Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 20th Sep 2002 17:12 UTC, submitted by fuzzyping
Gentoo "In a testament to the power and flexibility of the Portage system and Gentoo Linux, Bjoern Brauel (aka "bjb") has done the amazing job of creating a whole new port for Gentoo Linux in the span of 2 days. Currently, Bjoern has Xfree86, GNOME 2, Gimp and other things running on Gentoo Linux/Alpha, as you can see in this screenshot. The Gentoo Linux/Alpha port is currently being incorporated into our Portage tree; in the mean time, the adventurous may be interested in playing with the Alpha stage 1 tarball."
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I'm a happy gentoo user
by Shamyl Zakariya on Fri 20th Sep 2002 18:43 UTC

I'm a happy gentoo user, *very* happy (I came from slack, and never looked back ;) -- but I'd say that this is more a testament to the portability of the linux kernel and gnu tools than anything else. I don't mean to sound like a jerk -- I'm sorry if I come across that way.

dec alpha
by idvah on Fri 20th Sep 2002 19:17 UTC

thats awesome, i have an alpha machine myself and would love to use this distro on it.

ready it is not
by Richard Fillion on Fri 20th Sep 2002 19:23 UTC

Gentoo/alpha is by no means ready to be used widely. I installed the stage1 tarball on my alpha. The problems seem to mainly be in portage. All the packages have to be "certified" to run on alpha for them to be not masked. How many does that leave? not enough. So, my good friend Dave Poirier made me a nice perl script that modified all the ebuild files so that the packages would no longer be masked on alpha. But now...emerge mozilla fails to compile, wonderful.

As far as speed goes, i havent actually booted gentoo on its own, i've only run it in a chrooted environment, so i dont know if its really faster. I'll have to do that, now that i atleast have a window manager for X.

For now atleast, i think that if you want to run linux on your alpha, you're better off with Debian, or even RedHat.

On the other hand...
by fuzzyping on Fri 20th Sep 2002 19:29 UTC

Not to start an OS war (I love Gentoo, mind you), but FreeBSD on Alpha kicks boo-tay. We used a ton of DS-10/L's at my old job for pushing Gig's of network traffic daily (thousands of Gig's).

by Richard Fillion on Fri 20th Sep 2002 19:42 UTC

I wouldnt mind switching to a sourced based distro, but only if it means a significant speed increase. I gave gentoo a try cause it's known as "the speed demon linux distro". Is it possible to get everything in FreeBSD to compile with -O3 and set my CPU to EV56?

by Dubhthach on Fri 20th Sep 2002 19:58 UTC

well seening that the Alpha was the first offical port supported by Linux kernel, Linus having the port and all, it's not that surprising that they were able to get gentoo working on the arch. in two days.
As regards OS war ;) how do the two opensource OS's (linux and FreeBSD) compare to Tru64? i've only ever used Tru64 logged in over ssh while in university so i don't know much about it's networking performance as a worstation system.

Tru64 and Compilers
by mra on Fri 20th Sep 2002 20:56 UTC

The thing about Gentoo/Alpha is you're still stuck using gcc. GCC is great as a compiler, but the output binaries aren't the same as DEC cc. There was a free for non-commercial use rpm of the compiler, but then you would have to get everything to compile with that, which would prove non-trivial.

Tru64 is fast enough to hold it's own on the networking side, but really where the OS shines is HA and clustering.

DEC Alpha
by pc dude on Fri 20th Sep 2002 21:50 UTC

Ok then, where would one go about getting an Alpha workstation and how much would it cost?

Re: DEC Alpha
by Richard Fillion on Fri 20th Sep 2002 22:03 UTC

Well, unless you feel like spending LOTS of money, you dont want to buy a new Alpha, you probably couldnt find a company that still sells workstations anyways. eBay is where i got mine, its where most people get theirs. I paid 650$Canadian, including shipping, it got me a 500Mhz 21164 (about middle of the line alpha) with 128megs RAM. It came to me in absolutely perfect condition, not a scratch anywheres, no dust anywheres, everything worked. *

*individual results may vary. ;)

by pc dude on Fri 20th Sep 2002 23:22 UTC

Wow not too bad I figured they would still charge a kilobuck for something so "bitchin fast". I kick myself now for not trying out the 200mhz stations of old when I could have had them for $100 5 years ago. ;)

by Leslie Donaldson on Fri 20th Sep 2002 23:24 UTC

and the 22164A on the 164LX boards are very overclockable.

1 new fan and I wen from 433 to 667



I have an XL300 which not supported by most Linux and BSD distributions. It uses Milo and since Redhat 6.x I have not been able to install on it. Will Gento support this strange machine?

"Since RedHat discontinued "support" for the ARC console as of 7.1, RedHat is the last vendor (that I know of) to cease official support for a Milo-based DEC Alpha architecture."

Am I in any luck?

2 days maybe, too many shortcuts taken
by Dave Poirier on Sun 22nd Sep 2002 12:52 UTC

The stage1 has been "ported" yes, but there are quite a few things wrong with the current stage1 tarball. After extracting if you go take a look in the default build options in /etc/make.globals you will notice the flags are still set for x86. A couple of tools like 'ssed' refused to build on my 21064 (AlphaStation 200), and like Rick already indicated, all packages except for a very few are still masked.

I'd say that Gentoo is far from being ported, since its level of usability is anywhere but close to the other architectures supported. It's a step in the right direction, but a lot of work is left to do.