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1<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> 1<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
2<!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/gentoo-alpha-faq.xml,v 1.7 2008/01/20 12:25:01 yoswink Exp $ --> 2<!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/gentoo-alpha-faq.xml,v 1.8 2011/08/15 19:58:07 swift Exp $ -->
3 3
4<!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd"> 4<!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
5<guide link="/doc/en/gentoo-alpha-faq.xml"> 5<guide link="/doc/en/gentoo-alpha-faq.xml">
6 6
7<title>Gentoo Linux/Alpha Frequently Asked Questions</title> 7<title>Gentoo Linux/Alpha Frequently Asked Questions</title>
12 <mail link="grknight2k@bluebottle.com">Brian Evans</mail> 12 <mail link="grknight2k@bluebottle.com">Brian Evans</mail>
13</author> 13</author>
14<author title="Editor"> 14<author title="Editor">
15 <mail link="nightmorph"/> 15 <mail link="nightmorph"/>
16</author> 16</author>
17<author title="Author">
18 <mail link="mattst88">Matt Turner</mail>
19</author>
17 20
18<abstract> 21<abstract>
19This FAQ is intended to answer some of the most frequently asked questions 22This FAQ is intended to answer some of the most frequently asked questions
20relating to Gentoo/Alpha and Linux/Alpha in general. 23relating to Gentoo/Alpha and Linux/Alpha in general.
21</abstract> 24</abstract>
22 25
23<!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license --> 26<!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
24<!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 --> 27<!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
25<license/> 28<license/>
26 29
27<version>1.5</version> 30<version>2</version>
28<date>2008-01-20</date> 31<date>2011-08-15</date>
29 32
30<faqindex> 33<faqindex>
31<title>About this Document</title> 34<title>About this Document</title>
32 35
33<section> 36<section>
57aims to provide a usable environment for both desktops and servers. 60aims to provide a usable environment for both desktops and servers.
58</p> 61</p>
59 62
60</body> 63</body>
61</section> 64</section>
62<section id="status">
63<title>What is the current status of the Gentoo/Alpha Project?</title>
64<body>
65
66<p>
67You can find out about the current status of the Gentoo/Alpha project via
68status reports. These reports inform the public about what we've been up to.
69New status reports will be posted about once every 6 months. Current and past
70status report can be found on the <uri
71link="/proj/en/base/alpha/status/index.xml">Status Reports Project page</uri>.
72</p>
73
74</body>
75</section>
76</chapter> 65</chapter>
77 66
78<chapter> 67<chapter>
79<title>The Alpha Architecture</title> 68<title>The Alpha Architecture</title>
80<section id="dead"> 69<section id="dead">
81<title>Isn't the Alpha architecture dead?</title> 70<title>Isn't the Alpha architecture dead?</title>
82<body> 71<body>
83 72
84<p> 73<p>
85Not quite! HP stopped taking orders for new Alpha systems on April 27, 2007. 74Kind of, yes. HP stopped taking orders for new Alpha systems on April 27, 2007.
86They will take orders for Alpha options and upgrades until April 25, 2008. See 75and for Alpha options and upgrades on April 25, 2008. See their <uri
87their <uri link="http://h18002.www1.hp.com/alphaserver/evolution.html">planning 76link="http://h18002.www1.hp.com/alphaserver/evolution.html">planning page</uri>
88page</uri> for more details. 77for more details.
89</p> 78</p>
90 79
91</body> 80</body>
92</section> 81</section>
93<section id="bitapps"> 82<section id="bitapps">
105<section id="endian"> 94<section id="endian">
106<title>Is Alpha big endian or little endian?</title> 95<title>Is Alpha big endian or little endian?</title>
107<body> 96<body>
108 97
109<p> 98<p>
110All Alpha systems support both little and big endian. However, Linux only uses 99Alpha systems are little endian. A large Cray system using Alphas was big
111little endian. 100endian, but Linux will never support it.
