Gentoo on Alpha – Flying Circus 2

Today is the All Soul’s Day and people usually spend some time remembering the dead. I will take the opportunity and remember the dead computer architecture Alpha (made by Digital which was the top computer hardware in the 90s and early 2000’s)

Year passes and I wanted to update the existing Gentoo installation that I have made in the past that ran on the Alphavm-free. This time it took me  4 weeks to chew through the kernel configuration,  couple of unsuccessful kernel builds and during all this time my Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 ran almost nonstop on 100% CPU (Amazing hardware btw)

I will not cover how to setup Gentoo on simulated Alpha EV67 Tsunami  as it was partially described in the last years blog entry. I wanted to keep this post short and to the point. This time its again a little show-off “Circus” style what was done on the simulation.

Here are the details of the simulated system (Im running all this on Linux Mint 19 x86_64) The Alphavm-free guest has 1 CPU and 1 GB RAM assigned

# cat /proc/cpuinfo 
cpu			: Alpha
cpu model		: EV67
cpu variation		: 7
cpu revision		: 0
cpu serial number	: AlphaVM-CPU-00
system type		: Tsunami
system variation	: Catamaran
system revision		: 0
system serial number	: EmuVM-00-000-001"
cycle frequency [Hz]	: 833333333 
timer frequency [Hz]	: 1000.00
page size [bytes]	: 8192
phys. address bits	: 44
max. addr. space #	: 255
BogoMIPS		: 814.28
kernel unaligned acc	: 0 (pc=0,va=0)
user unaligned acc	: 143076 (pc=20000180500,va=1200741a9)
platform string		: AlphaServer DS20E 833 MHz
cpus detected		: 1
cpus active		: 1
cpu active mask		: 0000000000000001
L1 Icache		: 64K, 2-way, 64b line
L1 Dcache		: 64K, 2-way, 64b line
L2 cache		: n/a
L3 cache		: n/a

Following packages are installed on the Gentoo Alpha as of today (2nd November)

