISCO, Arctic Monkeys)

  16. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    Steven Underwood wrote:
    > As I said. I got it working with an old version of RedHat via some
    > instructions I found on the web, but due to disk size, I was unable to
    > load a GUI and as such is not much use to me for a desktop plaything. I
    > currently have no need for a server.


    GUI on Alpha is a problem; it will depend on many factors. It will be
    machine specific.

    It mostly depends on the PCI chipset, the memory topology, PCI revision
    (1.0, 1.2, or 2.0), and the video chipset.

    Some machines support FrameBuffer. Not mines.

    I could start X on my machines; but it was garbagefull Useless.

    --
    >o_/ DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP) http://benoit.demaine.info/

    If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work \_o<

    "So all that's left, Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf."
    (FAKE TALES OF SAN FRANCISCO, Arctic Monkeys)

  17. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    leec wrote:

    > I am in search of a current Linux distribution for an Alpha DS20,
    > ES40, and Alphaserver 1000 with an active community. I also need to
    > have a corresponding Linux release to run on a couple of X86 boxes
    > (IBM eServer X300s).


    This isn't the answer you're looking for, I'm afraid, but I'm bringing it
    up in case it's still somehow interesting to you, or more to the point,
    it inspires you to look into doing something like this of your own ...

    About 4 years ago I started working on a port of Slackware Linux for Alpha
    systems. I'd realized that there were about to be a lot of perfectly good
    Alpha systems with sysadmins looking to keep a current OS running on them.
    I'd made a fair bit of progress, and had a self-hosting system busily
    compiling and testing various packages, but unfortunately, between the
    electrical requirements of my AlphaServer-2100, and the amount of noise
    produced by its cooling fans, I've had to leave the project stalled for
    the past three years or so.

    I have my eye on a DS10 at work, that I'd like to take home and revive
    this project with. Unfortunately, my hopes for getting that system
    aren't particularly high ... If I can, of course I'll revive this with
    whatever version of Slackware is current at the time ...

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  18. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    On Oct 19, 7:06 pm, Sylvain Robitaille
    wrote:
    > leec wrote:
    > > I am in search of a current Linux distribution for an Alpha DS20,
    > > ES40, and Alphaserver 1000 with an active community. I also need to
    > > have a corresponding Linux release to run on a couple of X86 boxes
    > > (IBM eServer X300s).

    >
    > This isn't the answer you're looking for, I'm afraid, but I'm bringing it
    > up in case it's still somehow interesting to you, or more to the point,
    > it inspires you to look into doing something like this of your own ...
    >
    > About 4 years ago I started working on a port of Slackware Linux for Alpha
    > systems. I'd realized that there were about to be a lot of perfectly good
    > Alpha systems with sysadmins looking to keep a current OS running on them.
    > I'd made a fair bit of progress, and had a self-hosting system busily
    > compiling and testing various packages, but unfortunately, between the
    > electrical requirements of my AlphaServer-2100, and the amount of noise
    > produced by its cooling fans, I've had to leave the project stalled for
    > the past three years or so.
    >
    > I have my eye on a DS10 at work, that I'd like to take home and revive
    > this project with. Unfortunately, my hopes for getting that system
    > aren't particularly high ... If I can, of course I'll revive this with
    > whatever version of Slackware is current at the time ...
    >
    > --
    > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Sylvain Robitaille s...@alcor.concordia.ca
    >
    > Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    > Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    > ----------------------------------------------------------------------


    Sylvain et al,

    Thanks for the good replies.

    Working on a port of Slackware etc for Alpha sounds like a lot of fun,
    but thats not the end-goal of this project and I just can't get
    distracted by that. Wish I could say "Yes!", but there are only 24-
    hours in a day.

    My conclusions are that 1) Debian is the way to go for Linux on Alpha,
    and 2) not realistic to expect to have the same distribution on both
    the Alpha and X86 boxes. That's OK, especially since I'm having
    problems with Debian recognizing the NICs on the IBM x300 x86 boxes. :-
    ( I don't have the time to fool with it so its Fedora for the x86
    servers. Debian on the Alphas.

    Thanks again to everyone that posted a note. Feel free to contribute
    any other thoughts...

    Regards,

    Lee C.

  19. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    leec writes:
    >My conclusions are that 1) Debian is the way to go for Linux on Alpha,
    >and 2) not realistic to expect to have the same distribution on both
    >the Alpha and X86 boxes.


    With Debian it is. Sure, for a few packages you may not get an Alpha
    version or only with a different version, but the two installations
    will certainly be much closer than if you go with Debian on one box
    and Fedora on the other one.

    >That's OK, especially since I'm having
    >problems with Debian recognizing the NICs on the IBM x300 x86 boxes. :-
    >( I don't have the time to fool with it so its Fedora for the x86
    >servers.


    You could use the Fedora kernel with a Debian userland, but it's
    probably enough if you use the appropriate NIC driver with a Debian
    kernel. Or, alternatively, just put (e.g.) e1000 cards in the x300
    boxes and use the e1000 driver.

    If you want to save time, it's a good idea to use as few different
    distributions as possible.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  20. Re: Active Alpha Linux Distributions?

    Anton Ertl wrote:

    > You could use the Fedora kernel with a Debian userland, but it's
    > probably enough if you use the appropriate NIC driver with a Debian
    > kernel. Or, alternatively, just put (e.g.) e1000 cards in the x300
    > boxes and use the e1000 driver.
    >
    > If you want to save time, it's a good idea to use as few different
    > distributions as possible.


    Does anyone know what ever happened to AlphaCore? Last I heard, it had been
    accepted into the Fedora project.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast