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Debian on the Aspen Durango II [AlphaPC164 LX]

Dear mailing list,

I am a complete newcomer to Debian Alpha, and Linux/Alpha in general. I recently
bought an Aspen Systems Durango II workstation with the following specifications:

600MHz Alpha processor
PC164 LX motherboard
10/100 Ethernet NIC
CD-ROM drive

It has some sort of Linux on-board but given very good experiences with Debian,
I would like to put Debian on this machine.

>From what I gather from mailing lists, there are two issues (the below looks
very much like a HOWTO itself, I have marked my questions with Q):

* Booting. Apparently this must be done through a floppy. There is a HOWTO on 
  installing Red Hat from floppies at Aspen's website:


Q According to the HOWTO, I should put MILO and linload.exe on a floppy. Are
  MILO (I believe I need the "lx164 exmp" edition) and linload.exe available
  on the Debian install CD?

  Then I enter the BIOS utility screen through F2, and set up linload.exe on
  the floppy as my "bootfile" and the milo on the CD-ROM as my "ospath".

  Then I run ARCINST to set up my boot partition. I apparently get ARCINST from
Q the Windows NT CD-ROM; is this available from the Debian CD too? (I can 
  probably dig out my Windows NT 4.0 CD-ROM, but I would much prefer going
  through Debian)

  Then I boot MILO off the floppy which should bring me to a MILO prompt.
  I then say:

  boot scd0:/kernels/generic.gz root=/dev/scd0 (if it's a SCSI CD-ROM drive)
  boot hdd:/kernels/generic.gz root=/dev/hdd (if it's an IDE CD-ROM drive)

Q Is the path to the kernel different for Debian? Will it boot properly if I
  do this?

  So then Debian boots and I do the install thing. After that there is some   
  generic BIOS stuff I won't bug you with since it's no issue.

* Headless running. There is a previous article about doing just this on the
  debian-alpha list:


  This hints that there might be a simpler way - it darkly hints at the 
  existence of "debian install floppies."

Q Does headless require a SRM or ARC BIOS, or are both OK? Since my Alpha will
  have a LX164 (which is a half-flash evaluation board capable of holding only
  one BIOS at a time) I must flash my BIOS to switch, not that that's a huge

  As far as serial terminals go, I can probably hook up some sort of serial link
  between my trusty IBM WorkPad z50 and the Alpha.

Finally, one more question:

* I eventually want the machine to boot smoothly to the point where it has its 
Q own IP address and I can telnet (or ssh) in. Do all NICs work in headless mode
  that work in headed mode?

Thank you for reading this (long!) letter. I hope to contribute my knowledge to
the Debian/Alpha community in the form of a HOWTO.

Sean Callanan

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