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This website is about the port of Linux to the Alpha architecture. Linux is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License.  
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This website is about the port of GNU/Linux to the Alpha architecture. GNU/Linux is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
  
 
== News ==
 
== News ==
<strong>[10 Dec 2014New alphalinux.net website launched</strong>
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<strong>[7 Oct 2018This website is now hosted on a server running the ARM architecture (aarch64), using low carbon footprint electricity.</strong>
  
The AlphaLinux.net website is intended to provide resources for Alpha processor operating systems; in particular Linux on Alpha. The content is under development, but there are plans to include content formerly hosted at www.alphalinux.org.
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The cloud provider hosting this server is based in France, where the electricity comes mostly from non-fossil fuel sources. This helps to minimise the carbon footprint of this website. ARM aarch64 is an interesting alternative architecture to x86_64 with its own Linux port, just like Alpha.
  
There are many good reasons for keeping Alpha content available, whether or not the Alpha architecture is a primary platform for running Linux nowadays:
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[[News | Show all previous news stories]]
  
<ul>
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== What happened to the files previously on www.alphalinux.org? ==
<li>Alpha hardware is still run by real organisations doing real work. It is still supported hardware for users running OpenVMS.</li>
+
 
<li>We wouldn't throw away data about our favourite 8-bit home microcomputers, even though they are now used only by hobbyists, so why should we throw away information about Alpha?</li>
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You're in luck! The www.alphalinux.org website has been relaunched on a new platform (as of May 2015) and all previous web links will now be broken. However, you can download your own copy of the entire contents of the previous website, or whatever files you were looking for.
<li>Retro computing - it's a bit like owning a classic car but is cheaper (normally) and takes up less space!</li>
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</ul>
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See [[Former alphalinux.org content]].
 +
 
 +
== Linux distributions and other operating systems for Alpha ==
 +
There are many Linux distributions and other operating systems for the Alpha architecture, some of which are actively maintained and some no longer supported.
  
You can still view the old alphalinux.org site using archive.org. The last copy of the site was on [https://web.archive.org/web/20140910110843/http://www.alphalinux.org/ 10 Sep 2014]. I hope to make copies of the downloadable content. If you contributed content for alphalinux.org in the past then you are very welcome to resubmit it to this site!
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See the [[List of operating systems for Alpha]].
  
== The Future of Alpha ==
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== Using Alpha today ==
  
 
=== SCSI hard disk emulator for retro computing ===
 
=== SCSI hard disk emulator for retro computing ===
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As Alpha is effectively retro computing, it joins many other older computers that require increasingly rare SCSI hard disks. The [[SCSI2SD]] card connects to a 50-pin SCSI bus and emulates a hard disk using storage on an SD memory card.
 
As Alpha is effectively retro computing, it joins many other older computers that require increasingly rare SCSI hard disks. The [[SCSI2SD]] card connects to a 50-pin SCSI bus and emulates a hard disk using storage on an SD memory card.
  
This has been tested by the author on a Compaq XP-1000 Professional Workstation. The SCSI2SD card is seen as a bootable device in the SRM, which enables it to be used to load the Debian Linux kernel. The kernel can then load the rest of the OS from any other device in the machine that it has a driver for, in this case an IDE disk attached to a Promise IDE controller in a PCI slot. By only using it to load the kernel this avoid questions on whether the SD card has sufficient performance for a regular filesystem.
+
This has been tested by the author on a Compaq XP-1000 Professional Workstation. The [[SCSI2SD]] card is seen as a bootable device in the SRM, which enables it to be used to load the Debian Linux kernel. The kernel can then load the rest of the OS from any other device in the machine that it has a driver for, in this case an IDE disk attached to a Promise IDE controller in a PCI slot. By only using it to load the kernel this avoids questions on whether the SD card has sufficient performance for a regular filesystem.
  
 
=== Buy one ===
 
=== Buy one ===
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</ul>
 
</ul>
  
== Active Linux distributions ==
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== Alpha History ==
 
 
These are the distributions that still list Alpha as a supported architecture. This is not a complete list.
 
 
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
|-
 
!Distribution
 
!Support status
 
|-
 
|[http://www.gentoo.org/ Gentoo Linux]
 
|Supported as of 10 Nov 2014.
 
|-
 
|}
 
 
 
=== Debian Linux ===
 
 
 
"The Alpha port is no longer officially supported in the Debian stable release. The last release with official Alpha support was Debian 5.0 "lenny". <ref>Debian -- Alpha Port http://www.debian.org/ports/alpha/</ref>
 
 
 
However, the online package files for this release are still hosted online. If you try to download the Alpha port from the normal Debian mirrors, you will not find it. To download it go to the
 
[http://archive.debian.org/ Debian Archive site].
 
 
 
Debian packages can still be downloaded and installed from within <tt>apt-get</tt> by adding the following to <tt>/etc/apt/sources.list</tt>:
 
 
 
<pre>
 
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian lenny main contrib non-free
 
deb-src http://archive.debian.org/debian lenny main contrib non-free
 
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian-security lenny/updates main contrib non-free
 
deb-src http://archive.debian.org/debian-security lenny/updates main contrib non-free
 
</pre>
 
 
 
Also install the signing keys:
 
<pre>
 
apt-get install debian-archive-keyring
 
</pre>
 
 
 
An example of a package directory is:
 
http://archive.debian.org/debian/pool/main/l/lxdoom/
 
 
 
== Discontinued Linux distributions ==
 
  
{| class="wikitable"
+
The Alpha processor was developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). DEC was later bought by Compaq, which then merged with HP. Alpha always had a reputation for excellent performance and could run many different operating systems.
|-
 
!Distribution
 
!Support status
 
|-
 
|Debian
 
|Not supported. Last supported version was 5.0. However, the online package files are still hosted by Debian.
 
|-
 
|Redhat
 
|Not supported.
 
|-
 
|}
 
 
 
== Non-Linux operating systems for Alpha ==
 
 
 
This list is incomplete.
 
 
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
|-
 
!Name
 
!Support status
 
|-
 
|FreeBSD
 
|No longer supported.
 
|-
 
|NetBSD
 
|Supported as of [http://www.netbsd.org/releases/formal-6/NetBSD-6.1.5.html version 6.1.5], 22 Sep 2014.
 
|-
 
|OpenBSD
 
|Supported as of [http://www.openbsd.org/56.html version 5.6], released on 1 Nov 2014.
 
|-
 
|OpenVMS
 
|Supported. You can get hobbyist licenses for it. The OpenVMS operating system has now been relaunched under its own company: [http://www.vmssoftware.com/ VMS Software Inc.]
 
|-
 
|Tru64 (formerly Digital UNIX)
 
|No longer supported. End of standard support was 31 Dec 2012. <ref>"HP Tru64 UNIX Alpha Lifecycle Chart" http://www.hp.com/softwarereleases/releases-media2/notices/HP_Tru64_UNIX_Alpha_Lifecycle_Chart.pdf</ref>
 
|-
 
|UNICOS/mk (Cray supercomputers)
 
|Unknown. (Mentioned for interest because the Alpha architecture was used in the Cray T3E supercomputer.)
 
|-
 
|Windows NT 4.0
 
|No longer supported.
 
|-
 
|Windows 2000 RC?
 
|No longer supported.
 
|-
 
|}
 
 
 
== Alpha History ==
 
  
 
[http://alasir.com/articles/alpha_history/index.html Alpha: The History in Facts and Comments]
 
[http://alasir.com/articles/alpha_history/index.html Alpha: The History in Facts and Comments]
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</ul>
 
</ul>
  
== Credits ==
+
== Thanks go to ==
  
 
<ul>
 
<ul>
<li>Thanks to [http://www.icc4it.co.uk/ ICC] in the UK for selling me a good-as-new Compaq XP1000 Professional Workstation (October 2014). Check them out if you want to buy Alpha hardware.</li>
+
<li>Rich Payne and Peter Petrakis for providing copies of the original alphalinux.org content.</li>
 +
 
 +
<li>[http://www.icc4it.co.uk/ ICC] in the UK for selling the author a good-as-new Compaq XP1000 Professional Workstation (October 2014). Check them out if you want to buy Alpha hardware.</li>
  
 
<li>[https://archive.org/web/ Internet Archive] for keeping copies of the old alphalinux.org website.</li>
 
<li>[https://archive.org/web/ Internet Archive] for keeping copies of the old alphalinux.org website.</li>
 
</ul>
 
</ul>
 
== Disclaimer ==
 
 
Your use of any information or data on this website or linked to by it is entirely at your own risk. There are no guarantees that the information provided here is correct. Files available to download may not have been verified as being correct, virus-free, or suitable for your purposes.
 
 
Some content may be copyrighted by other people or organisations. A lack of copyright or legal information on this website should not be taken to imply that no such copyright exists. Anyone using or downloading content from this website or linked to by it should first ensure that they are legally allowed to use that content, and that they accept any license terms.
 
 
== References ==
 
<references />
 

Latest revision as of 10:49, 7 October 2018

This website is about the port of GNU/Linux to the Alpha architecture. GNU/Linux is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

News

[7 Oct 2018] This website is now hosted on a server running the ARM architecture (aarch64), using low carbon footprint electricity.

The cloud provider hosting this server is based in France, where the electricity comes mostly from non-fossil fuel sources. This helps to minimise the carbon footprint of this website. ARM aarch64 is an interesting alternative architecture to x86_64 with its own Linux port, just like Alpha.

Show all previous news stories

What happened to the files previously on www.alphalinux.org?

You're in luck! The www.alphalinux.org website has been relaunched on a new platform (as of May 2015) and all previous web links will now be broken. However, you can download your own copy of the entire contents of the previous website, or whatever files you were looking for.

See Former alphalinux.org content.

Linux distributions and other operating systems for Alpha

There are many Linux distributions and other operating systems for the Alpha architecture, some of which are actively maintained and some no longer supported.

See the List of operating systems for Alpha.

Using Alpha today

SCSI hard disk emulator for retro computing

As Alpha is effectively retro computing, it joins many other older computers that require increasingly rare SCSI hard disks. The SCSI2SD card connects to a 50-pin SCSI bus and emulates a hard disk using storage on an SD memory card.

This has been tested by the author on a Compaq XP-1000 Professional Workstation. The SCSI2SD card is seen as a bootable device in the SRM, which enables it to be used to load the Debian Linux kernel. The kernel can then load the rest of the OS from any other device in the machine that it has a driver for, in this case an IDE disk attached to a Promise IDE controller in a PCI slot. By only using it to load the kernel this avoids questions on whether the SD card has sufficient performance for a regular filesystem.

Buy one

  • ICC in the UK have Alpha hardware available for sale (as of October 2014).

Alpha Emulators

  • EmuVM - available free for non-commercial use. (Not tested by the author.)

Alpha History

The Alpha processor was developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). DEC was later bought by Compaq, which then merged with HP. Alpha always had a reputation for excellent performance and could run many different operating systems.

Alpha: The History in Facts and Comments

Supercomputers

In its day, Alpha-powered supercomputers were some of the most powerful in the world. For example:

Thanks go to

  • Rich Payne and Peter Petrakis for providing copies of the original alphalinux.org content.
  • ICC in the UK for selling the author a good-as-new Compaq XP1000 Professional Workstation (October 2014). Check them out if you want to buy Alpha hardware.
  • Internet Archive for keeping copies of the old alphalinux.org website.