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Hi, I guess I am what you would call a novice with Linux. I have installed Fedora Core, Suse, Mandrake, Yellow Dog on my pc's and Mac's which isn't any ...
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  1. #1
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    What distro and how to install on a Alphaserver 800?


    Hi, I guess I am what you would call a novice with Linux. I have installed Fedora Core, Suse, Mandrake, Yellow Dog on my pc's and Mac's which isn't any more difficult than installing OS X or Windows XP. Somebody gave me an Alphaserver 800 and I would like to install Linux on it instead of NT 4. My problem is I don't know what distro to use and don't know how I would install it without being able to boot from the cd drive which I don't think this machine supports. I have tried googling for info but haven't found much in the way of info. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Juan Pablo's Avatar
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    Can it boot from floppy? Does it have a CD drive?
    Put your hand in an oven for a minute and it will be like an hour, sit beside a beautiful woman for an hour and it will be like a minute, that is relativity. --Albert Einstein
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Pablo
    Can it boot from floppy? Does it have a CD drive?

    Juan, it has a cd rom but won't boot from it afaik. I am pretty sure it will boot from a floppy. I downloaded Centos Linux which says it supports this machine. As far as installing it I don't have a clue.

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    Linux Guru Juan Pablo's Avatar
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    Download Smart boot manager, install it to a floppy, insert it and boot from it, then select boot from CD when the menu appears
    Put your hand in an oven for a minute and it will be like an hour, sit beside a beautiful woman for an hour and it will be like a minute, that is relativity. --Albert Einstein
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    Don't PM me with questions, instead post in the forums

  5. #5
    Linux Enthusiast likwid's Avatar
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    Alphas have an interactive boot up environment like sparcs don't they?

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    Quote Originally Posted by likwid
    Alphas have an interactive boot up environment like sparcs don't they?

    I have never worked wit a Sun machine. This is my first foray with an Alpha too. I am just getting into x86 machines to. Working in printing I just kind of fell into working with Mac's in 1991. I am enjoying getting my feet wet with Linux because I get lots of old pc's from the dump and enjoy resurrecting them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Pablo
    Download Smart boot manager, install it to a floppy, insert it and boot from it, then select boot from CD when the menu appears
    Thanks Juan. I will give it a shot.

  8. #8
    Linux Enthusiast likwid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmacsys
    I have never worked wit a Sun machine. This is my first foray with an Alpha too. I am just getting into x86 machines to. Working in printing I just kind of fell into working with Mac's in 1991. I am enjoying getting my feet wet with Linux because I get lots of old pc's from the dump and enjoy resurrecting them.
    Not sure "smart boot manager" works with alpha architectures. I think there is an interactive boot environment in alphas much like sun's openboot that you should be able to boot to any device from. Let me do some googling for you.

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    Linux Enthusiast likwid's Avatar
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    From AlphaServer 800:
    Boot the CD-ROM to invoke the firmware update utility (e.g. boot dqa0)


    Something I found from a random site, I found the user manual and am trying to find out how to get to the interactive part of the BIOS.

  10. #10
    Linux Enthusiast likwid's Avatar
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    Here we go:

    6.1 Invoking the SRM Console
    In a system running the DIGITAL UNIX or OpenVMS Alpha operating system, do
    one of the following steps to invoke the SRM console mode:
    Shut down the operating system according to the procedure described in your
    operating system documentation.
    Press the Halt button on the control panel until it engages.
    If you are in AlphaBIOS and want to switch to the SRM console, do one of the
    following steps:
    Press the Halt button on the control panel until it engages.
    Select SRM from the Console Selection in the Advanced CMOS Setup screen.
    After you have performed tasks in the console mode, you must boot the operating
    system with the boot command to revert back to the operating mode.


    When you get into the "SRM console" type
    Code:
    show device
    This should show hard disks and such. Then type
    Code:
    boot cdromdevice
    Where cdromdevice is the actual device name you want to boot.


    I think this should work.

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