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Re: Alpha Newbie needs help netbooting linux
From: Mike A. Harris (mharrisredhat.com)
Date: Wed Mar 31 2004 - 16:15:12 CST
On Tue, 30 Mar 2004, Jiann-Ming Su wrote:
>> which version of RH are you using?
>As an aside, if you are installing fresh, I'd almost recommend using
>Debian at this point.
While there has not been any "official" Red Hat OS release for
the Alpha architecture since Red Hat Linux 7.2, there is
volunteer work being done internally at Red Hat by certain
people, with the end goal of having Alpha supported in Fedora
Core in the future. When this will be completed however I do not
have any idea, but it's being done in certain people's personal
time, so "when it's ready" is probably the best answer. ;o)
>The lastest RH based distro works great, but apt is so useful.
Current Red Hat distributions such as Fedora Core come with
up2date, and yum, both of which provide similar functionality to
Debian's "apt". up2date additionally has the ability to work
with 3rd party yum and apt repositories. ;o)
Also, if one really does prefer the apt commandline tools, they
have been available for RPM based distributions for about 5 or 6
years now, and apt is easily obtainable for Red Hat OSes. Once
installed, it works almost identically to how it works in Debian.
So "debian uses apt, which is very useful" alone, isn't really a
compelling reason for a Red Hat OS user to switch to Debian,
since they can already use apt if they wish to have that
>Plus, Debian seems to be more up-to-date with all the
>architectures. Just a thought.
While Debian does have rolling Alpha support, and Red Hat has
discontinued Alpha after Red Hat Linux 7.2, that may be true for
specifically for the Alpha architecture. Red Hat OS
products support 7 architectures currently - all from the
same codebase however, and all with more recent stable
versions of most software than what is in the most recent
official Debian release.
So I lightly dispute your claim that Debian is more up to date
with "all the architectures". ;o)
An example that is directly in my own neighborhood is XFree86.
Debian stable ships XFree86 4.1.0, which is about 3 years old,
and supports no modern video hardware. It may work on 10-15
different architectures that Debian supports, but it is not
up-to-date so to speak. Red Hat ships XFree86 4.3.0 in Red Hat
Enterprise Linux on 7 architectures to contrast, albeit Alpha (to
keep this on topic) is regrettably not one of those supported
architectures (x86, x86_64, ppc, ppc64, s390, s390x, ia64).
Having said that however, Debian does track Alpha architecture
more closely than any 'official' Red Hat bits, and our last Alpha
release is getting rather old now, so Debian stable for Alpha may
very well be newer bits, at least for some software that is not
My recommendation to those who want more recent Linux bits for
their Alpha hardware, (since this is a Red Hat mailing list
afterall), is is to get involved with testing/volunteering, etc.
with Fedora Core once Alpha architecture gets merged into it.
If I recall correctly, the entire Fedora Core devel now builds on
Alpha, and I believe the only major work that needs to be done is
kernel work, however I will have to confirm this with the right
Just as a statistical poll:
1) How many people on this list are interested in seeing Fedora
Core for Alpha?
2) Would you be willing to volunteer to do test installations on
Alpha hardware if and when installable CD images become
available as a test release, or even a pre-test?
3) Would you be interested in volunteering to report bugs, fix
bugs, supply patches, and/or do other volunteer work related
The greater the masses of Alpha users out there that we can get
interested in this, the more likely we are to get something
together that is useable sooner rather than later, so any
feedback is appreciated.
What would really be cool, would be to get enough people
interested in volunteering, to convince the powers that be to
throw some Alpha hardware back in our buildsystem again,
increasing our parallel architecture builds to 8. ;o) I could
just be dreaming there though, hard to say just yet. ;o)
Mike A. Harris ftp://people.redhat.com/mharris
OS Systems Engineer - X.org X11 maintainer - Red Hat
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