112</p> 101</p>
113 102
114</body> 103</body>
115</section> 104</section>
116<section id="i386"> 105<section id="i386">
117<title>Can I run Linux/x86 applications on Alpha?</title> 106<title>Can I run Linux/x86 applications on Alpha?</title>
118<body> 107<body>
119 108
120<p> 109<p>
121No, not without a full x86 system emulator like <uri 110No, not without a x86 emulator like <uri
122link="http://bochs.sourceforge.net/">bochs</uri>. In the past DEC/Compaq/HP 111link="http://wiki.qemu.org/Main_Page">qemu</uri>. In the past DEC/Compaq/HP
123maintained a program called <c>em86</c> which allowed Linux/x86 applications to 112maintained a program called <c>em86</c> which allowed Linux/x86 applications to
124be run on Linux/Alpha systems. However, the program is closed source and no 113be run on Linux/Alpha systems. However, the program is closed source and no
125longer maintained upstream. There are no <c>em86</c> binaries available that 114longer maintained upstream. There are no <c>em86</c> binaries available that
126are compatible with gcc3's ABI. 115are compatible with gcc-3's ABI.
127</p> 116</p>
128 117
129</body> 118</body>
130</section> 119</section>
131<section id="why"> 120<section id="why">
154<section id="where"> 143<section id="where">
155<title>Where can I buy Alpha hardware?</title> 144<title>Where can I buy Alpha hardware?</title>
156<body> 145<body>
157 146
158<p> 147<p>
159Alpha hardware generally isn't available at your local computer store. If you 148Alpha hardware generally isn't available at your local computer store.
160want a new Alpha you're going to have to contact <uri
161link="http://h18002.www1.hp.com/alphaserver/">HP</uri>. If you want a used
162Alpha (more economical), <uri link="http://ebay.com">eBay</uri> is usually a 149<uri link="http://ebay.com">eBay</uri> is usually a
163good option, assuming that the shipping doesn't cost you too much. There are 150good option, assuming that the shipping doesn't cost you too much. There are
164several used equipment dealers that can be found via google, however most of 151several used equipment dealers that can be found via Google, however most of
165them charge too much. 152them charge too much.
166</p> 153</p>
167 154
168</body> 155</body>
169</section> 156</section>
289<p> 276<p>
290You can specify that static data should be placed in the small data area with 277You can specify that static data should be placed in the small data area with
291<c>-msmall-data</c>. This will cause <c>gcc</c> to take advantage of some 278<c>-msmall-data</c>. This will cause <c>gcc</c> to take advantage of some
292features of the Alpha architecture by storing heavily used pieces of data in 279features of the Alpha architecture by storing heavily used pieces of data in
293specific sections called the small memory sections. The sections are limited to 280specific sections called the small memory sections. The sections are limited to
29464kb which means accessing anything stored in them will only take one 28164KiB which means accessing anything stored in them will only take one
295instruction. 282instruction.
296</p> 283</p>
297 284
298<p> 285<p>
299<c>-fPIC</c> will override <c>-msmall-data</c>, so you should use the 286<c>-fPIC</c> will override <c>-msmall-data</c>, so you should use the
301overridden. 288overridden.
302</p> 289</p>
303 290
304<p> 291<p>
305This flag should probably not be used in your global <c>CFLAGS</c> as some 292This flag should probably not be used in your global <c>CFLAGS</c> as some
306objects require more than 64kb to be stored, and this will cause a gp_overflow 293objects require more than 64KiB to be stored, and this will cause a gp_overflow
307ld error. 294ld error.
