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RE: Alpha PC164

My post was not meant to start a Red Hat vs. Debian war.  I run Red Hat on
my colo boxes, so I have so "REAL" preference, I was just curious what other
experiences were on this specific machine.  BTW -- The video cards in these
boxes are VERY HIGH END (for their time) and there are NO drivers to get X
running, so all is via shell which I don't mind at all.

Thanks for the interesting comments.


-----Original Message-----
From: Helge Kreutzmann [mailto:kreutzm@itp.uni-hannover.de]
Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:04 AM
To: John Goerzen
Cc: Greg; 'Debian Alpha'
Subject: Re: Alpha PC164

On Wed, Apr 14, 2004 at 08:50:40AM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
> Yes, I'm aware that apt-rpm exists, but usually when one speaks of
> apt-get, one is implicitly referring to the Debian packaging system and
> the dpkg components as well.  The major RPM players (RH, SuSE) do not,
> AFAIK, ship any version of apt-get with their systems.

Yes, but people getting more involved sooner or later will try out
some automatic update method. Some like SUSE's version, some like yum,
but others will switch to apt-get. No problem.

> > > In general, the differences between Debian and other distros will also
> > > apply in the general case -- that is, Debian vs. RedHat on the PC will
> > > have similar differences as you see here.
> >
> > "PC" have no distinct models (as Jensen, LX, Rawhide,XP1000) which is
> > the classifying factor in the alpha world; there you rather look at
> > components (which chipset, ...). Of course, since alphas can be
> > expanded, similar issues araise there as well.
> Not really.  Once the machine is booted, it's all pretty much the same.
> I have one Alpha, two PowerPC machines, an Athlon64, and a Pentium M
> laptop.  Once installed and booted, there's no perceptible difference.
> I have KDE on all of the above; it runs fine.  I use JFS or Reiser all
> over.  No problems there either.  They all support PCI (save the laptops
> of course), so I can mix and match expansion cards.  And this is really
> the whole point of a portable system anyway.

Yes, exactly the point. The original poster wrote:

  distro I could get up and running without kernel panic at best was

Of course, looking at userland (KDE, shell) I could equally well sit
on a FreeBSD machine, so really the tools are only visisble to the
sysadmin and each ported OS will strive (and usually suceed) to make
the tools as generic as possible, i.e. hiding hardware problems. And
when people talk about RedHat vs. Debian they often (but not always)
compare the tools. Then platform really doesn't matter. This is
actually one reason for me to use Debian, because it supports so many

Btw. some (many?) laptops use PCI internally, they just don't tell you
(and no slot to expand in).

> > > Debian seems to be the operating system that supports the widest range
> > > of Alpha hardware, since it can boot from both MILO and aboot.  This
> > > something that, AFAIK, the neither the BSDs nor Gentoo have mastered.
> > > RedHat long ago dropped Alpha support.  I don't know if Slackware
> >
> > But Compaq still maintains a branch which was made from RedHat; given
> Are you sure about that?  They actually maintain it?  Last time I was
> playing around on the old DEC FTP site, little had been touched since
> 1999 or so.

Please search AXP-Lists for pointers, the download URLS have been
posted there many times and security updates are posted regularly. I
don't know if you can buy support if you need to.

> > that there was recently some effort by RedHat employees to get Fedora
> > running on alpha, I would not call it "dead". It just has an uncertain
> > future. So for playing, I would not rule it out.
> No, it is dead now.  They discontinued Alpha support some *years* back.

To be precise, security support ran out last year March for RedHat
linux proper. But then, the Compaq supported product still exists.


Helge Kreutzmann, Dipl.-Phys.
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