Linux on an Alpha
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Thread: Linux on an Alpha

  1. #1
    str34m3r
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    Linux on an Alpha

    One of my computers I own is an Alpha computer that currently has RedHat 7.1 on it. Unforunately, RedHat stopped supporting alphas after the 7.1 release. So since 7.3 came out, now I'm two versions behind and that leaves me feeling a bit insecure. So I'm looking for a new distribution. I've found some different distributions that support linux on the Alpha, but of course, they're all saying 'We're the best distro for the alpha... try us!" and I can't easily tell which ones are full of crap. Does anyone here have any experience with linux on an alpha? What distro are you using? Is the alpha still being supported? Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I haven't played with Linux on the Alpha, myself, but I'd possibly give OpenBSD a shot - I know they've supported it for a while now. I'd venture it was pretty fast (then again, OpenBSD tends to be good at supporting fairly cheap/slow hardware better than Linux - but the opposite is also true... fast hardware generally runs faster with Linux than OpenBSD).

    Which distros are you looking at?
    \"Windows has detected that a gnat has farted in the general vicinity. You must reboot for changes to take affect. Reboot now?\"

  3. #3
    str34m3r
    Guest
    To be honest, I had stopped looking after I first posted this thread a while back. I was hoping to hear from some people who could give me a personal experience kind of recommendation. Prior to posting this thread, I had looked at several linux distros, but haven't much thought to the BSD variants. I was kinda hoping to wait until I got another x86 box before trying BSD so that I can have as much support as possible if/when I run into problems. Perhaps I'll look into BSD for the alpha anyway. Thanks for the tip.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Well, overall with Theo's crowd, I've had some pretty decent luck getting information out of them (though it might have also helped that I've had access to "those sorts" of people through other means through different times, etc).

    Personally, I'd love to see OpenBSD running on an Alpha... I've had pretty good luck throwing it on to a Sun4c (yes - 4c... not 4m or 4u) and it seemed fairly responsive at the time.

    As far as the Linux distros go, though... the best I could possibly tell you (myself), is what experiences I may have had with a particular distribution (and I've tried quite a few of them) or what trusted friends or cow-orkers have reported back to me.

    If you do decide to try OpenBSD, however, at least you can say you tried it and report back to us (read: me (LOL)) about how well it worked (or didn't work). But again, judging from other experiences I've had with them, I'd suspect you'll be relatively happy (though granted things like the X-Windows setup probably won't be quite as simple as it is with Mandrake or RedSplat). And, if you get to a certain point with OpenBSD and need some help, let me know in a PM or something and I'll see what I can remember on it and see how it applies to the new stuff (I think I'm probably one major rev behind again with some of my firewall boxes).
    \"Windows has detected that a gnat has farted in the general vicinity. You must reboot for changes to take affect. Reboot now?\"

  5. #5
    str34m3r
    Guest
    As an update to this question, I thought I'd let everyone know that these is now a release of RedHat 7.2 for Alpha systems. It was released a little while after RedHat relesed 7.3, but hey, at least it supports ext3 now. Oh, and the kicker is that the release was actually made by Compaq/HP, not RedHat and all of the support will be provided (on a fee basis) by Compaq/HP.

    The release can be found at http://www.support.compaq.com/alpha-tools/redhat/

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    And if anyone's interested here are the platforms supported by openbsd:
    Architecture Details
    alpha DEC Alpha-based machines.
    amiga Amiga m68k-based models (MMU required).
    hp300 Hewlett-Packard HP300/HP400 machines.
    i386 PC's based on the Intel i386 architecture, including 386, 486, Pentium and compatible processors.
    mac68k Most MC680x0-based Apple Macintosh models.
    macppc Apple PowerPC-based machines: iMac, G3, G4, G4 Cube ...
    mvme68k Motorola MVME147/16x/17x 68K VME cards.
    sparc Sun's Sun4, Sun4c, and Sun4m models.
    sparc64 Sun UltraSPARC-based machines.
    vax DEC's VAX computers.

    (http://www.openbsd.org/plat.html)

    Ammo
    Credit travels up, blame travels down -- The Boss

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