Dec Alphastation 255

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Configuration

Installing Gentoo on an Alphastation is more or less straight forward - as long as you have your original hardware still running. You'll definitly want to add a decent graphics card, however.

By the way: Although not specified so, it's no problem to update system RAM to 768MB.

CFLAGS

Currently, the following CFLAGS seem to work:

CFLAGS="-mieee -Os -mcpu=ev45 -fomit-frame-pointer -pipe"
CXXFLAGS="-mieee -Os -mcpu=ev45 -fomit-frame-pointer -pipe"

Disk replacement

Sooner or later you'll eventually get into trouble with your disk drives. The internal SCSI adapter is known to blast off one of its capacitors that's protecting your SCSI bus. Either put in another adapter, or you could look over your mainboard, find the burned capacitor and completely remove the remaining corpse (using a rubber gum).

Another problem comes up replacing the SCSI disks, if one falls dead. You'll need just one SCSI drive to put aboot, aboot.conf, and the kernel on.

If you need some more free space, think about adding a SATA controller. I'm currently using a Promise Fasttrack TX2300 for this. SATA support is not yet included in the Gentoo Alpha kernel, so you have to compile it in.

Packages needing some special handling

Some packages may need some special configuration to function properly. Create a template for this:

mkdir /etc/portage/env
echo 'CFLAGS="-O0 -pipe"
CXXFLAGS="-O0 -pipe"' > /etc/portage/env/hardened-cflags

Then, for every packet that needs these special cflags, simple create a directory for the category of the packet. In this directory, create a symlink to this file, named like the package.

So, for the "app-arch/lzma", you would create a link "lzma" in the directory "/etc/portage/env/app-arch".

These packages need the special flags:

  • app-arch/lzma
  • sys-apps/groff