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Revision as of 21:58, 22 February 2015 by Gareth (talk | contribs) (News)
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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.


[22 Feb 2015] Content from is now available website content is back! A big thank you to Rich Payne and Peter Petrakis who have very kindly worked to make the content available on GitHub. Information on how to access it is on the Archives page. This allows Alpha enthusiasts to download their own copy of the entire site using "git clone".

[10 Dec 2014] New website launched

The 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

There are many good reasons for keeping Alpha content available, whether or not the Alpha architecture is a primary platform for running Linux nowadays:

  • Alpha hardware is still run by real organisations doing real work. It is still supported hardware for users running OpenVMS.
  • 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?
  • Retro computing - it's a bit like owning a classic car but is cheaper (normally) and takes up less space!

You can still view the old site using The last copy of the site was on 10 Sep 2014. I hope to make copies of the downloadable content. If you contributed content for in the past then you are very welcome to resubmit it to this site!

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.

The Future of Alpha

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

Alpha: The History in Facts and Comments


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


  • Thanks to 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.
  • Internet Archive for keeping copies of the old website.
  • Rich Payne and Peter Petrakis for providing copies of the previous content.