308</p> 295</p>
309 296
310</body> 297</body>
311</section> 298</section>
393<p> 380<p>
394If your Alpha system supports SRM, then you should use aboot. If your system 381If your Alpha system supports SRM, then you should use aboot. If your system
395supports both SRM and ARCs (ARC, AlphaBIOS, ARCSBIOS), then you should follow 382supports both SRM and ARCs (ARC, AlphaBIOS, ARCSBIOS), then you should follow
396<uri link="http://www.alphalinux.org/faq/x31.html">the SRM Firmware Howto</uri> 383<uri link="http://www.alphalinux.org/faq/x31.html">the SRM Firmware Howto</uri>
397for switching to SRM and use aboot. If your system can only use ARCs (Ruffian, 384for switching to SRM and use aboot. If your system can only use ARCs (Ruffian,
398nautilus, xl, etc.) then you will need to choose milo. 385xl, etc.) then you will need to choose milo.
399</p> 386</p>
400 387
401</body> 388</body>
402</section> 389</section>
403<section id="abootfs"> 390<section id="abootfs">
404<title>Can aboot boot kernels from xfs, reiserfs, or jfs partitions?</title> 391<title>Can aboot boot kernels from EXT4, XFS, ReiserFS, or JFS partitions?</title>
405<body> 392<body>
406 393
407<p> 394<p>
408No, <c>aboot</c> only supports booting kernels from <c>ext2</c> and <c>ext3</c> 395No, <c>aboot</c> only supports booting kernels from <c>ext2</c> and <c>ext3</c>
409partitions. You may still use other files systems for your root partition, you 396partitions. You may still use other files systems for your root partition, you
410just need to create a <path>/boot</path> partition with either <c>ext2</c> or 397just need to create a <path>/boot</path> partition with either <c>ext2</c> or
411<c>ext3</c> on it. 398<c>ext3</c> on it.
412</p> 399</p>
413 400
414<p> 401<p>
415Support for reiserfs and xfs is planned. In fact, there are patches floating 402Support for ext4 is planned. In fact, there are patches floating
416around that add support for those two file systems. However, the use of those 403around that add support for <uri
417patches is unsupported. 404link="https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=106855">ReiserFS</uri>, <uri
405link="https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=107103">XFS</uri>, and <uri
406link="http://alphalinux.org/wiki/index.php/Aboot_EXT4_support">ext4</uri>.
418</p> 407</p>
419 408
420</body> 409</body>
421</section> 410</section>
422</chapter> 411</chapter>
426<section id="javasupport"> 415<section id="javasupport">
427<title>How is Java support in Gentoo/Alpha?</title> 416<title>How is Java support in Gentoo/Alpha?</title>
428<body> 417<body>
429 418
430<p> 419<p>
431There was only one option for Java VM and Java SDK on Gentoo/Alpha. The 420Compaq/HP offered binary packages, called <c>compaq-jre</c> and <c>compaq-jdk</c>.
432packages were called <c>compaq-jre</c> and <c>compaq-jdk</c>. Sadly, Compaq/HP
433stopped all support and the packages were removed from Gentoo on October 11, 421They stopped all support, and the packages were removed from Gentoo on October
4342006. 42211, 2006. Since then, we haven't supported Java.
435</p> 423</p>
436 424
437</body> 425</body>
438</section> 426</section>
439 427
440<section id="currentjava"> 428<section id="currentjava">
441<title>Will there ever be working Java support?</title> 429<title>Will there ever be working Java support?</title>
442<body> 430<body>
443 431
444<p> 432<p>
445We really hope so. We are following the development of the jdk from <uri 433It's possible to use <c>icedtea</c> on Alpha, but we have no plans to
446link="http://sablevm.org">SableVM</uri>. It isn't ready yet, but we hope with 434support it, due to the high maintenance costs involved with testing hundreds of
447time that it will be a full drop in replacement jdk. 435additional packages.
