2.1. Supported Hardware

Debian does not impose hardware requirements beyond the requirements of the Linux kernel and the GNU tool-sets. Therefore, any architecture or platform to which the Linux kernel, libc, gcc, etc. have been ported, and for which a Debian port exists, can run Debian. Please refer to the Ports pages at http://www.debian.org/ports/alpha/ for more details on Alpha architecture systems which have been tested with Debian.

Rather than attempting to describe all the different hardware configurations which are supported for Alpha, this section contains general information and pointers to where additional information can be found.

2.1.1. Supported Architectures

Debian 3.1 supports eleven major architectures and several variations of each architecture known as “flavors”.

Architecture Debian Designation Subarchitecture Flavor
Intel x86-based i386   vanilla
Motorola 680x0 m68k Atari atari
Amiga amiga
68k Macintosh mac
VME bvme6000
DEC Alpha alpha    
Sun SPARC sparc   sun4cdm
ARM and StrongARM arm   netwinder
IBM/Motorola PowerPC powerpc CHRP chrp
PowerMac pmac
PReP prep
APUS apus
HP PA-RISC hppa PA-RISC 1.1 32
PA-RISC 2.0 64
Intel ia64-based ia64    
MIPS (big endian) mips SGI Indy/Indigo 2 r4k-ip22
Broadcom BCM91250A (SWARM) sb1-swarm-bn
MIPS (little endian) mipsel Cobalt cobalt
DECstation r4k-kn04
Broadcom BCM91250A (SWARM) sb1-swarm-bn
IBM S/390 s390 IPL from VM-reader and DASD generic
IPL from tape tape

This document covers installation for the Alpha architecture. If you are looking for information on any of the other Debian-supported architectures take a look at the Debian-Ports pages.

2.1.2. CPU, Main Boards, and Video Support

Complete information regarding supported DEC Alphas can be found at Linux Alpha HOWTO. The purpose of this section is to describe the systems supported by the boot disks.

Alpha machines are subdivided into different system types because there are a number of generations of motherboard and supporting chipsets. Different systems (“sub-architectures”) often have radically different engineering and capabilities. Therefore, the process of installing and, more to the point, booting, can vary from system to system.

The following table lists the system types supported by the Debian installation system. The table also indicates the code name for these system types. You'll need to know this code name when you actually begin the installation process:

Hardware Type Aliases MILO image
ALCOR AlphaStation 500 5/266.300 Maverick alcor
AlphaStation 500 5/333...500 Bret alcor
AlphaStation 600/266...300 Alcor alcor
AlphaStation 600/300...433 XLT xlt
BOOK1 AlphaBook1 (laptop) Alphabook1/Burns book1
AVANTI AlphaStation 200 4/100...166 Mustang avanti
AlphaStation 200 4/233 Mustang+ avanti
AlphaStation 205 4/133...333 LX3 avanti
AlphaStation 250 4/300 M3+ avanti
AlphaStation 255 4/133...333 LX3+ avanti
AlphaStation 300 4/266 Melmac avanti
AlphaStation 400 4/166 Chinet avanti
AlphaStation 400 4/233...300 Avanti avanti
EB164 AlphaPC164 PC164 pc164
AlphaPC164-LX LX164 lx164
AlphaPC164-SX SX164 sx164
EB164 EB164 eb164
EB64+ AlphaPC64 Cabriolet cabriolet
AlphaPCI64 Cabriolet cabriolet
EB64+ EB64+ eb64p
EB66 EB66 EB66 eb66
EB66+ EB66+ eb66p
JENSEN DEC 2000 Model 300(S) Jensen N/A
DEC 2000 Model 500 Culzen N/A
DECpc 150 Jensen N/A
MIATA Personal WorkStation 433a Miata miata
Personal WorkStation 433au Miata miata
Personal WorkStation 466au Miata miata
Personal WorkStation 500a Miata miata
Personal WorkStation 500au Miata miata
Personal WorkStation 550au Miata miata
Personal WorkStation 600a Miata miata
Personal WorkStation 600au Miata miata
MIKASA AlphaServer 1000 4/200 Mikasa mikasa
AlphaServer 1000 4/233..266 Mikasa+ mikasa
AlphaServer 1000 5/300 Mikasa-Pinnacle mikasa
AlphaServer 1000 5/300 Mikasa-Primo mikasa
NAUTILUS UP1000 Nautilus N/A
UP1100 Galaxy-Train/Nautilus Jr. N/A
NONAME AXPpci33 Noname noname
UDB Multia noname
NORITAKE AlphaServer 1000A 4/233...266 Noritake N/A
AlphaServer 1000A 5/300 Noritake-Pinnacle N/A
AlphaServer 1000A 5/333...500 Noritake-Primo N/A
AlphaServer 800 5/333...500 Corelle N/A
AlphaStation 600 A Alcor-Primo N/A
Digital Server 3300 Corelle N/A
Digital Server 3300R Corelle N/A
PLATFORM 2000 P2K P2K p2k
RAWHIDE AlphaServer 1200 5/xxx Tincup/DaVinci N/A
AlphaServer 4000 5/xxx Wrangler/Durango N/A
AlphaServer 4100 5/xxx Dodge N/A
Digital Server 5300 Tincup/DaVinci N/A
Digital Server 7300 Dodge N/A
RUFFIAN DeskStation AlphaPC164-UX Ruffian ruffian
DeskStation RPL164-2 Ruffian ruffian
DeskStation RPL164-4 Ruffian ruffian
DeskStation RPX164-2 Ruffian ruffian
DeskStation RPX164-4 Ruffian ruffian
Samsung AlphaPC164-BX Ruffian ruffian
SABLE AlphaServer 2000 4/xxx Demi-Sable N/A
AlphaServer 2000 5/xxx Demi-Gamma-Sable N/A
AlphaServer 2100 4/xxx Sable N/A
AlphaServer 2100 5/xxx Gamma-Sable N/A
TAKARA 21164 PICMG SBC Takara takara
TITAN AlphaServer DS15 HyperBrick2 N/A
AlphaServer DS25 Granite N/A
AlphaServer ES45 Privateer N/A
TSUNAMI AlphaServer DS10 Webbrick N/A
AlphaServer DS10L Slate N/A
AlphaServer DS20 Catamaran/Goldrush N/A
AlphaServer DS20E Goldrack N/A
AlphaServer DS20L Shark N/A
AlphaServer ES40 Clipper N/A
DP264 DP264 N/A
SMARTengine 21264 PCI/ISA SBC Eiger N/A
UNKNOWN Windjammer N/A
UP2000 Swordfish N/A
XP1000 Monet/Brisbane N/A
XP900 Webbrick N/A
WILDFIRE AlphaServer GS160 Wildfire N/A
AlphaServer GS320 Wildfire N/A
XL XL-233...266 XL xl

It is believed that Debian sarge supports installing on all alpha sub-architectures with the exception of the ARC-only Ruffian and XL sub-architectures and the Titan subarchitecture, which requires a change to the kernel compile options.

2.1.3. Graphics Card

Debian's support for graphical interfaces is determined by the underlying support found in XFree86's X11 system. Most AGP, PCI and PCIe video cards work under XFree86. Details on supported graphics buses, cards, monitors, and pointing devices can be found at http://www.xfree86.org/. Debian 3.1 ships with XFree86 version 4.3.0.

2.1.4. Multiple Processors

Multi-processor support — also called “symmetric multi-processing” or SMP — is supported for this architecture. However, the standard Debian 3.1 kernel image does not support SMP. This should not prevent installation, since the standard, non-SMP kernel should boot on SMP systems; the kernel will simply use the first CPU.

In order to take advantage of multiple processors, you'll have to replace the standard Debian kernel. You can find a discussion of how to do this in Section 8.4, “Compiling a New Kernel”. At this time (kernel version 2.4.27) the way you enable SMP is to select “Symmetric multi-processing support” in the “General setup” section of the kernel config.