The number of Alpha platforms that are supported by Linux is quickly increasing. The following is a list of workstations and motherboards that are known to work with Linux. If you have any corrections to the list, please send us mail. More information on these system types is also available at the AlphaLinux.org documentation archives.
ES40 The ES40 is currently one of the largest Alpha machines that runs Linux. It's available with 1-4 500MHz CPUs with 4MB of cache or 1-4 667MHz CPUs with 8MB of DDR cache, and supports up to 32Gig of memory. Linux kernels for these machines should be compiled as either Generic or DP264.
DS10 DS10L The difference between the DS10 and the DS10L is that the L version is a 1U rack-mountable unit, whereas the standard DS10 is a desktop box. These are based on the Tsunami chipset and have CPUs at either 466 or 600MHz, with 2MB of cache. Linux kernels for these machines should be compiled as either Generic or DP264.
XP1000 and XP900 These are the last true workstation products to come out of Digital/Compaq. From now on all the workstations will use the same parts as the servers. The XP1000 is sold with either a 500MHz (Monet) or 667MHz (Brisbane) CPU and both are based on the Tsunami chipset.. The XP900 is sold as a VMS workstation. Linux kernels for these machines should be compiled as either Generic or DP264.
UP1000 and UP1100 Products of Alpha Processor Inc (now API NetWorks Inc). Both are based around the AMD Irongate system controller and can take up 768MB of memory (3slots, PC100 Unbuffered ECC 168Pin DIMMs). The UP1000 uses API's slot B and can accommodate either a 600MHz 2MB or 700MHz 4MB slotB. The UP1100 has a 600MHz processor soldered to the board and a 2MB cache (all the CPUs uses in both boards are EV67). The UP1100 also has UDMA66 support (UP1000 has UDMA33), onboard sound (use the trident driver is 2.2.16 or later) and an onboard 21143 (tulip) ethernet controller. Both boards also have dual serial, parallel and dual USB (yes, the USB does work under Linux). Linux kernels for these machines should be compiled as either Generic or Nautilus.
UP2000 and UP2000+ Another product of Alpha Processor Inc, now API NetWorks Inc. They are very similar to the DP264 series except that they can only take 2Gig of RAM (8 Slots, uses PC100 Registered ECC 168Pim DIMMs) and have a different SCSI controller (Adaptec Ultra2Wide). Instead of using the daugthercard approach that the DP264 uses, the UP2000 and UP2000+ use the API SlotB which contains the processor, cache and VRM. SlotBs for these boards are available in the following configs: 600MHz 2MB, 667MHz 2MB, 667MHz 4MB, 750MHz 4MB, 750MHz 8MB and 833MHz 4MB (DDR cache, UP2000+ only). Linux kernels for these machines should be compiled as either Generic or DP264.
DP264 and DS20/DS20E The DP264 and DS20 are dual EV6 (or EV67) machines based on Tsunami. The DP264 is the OEM version and is almost functionally the same. They support up to 4Gig of memory using PC100 Registered ECC 200 Pin DIMMs with 16 slots. They also have onboard Adaptec SCSI (Ultra Wide) and support speeds of 500 or 667 (500s have either 2 or 4MB or cache, 667 has either 4MB (Samsung) or 8MB of DDR cache (Compaq)). Linux kernels for these machines should be compiled as either Generic or DP264.
AlphaPC 164UX Interestingly, this is not a Digital product. It was developed by Deskstation, (called RUFFIAN then), and is now being sold by Samsung. It supports speeds up to 800 MHz, and comes with on-board Ultra Wide SCSI (Symbios Logic 53C875), and 10/100 Mb Ethernet (Digital 21143). Like the 164SX an LX, it uses DIMMs (SDRAM) for memory, but it has 6 slots rather then 4.
AlphaPC 164LX is Digital's best bet. It's based on the AlphaPC 164, but with speeds up to 600 MHz, and using DIMMs rather than SIMMs. (i.e. SDRAM rather then DRAM.)
The low end of the EV5 generation is the AlphaPC 164SX. It uses the 21164PC variant of the Alpha microprocessor, at 400 or 533 MHz. This board is targeted at the NT Workstation market, but it will run Linux just fine.
For a complete Workstation you may want to look at Miata (Personal Workstation). This comes with a Graphics Card (Powerstorm) for which X11 support does not (yet) exist, but Matrox Millennium is a popular replacement.
Alcor (AS600), Bret (AS500). The Alcor kernel is supposed to work fine with the AlphaStation 500 as well. If you can confirm this, please let us know.
EB164. The Aspen Timberline and Summit machines are similar to this machine/motherboard. The EB164 has been replaced by the PC164 and it's successors (see above).
Cabriolet (aka AlphaPC64): This is a PCI-bus based motherboards using the 21064 Alpha CPU. It is more pricey than the 21066 systems but it does make for a real nice system and many third-party products are based on this design. This board typically runs at 275MHz but some vendors sell an (overclocked) 300MHz version. It really is historical now, but you may be able to find them at very attractive prices.
Mikasa (AlphaServer 1000). Noritake (AlphaServer 1000a) is supported as well, if you use kernels 2.0.30 or higher, with the appropriate patches. However, the builtin Cirrus graphics card is not (or very poorly) supported by X11.
