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:: 2019-11-04 12:52:24

Emulating an Alpha

There's this veprbl for of the ES40 open-source emulator, and it's quite good. It can boot:


NetBSD 8.1 (GENERIC) #0: Fri May 31 08:43:59 UTC 2019
AlphaServer ES40, 500MHz, s/n
8192 byte page size, 1 processor.
total memory = 128 MB
(2736 KB reserved for PROM, 125 MB used by NetBSD)
avail memory = 110 MB
running cgd selftest aes-xts-256 aes-xts-512 done
mainbus0 (root)
cpu0 at mainbus0: ID 0 (primary), 21264C-6
cpu0: Architecture extensions: 0x1305
tsc0 at mainbus0: 21272 Core Logic Chipset, Cchip rev 0
tsc0: 8 Dchips, 2 memory buses of 16 bytes
tsc0: arrays present: 128MB, 0MB, 0MB, 0MB, Dchip 0 rev 1


FreeBSD 6.4-RELEASE #0: Sun Nov 30 07:00:37 UTC 2008
AlphaServer ES40, 500MHz
8192 byte page size, 1 processor.
CPU: EV68CB (21264C)EV68AL (21264B) major=12 minor=6 extensions=0x1305
OSF PAL rev: 0x400690002015c
real memory  = 131416064 (125 MB)

OpenVMS 8.4

    OpenVMS (TM) Alpha Operating System, Version V8.4
     Copyright 1976-2010 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.

Please enter date and time (DD-MMM-YYYY  HH:MM)

What it can't do: RedHat Linux 6.2, Digital UNIX 4.0 (OSF/1), MS Windows (no AlphaBIOS/ARC). Didn't test good ol' icky Tru64 yet but it's a good candidate, considering how OSF/1 failed to boot only (?) due to the lack of platform support. This happens on a lot of real hardware as well.

Compiling takes about 6GB of RAM. The speed is... not very good: NetBSD 8's openssl speed sha256 @16 shows a measly 13000/sec on a 2.8GHz Core 2 and 2000/sec on Atom C2558 2.4GHz. In comparison a real 533MHz 21164 does 300000/sec.

Slightly related: there's a certain LMFGEN.EXE, a handy tool to generate DEC PAK licenses for your UNIX/VMS hobbyist needs.

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