app-admin/eselect-1.4.13
app-admin/perl-cleaner-2.25
app-arch/bzip2-1.0.6-r10
app-arch/cpio-2.12-r1
app-arch/gzip-1.8
app-arch/libarchive-3.3.1
app-arch/tar-1.30
app-arch/unzip-6.0_p21-r2
app-arch/xz-utils-5.2.3
app-crypt/rhash-1.3.6-r1
app-editors/nano-2.8.7
app-editors/vim-8.0.1298
app-editors/vim-core-8.0.1298
app-eselect/eselect-ctags-1.18
app-eselect/eselect-fontconfig-1.0
app-eselect/eselect-lib-bin-symlink-0.1.1
app-eselect/eselect-opengl-1.3.1-r4
app-eselect/eselect-pinentry-0.7
app-eselect/eselect-postgresql-2.3
app-eselect/eselect-python-20171204
app-eselect/eselect-ruby-20170723
app-eselect/eselect-vi-1.1.9
app-misc/ca-certificates-20170717.3.36.1
app-misc/c_rehash-1.7-r1
app-misc/editor-wrapper-4
app-misc/mime-types-9
app-misc/pax-utils-1.2.3
app-portage/elt-patches-20170815
app-portage/portage-utils-0.64
app-shells/bash-4.4_p12
app-text/build-docbook-catalog-1.21
app-text/docbook-xml-dtd-4.1.2-r6
app-text/docbook-xsl-stylesheets-1.79.1-r2
app-text/manpager-1
app-text/openjade-1.3.2-r7
app-text/opensp-1.5.2-r3
app-text/po4a-0.47-r1
app-text/sgml-common-0.6.3-r6
app-vim/gentoo-syntax-20180821
dev-db/postgresql-10.5
dev-db/sqlite-3.24.0
dev-lang/perl-5.24.3-r1
dev-lang/python-2.7.14-r1
dev-lang/python-3.5.4-r1
dev-lang/python-3.6.5
dev-lang/python-exec-2.4.6
dev-lang/ruby-2.3.7
dev-libs/elfutils-0.170-r1
dev-libs/expat-2.2.5
dev-libs/glib-2.52.3
dev-libs/gmp-6.1.2
dev-libs/iniparser-3.1-r1
dev-libs/libassuan-2.5.1
dev-libs/libbsd-0.9.1
dev-libs/libevdev-1.5.9-r1
dev-libs/libffi-3.2.1
dev-libs/libgcrypt-1.8.3
dev-libs/libgpg-error-1.29
dev-libs/libinput-1.10.7
dev-libs/libksba-1.3.5-r1
dev-libs/libltdl-2.4.6
dev-libs/libpcre-8.41-r1
dev-libs/libpipeline-1.4.2
dev-libs/libpthread-stubs-0.4-r1
dev-libs/libtasn1-4.13
dev-libs/libunistring-0.9.7
dev-libs/libxml2-2.9.7
dev-libs/libxslt-1.1.30-r2
dev-libs/libyaml-0.1.7
dev-libs/mpc-1.0.3
dev-libs/mpfr-3.1.6
dev-libs/nettle-3.4
dev-libs/npth-1.3
dev-libs/openssl-1.0.2p
dev-libs/popt-1.16-r2
dev-perl/Authen-SASL-2.160.0-r1
dev-perl/Digest-HMAC-1.30.0-r1
dev-perl/Error-0.170.250
dev-perl/IO-Socket-SSL-2.52.0
dev-perl/libintl-perl-1.280.0
dev-perl/Locale-gettext-1.70.0
dev-perl/MailTools-2.190.0
dev-perl/Module-Build-0.422.400
dev-perl/Net-SMTP-SSL-1.40.0
dev-perl/Net-SSLeay-1.820.0
dev-perl/SGMLSpm-1.1-r1
dev-perl/TermReadKey-2.370.0
dev-perl/Text-CharWidth-0.40.0-r1
dev-perl/Text-Unidecode-1.300.0
dev-perl/Text-WrapI18N-0.60.0-r1
dev-perl/TimeDate-2.300.0
dev-perl/Unicode-EastAsianWidth-1.330.0-r1
dev-perl/XML-Parser-2.440.0
dev-python/certifi-2018.4.16
dev-python/docutils-0.13.1
dev-python/pyblake2-1.1.0
dev-python/pygments-2.2.0
dev-python/pyxattr-0.5.5
dev-python/setuptools-36.7.2
dev-ruby/did_you_mean-1.0.2
dev-ruby/json-1.8.6-r1
dev-ruby/minitest-5.10.3
dev-ruby/net-telnet-0.1.1-r1
dev-ruby/power_assert-1.1.1
dev-ruby/racc-1.4.14
dev-ruby/rake-10.5.0
dev-ruby/rdoc-4.3.0
dev-ruby/rubygems-2.7.6-r1
dev-ruby/test-unit-3.2.7
dev-util/cmake-3.9.6
dev-util/ctags-20161028
dev-util/desktop-file-utils-0.23
dev-util/gperf-3.1
dev-util/gtk-doc-am-1.25-r1
dev-util/intltool-0.51.0-r2
dev-util/meson-0.46.1