Mustang (AS200),M3 (AS250),(AS255),Avanti (AS400) : Linux now runs on all of these AlphaStations. The reason for clumping all these machines together is that they are all very similar to program. In particular, they all can run one and the same kernel when booted using the same firmware. Thus, when configuring a kernel, simply pick "Avanti" as the system type since that covers all of the above machines.
XL The XL machine is also know as the "Windows NT Dream Machine." Well, for what it's worth, (most of them) are perfectly happy running Linux.
The regular XL is based on the 21064 CPU and runs either at 233 or 266MHz with 512KB or 2MB of second level cache, respectively.
The newer XL Turbo is based on the 21164A CPU and runs either at 300 or 366MHz. The Turbo always comes with 2MB of second-level cache.
ALPHAbook 1 The ALPHAbook 1 is a 21066A based notebook (the first and only portable Alpha, so far). Linux works fine on this machine with a few extra patches. An X server is available for this machine as well.
Jensen (aka DEC 2000 aka DECpc AXP 150): This is the oldest of all Alpha PCs and comes with an EISA bus. You probably don't want to buy such a machine new anymore since you can now get faster machines for less money. However, it is not uncommon to get really amazing deals for these machines and a Jensen definitively would make a nice home box. The firmware seems a little picky about what graphics card and SCSI controllers it wants, but if you're just looking for an affordable Alpha box, it might be worthwhile to look into it.
Noname (aka AXPpci33): This is a PCI-bus based motherboard using the 21066 Alpha CPU (Low-Cost Alpha). The core of the 21066 is the same as the 21064. The only difference is that the 21066 also has a memory and I/O controller integrated into the chip (which has the effect that the external interface is much simpler and therefore much cheaper). This board is available in a 166 and a 233MHz version.
UDB: Linux/Alpha also runs well on the Universal Desktop Box. (That's the box that's called "Multia" when it's running Windows NT.) The TGA graphics card and the builtin soundcard are supported. The UDB is basically a Noname board with more hardware builtin and wrapped into a neat little box. So when configuring a kernel for it, simply select the "Noname" system type. The UDB currently provides the lowest-cost entry point into the Alpha world.
EB*: Digital used to sell various other evaluation boards (e.g., EB66, EB64+, etc.). Reportedly, Linux/Alpha may run on some of these. But they were relatively pricey and should now be considered obsolete.
Linux/Alpha is unlikely to support the TURBOchannel-based Alpha systems in the near (or any) future (this is the DEC 3000 series of workstations). The reason for this is two-fold: first, these machines have an I/O system that is very different from PCI-based machines and therefore do not look anything like PCs (e.g., pretty much all drivers would have to be written from scratch). Second, with the advent of PCI, the TURBOchannel is pretty much dead technology (for better or worse) and it just isn't all that much fun to develop software for dead technology (on the other hand, it may soon be possible to buy such systems cheaply, which would make them more interesting to Linux users, I suppose).
If you have such a machine and want to run a free OS, look for the *BSD's. At least one of them supports the 3000 series.
The table below (one of Jay Estabrook's many invaluable contributions) may prove useful to select the right MILO/Kernel/bootfloppy for your system.
The following table may be useful; sorry, but I haven't put in the "family" designations explicitly, but the groupings and MILOs are indicative, mostly. --Jay++ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Note: "AS" can equally stand for "AlphaStation" and "AlphaServer", though both may *not* be available for a given platform. Hardware Type Aliases MILO image ============= ======= ========== DECpc 150 JENSEN N/A DEC 2000 Model 300(S) JENSEN DEC 2000 Model 500 CULZEAN AS 600 ALCOR xlt-alcor AS 500 MAVERICK,BRET xlt-alcor XL-300 XLT XL-366 XLT XL-433 XLT AS 200 4/* MUSTANG avanti AS 205 4/* LX3 AS 250 4/* M3 AS 255 4/* LX3+ AS 300 4/* MELMAC AS 400 4/* AVANTI XL-233 XL xl XL-266 XL xl Personal Workstation MIATA miata PWS 433a(u) PWS 500a(u) PWS 600a(u) AS 2100 (EV4) SABLE N/A AS 2100 (EV5) GAMMA-SABLE N/A AS 2000 (EV4) DEMI-SABLE AS 2000 (EV5) DEMI-GAMMA-SABLE AS 1000 (EV4) MIKASA N/A AS 1000 (EV5) MIKASA-PRIMO N/A AS 1000A (EV4) NORITAKE N/A AS 1000A (EV5) NORITAKE-PRIMO N/A AS 600A ALCOR-PRIMO AS 800 CORELLE AXPpci33 NONAME udb-noname UDB MULTIA AlphaBook1 (laptop) ALPHABOOK1 N/A AlphaPC64 CABRIOLET cabrio AlphaPCI64 AlphaPC164 PC164 pc164 AlphaPC164-LX LX164 lx164 AlphaPC164-SX SX164 sx164 EB164 EB164 eb164 EB64+ EB64+ eb64p EB66+ EB66+ eb66p EB66 EB66 eb66 AS 4100 RAWHIDE N/A AS 4000 RAWHIDE N/A AS 1200 TINCUP N/A -------------------------------------------------------------------------------