Removing impediments to using Linux/Alpha

Brian Hampton (
Fri, 01 Nov 96 01:55:11


Earlier this week someone from DEC wanted to know what servers wouldn't run on Linux
Alpha .....
I didn't save the persons address so I am posting this to the list. Sorry to add noise to the
list. So if you from DEC are reading, here is one of our impediments to using linux/alpha.
The following is an email from a Company called GCG (Genetics Computer Group) which makes a
widely used DNA and Protein sequence analysis and database searching suite of software
programs. Currently it will only run on Solaris and OpenVMS but the next version of the
software will run on Alpha, however, with Digital Unix NOT Linux. GCG is one of the most
widely used software packages in molecular biology and is found at non-profit institutions
like us (Red Cross) and in universities world wide as well as for-profit biotech companies.
So ..... here it is.

----My original message to GCG-------

> Your add in Science refers to GCG version 9 running on Digital
>Alpha. We currently have an Alpha running Linux (free Unix). Will
>GCG run on Linux or does it require the expensive Digital Unix OS?
>What are the system requirements for GCG ver 9 on Digital Alpha
>machines? Thanks in advance for your help.

------------------Response from GCG---------------------------------------

Hello Brian,

Thank you for enquiring about the Wisconsin Package. Unfortunately,
we don't support Linux nor have we any immediate plans to do so. The
main problem is that the Linux development cycle is so rapid that it
is difficult for us to consider it as a stable platform to develop
software for.

Our operating system recommendation for Unix on an Alpha is
Digital Unix Version 4.0.

The bare minimum memory requirement for Version 9 are 64 Mb of RAM and
for a multiuser system (i.e. 5 or more *concurrent* users) I recommend
at least 256 Mb of RAM.

The software, itself only requires approximately 50 Mb of diskspace,
however the databases are considerably lareger. At this time, the
standard databases that we distribute require almost 5 Gb. A crude
analysis, shows that GenBank, alone, is doubling every year, although
this rate could change (either up or down) at any time. Given, that
rate of increase, I suggest that 10-12 Gb of diskspace should suffice
for the next 2-3 years.

I hope that you find this information useful. Please feel free to
write back to if you require additional assistance.


Eric L. Cabot, Ph.D.
Technical Support e-mail:
Genetics Computer Group, Inc. phone: (608) 231-5200
575 Science Drive, Suite B FAX: (608) 231-5202
Madison, WI 53711 USA

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