dev-util/ninja-1.8.2
dev-util/pkgconfig-0.29.2
dev-util/ragel-6.10
dev-util/re2c-1.0.3
games-engines/scummvm-2.0.0
media-fonts/encodings-1.0.4-r1
media-fonts/font-alias-1.0.3-r1
media-fonts/font-misc-misc-1.1.2-r1
media-fonts/font-util-1.3.1
media-fonts/liberation-fonts-2.00.1-r3
media-libs/fontconfig-2.13.0-r4
media-libs/freetype-2.9.1-r3
media-libs/glew-2.1.0
media-libs/glu-9.0.0-r1
media-libs/imlib2-1.5.1
media-libs/libepoxy-1.5.1
media-libs/libjpeg-turbo-1.5.3-r2
media-libs/libpng-1.6.34
media-libs/libsdl2-2.0.8-r2
media-libs/mesa-18.1.9
net-dns/libidn2-2.0.4
net-firewall/iptables-1.4.21-r1
net-libs/gnutls-3.5.19
net-libs/libmnl-1.0.4
net-libs/libnsl-0
net-libs/libpcap-1.8.1
net-mail/mailbase-1.1
net-misc/curl-7.61.1
net-misc/iputils-20171016_pre
net-misc/netifrc-0.5.1
net-misc/openssh-7.5_p1-r4
net-misc/rsync-3.1.3
net-misc/tigervnc-1.8.0-r3
net-misc/wget-1.19.1-r2
perl-core/File-Path-2.130.0
perl-core/File-Temp-0.230.400-r1
sys-apps/acl-2.2.52-r1
sys-apps/attr-2.4.47-r2
sys-apps/baselayout-2.4.1-r2
sys-apps/busybox-1.29.0
sys-apps/coreutils-8.29-r1
sys-apps/debianutils-4.8.3
sys-apps/diffutils-3.6-r1
sys-apps/file-5.33-r4
sys-apps/findutils-4.6.0-r1
sys-apps/gawk-4.1.4
sys-apps/gentoo-functions-0.12
sys-apps/grep-3.0
sys-apps/groff-1.22.2
sys-apps/help2man-1.47.6
sys-apps/hwids-20171003
sys-apps/install-xattr-0.5
sys-apps/iproute2-4.17.0
sys-apps/kbd-2.0.4
sys-apps/kmod-24
sys-apps/less-531
sys-apps/man-db-2.7.6.1-r2
sys-apps/man-pages-4.16
sys-apps/man-pages-posix-2013a
sys-apps/net-tools-1.60_p20161110235919
sys-apps/openrc-0.34.11
sys-apps/opentmpfiles-0.1.3
sys-apps/pciutils-3.5.6
sys-apps/portage-2.3.49
sys-apps/sandbox-2.13
sys-apps/sed-4.5
sys-apps/shadow-4.6
sys-apps/sysvinit-2.88-r9
sys-apps/texinfo-6.3
sys-apps/util-linux-2.32-r4
sys-apps/which-2.21
sys-auth/pambase-20150213-r1
sys-boot/aboot-1.0_pre20040408-r3
sys-devel/autoconf-2.69-r4
sys-devel/autoconf-wrapper-13-r1
sys-devel/automake-1.15.1-r2
sys-devel/automake-wrapper-10
sys-devel/bc-1.06.95-r2
sys-devel/binutils-2.29.1-r1
sys-devel/binutils-2.30-r4
sys-devel/binutils-config-5-r4
sys-devel/bison-3.0.5-r1
sys-devel/flex-2.6.4-r1
sys-devel/gcc-6.4.0-r1
sys-devel/gcc-config-1.8-r1
sys-devel/gettext-0.19.8.1
sys-devel/gnuconfig-20170101
sys-devel/libtool-2.4.6-r3
sys-devel/m4-1.4.17
sys-devel/make-4.2.1-r4
sys-devel/patch-2.7.6-r2
sys-fs/e2fsprogs-1.43.6
sys-fs/eudev-3.2.5
sys-fs/udev-init-scripts-32
sys-kernel/genkernel-3.5.3.3
sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-4.14.65
sys-kernel/linux-firmware-20181001
sys-kernel/linux-headers-4.13
sys-libs/cracklib-2.9.6-r1
sys-libs/db-5.3.28-r2
sys-libs/e2fsprogs-libs-1.43.6
sys-libs/gdbm-1.13-r2
sys-libs/glibc-2.26-r7
sys-libs/libutempter-1.1.6-r2
sys-libs/mtdev-1.1.5
sys-libs/ncurses-6.1-r2
sys-libs/pam-1.3.0-r2
sys-libs/readline-7.0_p3
sys-libs/timezone-data-2018e
sys-libs/zlib-1.2.11-r2
sys-process/procps-3.3.12-r1
sys-process/psmisc-23.1-r1
virtual/acl-0-r1
virtual/dev-manager-0-r1
virtual/editor-0
virtual/glu-9.0-r2
virtual/jpeg-0-r2
virtual/libc-1
virtual/libelf-3
virtual/libffi-3.0.13-r1
