Booting Linux/Alpha on an AlphaBIOS-based system

With the introduction of the XLT series, Digital changed the system console interface for its NT systems from ARC to AlphaBIOS. AlphaBIOS is a screen-oriented interface which should be more familiar to PC users. This change in console interface necessitates a change in setup procedure for those who wish to run Linux/Alpha on AlphaBIOS-based systems.

The first thing you must do is to install the latest version of AlphaBIOS on your system. This can be obtained from Digital's "System Software and Driver Updates" Web page, Download the ZIP file, unzip it, and install it as follows:

Once your AlphaBIOS is at the latest revision level, you can start bootstrapping your system as follows:

At this point, AlphaBIOS will probably put up a big, unfriendly dialog box labelled "Warning: Operating System Selection not valid!". Ignore this error (it's only a problem for NT) and press ENTER to continue.

If you dedicated the first partition of your first disk drive to a small FAT partition for booting (as the installation procedure advises you to), then once Linux is installed you should copy linload.exe and milo to this partition. Once you shut down, you can then modify the Linux menu selection to load MILO from this partition as follows:

Once you have done this, booting and running Linux on an AlphaBIOS based system should be very similar to doing so on an ARC system.