448</p> 436</p>
449 437
450</body> 438</body>
451</section> 439</section>
452<section id="dotnetsupport"> 440<section id="dotnetsupport">
464<section id="dotnetneeded"> 452<section id="dotnetneeded">
465<title>What is needed for .NET support?</title> 453<title>What is needed for .NET support?</title>
466<body> 454<body>
467 455
468<p> 456<p>
469Bringing .NET to alpha isn't a simple task. It requires coding all of the 457Bringing .NET to Alpha isn't a simple task. It requires coding all of the
470assembly language code generation macros for the JIT (just in time) compiler 458assembly language code generation macros for the JIT (just in time) compiler
471and coding architecture specific functions (register allocators, etc). 459and coding architecture specific functions (register allocators, etc).
472</p> 460</p>
473 461
474</body> 462</body>
500you will have to mask all the 2.6 only packages by yourself and you won't have 488you will have to mask all the 2.6 only packages by yourself and you won't have
501support from developers. 489support from developers.
502</p> 490</p>
503 491
504<p> 492<p>
505Gentoo/Alpha will review all bug reports about non working 2.6 systems and 493Gentoo/Alpha will review all bug reports about non-working 2.6 systems and
506will try to help as much as we can. 494will try to help as much as we can.
507</p> 495</p>
508 496
509</body> 497</body>
510</section> 498</section>
513<title>Are hardened-sources supported?</title> 501<title>Are hardened-sources supported?</title>
514<body> 502<body>
515 503
516<p> 504<p>
517Short answer is no. They were supported some time ago, but we lost the hardware 505Short answer is no. They were supported some time ago, but we lost the hardware
518and the maintainer so right now they are not supported. If you are interested 506and the maintainer so now they are not supported. If you are interested
519and want to continue the initial work, please let us know. 507and want to continue the initial work, please let us know.
520</p> 508</p>
521 509
522</body> 510</body>
523</section> 511</section>
524<section id="smpkernel"> 512<section id="smpkernel">
525<title>Does the 2.6 kernel support Alpha SMP?</title> 513<title>Does the 2.6 kernel support Alpha SMP?</title>
526<body> 514<body>
527 515
528<p> 516<p>
529There were some times in the past when it was broken. However, <c>2.6.15.1</c> 517There were some times in the past when it was broken. However, modern kernel
530and <c>2.6.16.19</c> are both known to work well. If you find that SMP is 518versions are known to work well.
531broken and want SMP support you will need revert to the one of the versions
532mentioned above or use a 2.4 kernel. If you really need to run the latest 2.6
533kernel on an SMP box and you don't care that only one of your processors is
534getting used, then you could configure the 2.6 kernel without SMP support.
535</p> 519</p>
536 520
537</body> 521</body>
538</section> 522</section>
539</chapter> 523</chapter>
591</chapter> 575</chapter>
592 576
593<chapter> 577<chapter>
594<title>Troubleshooting</title> 578<title>Troubleshooting</title>
595<section id="tshoot-xorg"> 579<section id="tshoot-xorg">
596<title>Why is my Xorg locking up my Alpha?</title> 580<title>Why is Xorg locking up my Alpha?</title>
597<body> 581<body>
598 582
599<p> 583<p>
600This is usually caused by a bad -mcpu setting. For example, the AlphaServer 584This is usually caused by a bad -mcpu setting. For example, the AlphaServer
601800 needs to be compiled with the <c>ev5</c> flag for xorg <b>and</b> glibc. 585800 needs to be compiled with the <c>ev5</c> flag for xorg <b>and</b> glibc.
645<section id="other"> 629<section id="other">
646<title>Where can I get more help or information about Alpha/Linux?</title> 630<title>Where can I get more help or information about Alpha/Linux?</title>
647<body> 631<body>
648 632
649<p> 633<p>
650<uri link="http://alphalinux.org/">AlphaLinux.org</uri> is a central repository 634<uri link="http://alphalinux.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page">AlphaLinux.org</uri>
651for all things Alpha/Linux. 635is a central repository for all things Alpha/Linux.
652</p> 636</p>
653 637
654</body> 638</body>
655</section> 639</section>
656</chapter> 640</chapter>

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