virtual/libiconv-0-r2
virtual/libintl-0-r2
virtual/libudev-232
virtual/man-0-r1
virtual/modutils-0
virtual/opengl-7.0-r2
virtual/os-headers-0
virtual/package-manager-1
virtual/pager-0
virtual/pam-0-r1
virtual/perl-CPAN-Meta-2.150.5-r1
virtual/perl-CPAN-Meta-YAML-0.18.0-r3
virtual/perl-Data-Dumper-2.160.0-r1
virtual/perl-Digest-MD5-2.540.0-r3
virtual/perl-Digest-SHA-5.950.100_rc-r6
virtual/perl-ExtUtils-CBuilder-0.280.225-r2
virtual/perl-ExtUtils-Install-2.40.0-r3
virtual/perl-ExtUtils-MakeMaker-7.100.200_rc-r4
virtual/perl-ExtUtils-Manifest-1.700.0-r5
virtual/perl-ExtUtils-ParseXS-3.310.0-r1
virtual/perl-File-Path-2.130.0
virtual/perl-File-Spec-3.630.100_rc-r4
virtual/perl-File-Temp-0.230.400-r5
virtual/perl-Getopt-Long-2.480.0-r1
virtual/perl-IO-1.360.100_rc-r4
virtual/perl-JSON-PP-2.273.0.100_rc-r6
virtual/perl-libnet-3.80.100_rc-r4
virtual/perl-MIME-Base64-3.150.0-r4
virtual/perl-Module-Metadata-1.0.31-r1
virtual/perl-Parse-CPAN-Meta-1.441.700.100_rc-r4
virtual/perl-Perl-OSType-1.9.0-r1
virtual/perl-podlators-4.70.0-r1
virtual/perl-Scalar-List-Utils-1.420.200_rc-r1
virtual/perl-Test-Harness-3.360.100_rc-r3
virtual/perl-Text-ParseWords-3.300.0-r4
virtual/perl-version-0.991.600-r1
virtual/pkgconfig-0-r1
virtual/rubygems-11
virtual/service-manager-0
virtual/shadow-0
virtual/ssh-0
virtual/tmpfiles-0
virtual/ttf-fonts-1-r1
virtual/udev-217
virtual/yacc-0
www-client/dillo-3.0.5
x11-apps/bdftopcf-1.1
x11-apps/iceauth-1.0.8
x11-apps/luit-1.1.1
x11-apps/mesa-progs-8.3.0
x11-apps/mkfontdir-1.0.7
x11-apps/mkfontscale-1.1.3
x11-apps/rgb-1.0.6
x11-apps/xauth-1.0.10
x11-apps/xinit-1.4.0
x11-apps/xkbcomp-1.4.2
x11-apps/xmessage-1.0.5
x11-apps/xrdb-1.1.1
x11-apps/xsetroot-1.1.2
x11-base/xcb-proto-1.13
x11-base/xorg-drivers-1.19
x11-base/xorg-proto-2018.4
x11-base/xorg-server-1.19.5-r2
x11-drivers/xf86-input-keyboard-1.9.0
x11-drivers/xf86-input-libinput-0.27.1
x11-drivers/xf86-input-mouse-1.9.3
x11-drivers/xf86-video-ati-18.0.1-r1
x11-drivers/xf86-video-dummy-0.3.8
x11-drivers/xf86-video-fbdev-0.5.0
x11-drivers/xf86-video-glint-1.2.9
x11-drivers/xf86-video-mga-1.6.5
x11-drivers/xf86-video-nv-2.1.21
x11-drivers/xf86-video-r128-6.10.2
x11-libs/fltk-1.3.3-r3
x11-libs/libdrm-2.4.93
x11-libs/libfontenc-1.1.3-r1
x11-libs/libICE-1.0.9-r2
x11-libs/libpciaccess-0.14
x11-libs/libSM-1.2.2-r2
x11-libs/libX11-1.6.6
x11-libs/libXau-1.0.8-r1
x11-libs/libXaw-1.0.13-r1
x11-libs/libxcb-1.13.1
x11-libs/libXcursor-1.1.15
x11-libs/libXdamage-1.1.4-r2
x11-libs/libXdmcp-1.1.2-r2
x11-libs/libXext-1.3.3-r1
x11-libs/libXfixes-5.0.3-r1
x11-libs/libXfont2-2.0.3-r1
x11-libs/libXft-2.3.2-r1
x11-libs/libXi-1.7.9-r1
x11-libs/libXinerama-1.1.4
x11-libs/libxkbfile-1.0.9-r2
x11-libs/libXmu-1.1.2-r1
x11-libs/libXpm-3.5.12-r1
x11-libs/libXrandr-1.5.1-r1
x11-libs/libXrender-0.9.10-r1
x11-libs/libxshmfence-1.3-r1
x11-libs/libXt-1.1.5-r1
x11-libs/libXtst-1.2.3-r1
x11-libs/libXxf86vm-1.1.4-r1
x11-libs/pixman-0.34.0
x11-libs/xtrans-1.3.5
x11-misc/shared-mime-info-1.9
x11-misc/util-macros-1.19.2
x11-misc/xbitmaps-1.1.2
x11-misc/xkeyboard-config-2.23.1-r1
x11-terms/xterm-327
x11-wm/fluxbox-1.3.7-r3

