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This website is about the port of GNU/Linux to the Alpha architecture. GNU/Linux is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License.


[29 Sep 2015] This website is now hosted by Advania in Iceland, using energy that really is renewable.

The Advania cloud service is powered by Iceland's electricity, which is produced almost entirely from hydroelectric and geothermal sources. Before moving to Advania this wiki was hosted at Greenqloud, also in Iceland.

Show all previous news stories

What happened to the files previously on

You're in luck! The website has been relaunched on a new platform (as of May 2015) and all previous web links will now be broken. However, you can download your own copy of the entire contents of the previous website, or whatever files you were looking for.

See Former content.

Linux distributions and other operating systems for Alpha

There are many Linux distributions and other operating systems for the Alpha architecture, some of which are actively maintained and some no longer supported.

See the List of operating systems for Alpha.

Using Alpha today

SCSI hard disk emulator for retro computing

As Alpha is effectively retro computing, it joins many other older computers that require increasingly rare SCSI hard disks. The SCSI2SD card connects to a 50-pin SCSI bus and emulates a hard disk using storage on an SD memory card.

This has been tested by the author on a Compaq XP-1000 Professional Workstation. The SCSI2SD card is seen as a bootable device in the SRM, which enables it to be used to load the Debian Linux kernel. The kernel can then load the rest of the OS from any other device in the machine that it has a driver for, in this case an IDE disk attached to a Promise IDE controller in a PCI slot. By only using it to load the kernel this avoids questions on whether the SD card has sufficient performance for a regular filesystem.

Buy one

  • ICC in the UK have Alpha hardware available for sale (as of October 2014).

Alpha Emulators

  • EmuVM - available free for non-commercial use. (Not tested by the author.)

Alpha History

The Alpha processor was developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). DEC was later bought by Compaq, which then merged with HP. Alpha always had a reputation for excellent performance and could run many different operating systems.

Alpha: The History in Facts and Comments


In its day, Alpha-powered supercomputers were some of the most powerful in the world. For example:

Thanks go to

  • Rich Payne and Peter Petrakis for providing copies of the original content.
  • ICC in the UK for selling the author a good-as-new Compaq XP1000 Professional Workstation (October 2014). Check them out if you want to buy Alpha hardware.
  • Internet Archive for keeping copies of the old website.