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.
[24 May 2020] Coming soon: A trove of alphalinux.org wiki content dated from 7 May 2012 has been discovered on the Archive.org website.
The content will be gradually added to this wiki to restore it to its former glory. Archive.org is a great free resource for internet users and is a very worthy cause for charitable donations for those who can afford to do so.
The server hosting this website has also been migrated to an x86_64 after the cloud provider discontinued the ARM aarch64 service, but is still using electricity from low carbon footprint sources.
What happened to the files previously on www.alphalinux.org?
You're (mostly) in luck! See Former alphalinux.org content for how you can download your own copy of the non-wiki contents of the previous website, or whatever files you were looking for. Some or maybe all of the contents of the original wiki have been found on archive.org and are in the process of being restored to this site. The www.alphalinux.org website was relaunched on a new platform (as of May 2015) and most web links from before then will now be broken. However, work is being done to reconstruct the content on this website.
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.
- ICC in the UK have Alpha hardware available for sale (as of October 2014).
- EmuVM - available free for non-commercial use. (Not tested by the author.)
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.
In its day, Alpha-powered supercomputers were some of the most powerful in the world. For example:
- The Top 500 List for November 2002 shows Alpha supercomputers in places 2, 3, 6 and 7 in the world.
- Valhal - the CAMP Compaq-Alpha supercomputer. (Beowulf cluster.)
- Cray T3E
- There has even been some fan fiction.
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.