Unfortunately I had no luck in getting a recent Linux kernel and initramfs on Gentoo to load the disk driver (SCSI) qla1280

# udevadm info -a -n /dev/sda | grep -oP 'DRIVERS?=="\K[^"]+
sd
qla1280

No matter if I build it into the kernel or as separate module, initramfs would not find the root device since there was no /dev/sda usable   so I have ended up using last years kernel and modules as well as initramfs and use the base Alpha Gentoo install CD from April 2018. As I said earlier it took some time to build it all and here it is now. Everything works, networking , X11 desktop over VNC, even some wild acrobatic performances which we will cover here in a small detail.

Act 1 – Running VAX OpenVMS 7.3 via simh on the simulated Alpha

This is as useless as it sounds but it was great fun actually seeing that it worked :) Hey .. So dig this, Simulating Alpha Gentoo system via Alphavm-free on a X86_64 Linux, inside the simulation we run simh vax simulator in which we load an already installed OpenVMS 7.3 disk image and configuration and watch it run via VNC session … it took about 30 minutes to boot (OpenVMS 7.3 inside Gentoo Alpha via the simh vax simulation) but it runs, that’s whats important. Did you understand this at all  ? :) Simulation via simulator via stimulus ..

Act 2. Running Metasploit Framework current on Gentoo Alpha

Yes, its pretty much useless but nevertheless cool once you know that it works.

Loading of Metasploit Framework there takes about 6 minutes but once there its pretty much fun. The only thing I had to do non-gentoo way was to build GIT from sources directly since it had some crazy dependency via emerge that just did not compile (pine-mail-stuff something related .. cannot remember now exactly)

Act 3. Running Dillo in VNC Session and browsing the internet on Alpha Gentoo

Well since we are missing the X11 all-together from the Alphavm-free simulation we might as well cheat a little and emerge the tigervnc server environment on the Gentoo system to actually load some graphical stuff on the simulated Alpha environment :) How else to prove a point then surfing the net with the worlds fastest/most-secure/best browser ? Entering Dillo.

And this concludes todays Flying Circus Alpha Acrobatics show for 2018. Hopefully I won’t repeat this next year in 2019, but who knows .. its always fun messing around systems like this.

 

 

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About astr0baby

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6 Responses to Gentoo on Alpha – Flying Circus 2

  1. Bravo! Especially loved the running OpenVMS/VAX under Gentoo Linux under Alpha under Linux Mint on a military-grade laptop! Inspirational!

  2. All good, thanks a ton.

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