AlphaServer 1000A (how to install debian)
Maybe this is usefull for somebody...
How to boot and install debian on a Digital AlphaServer 1000A
There are two types:
noritake : EV4 cpu, AlphaServer 1000A 4/XXX
noritake-primo: EV5 cpu, AlphaServer 1000A 5/XXX
It seems that both systems are nearly unsupported by Linux: they
are unknown by 2.0 and 2.1 kernels, and there is not MILO (Linux
MiniLoader) for them.
If you are impatient (like me) you can get a kernel and boot with
I have tried all noritake-2030-srm-ev5-* and only -07nov.img is
stable enough for booting and installing debian. But lots of
programs just don't run at all or oopses the kernel... :-(
How to start?
1) Switch to SRM console if you are using ARC console or AlphaBios
(without MILO you can't use ARC/AlphaBios with Linux I think).
2) Make a bootdisk with the kernel from gatekeeper.dec.com:
cat noritake-2030-srm-ev5-07nov.img > /dev/fd0
You will get a floppy with an ext2 filesystem, and two files in
it: linuxboot and vmlinux.gz.
3) Put the floopy on the drive and type from SRM console:
>>> boot dva0 -file vmlinux.gz -flags "root=/dev/fd0 load_ramdisk=1"
The kernel should boot and ask for the ramdisk (the one with
root.bin from ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/unstable/main/disks-alpha/...)
NOTE: kernels availables at the moment (07nov is the last one)
don't have minix support (!), so you will have to make a
"root.bin" disk with ext2. It is very easy to make one, but if
you don't know how/want to do it you can get my root-ext2.bin from
After loading the ramdisk you should see the welcome to the debian
Next times you will have to boot again with the boot floppy:
>>> boot dva0 -file vmlinux.gz -flags "root=/dev/sda2"
(replace sda2 with your root filesystem)
I think you will find usefull SRM Firmware Howto at
Roberto Lumbreras Pastor * mailto:email@example.com
Lander Internet - Spain * http://www.lander.es/
Tel +34 1 556.28.83 * Fax +34 1 556.30.01
Hardware is indeterministically reliable.
Software is deterministically unreliable.
People are indeterministically unreliable.
Nature is deterministically reliable.
Quoted from "Linux System Administrator's Guide", by Lars Wirzenius.
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