Re: first Linux port

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On Wed, Jul 12, 2006 at 05:25:55PM -0400, William H. Magill wrote:
> On 12 Jul, 2006, at 13:54, Michal Jaegermann wrote:
> >As far as I know the first Alpha port was done in May 1994 by
> >Jim Paradis from DEC labs in Massachusetts.  This was a 32-bit port
> >but pretty quickly this was replaced by a 64-bit version which
> >become "the one".

Jim and a couple of other folks may have started working on the 32-bit
port during 1993, using Linux v1.0 as the base. By late 1994, I had
joined the group, and we had a 32-bit kernel booting and running on
a JENSEN, followed by AVANTI (as400).

A 32-bit port was chosen primarily to avoid 64-bit problems, given
that the current code at that time had only been run on i386. The
system ran reasonably well with SCSI drivers, though the network stack
was pretty poor and we never did get that part going.

> >>I recall seeing a port at  Decus (1994?)
> It was done AT the DECUS Symposium, in Memphis as I recall, by Linus
> himself with the help of the Unix SIG.

LInus did indeed do the first 64-bit port (mostly) himself, as part of
his architecture-independence work on V1.3. David Mosburger, of later
IA64 Linux kernel support, also did a LOT of the early Alpha kernel work.

> >That was likely a BLADE release (64-bit) which happened later in 1994.

BLADE was primarily Jim Paradis' work, a sort-of SLACKWARE-for-Alpha
on a whole bunch of floppies... ;-}

First "commercial" support was Red Hat 2.1 (thanks to Eric Troan).

> Back in those days, DEC was all VMS except for a couple of
> "oddballs" -- "maddog" being one on the inside and the rest of the
> Unix SIG comprising the rest.  Jon invited Linus to DECUS to talk
> about his project and we all had lots of fun drinking our way down
> some river on a paddle wheel, and talking about how Unix would one
> day replace VMS.

Yes, I've heard the stories about the Hurricanes that were consumed... :-)

> Jon then managed to convince DEC marketing folks (those with the budget
> dollars) to provide Linus with one of the first Alpha machines so that
> he could do his porting work on that.

Yup, that was a JENSEN; later, Linus got a ALCOR (AS600) with EV5, and
DS20 or DS40 with EV6.


Jay A Estabrook                            HPTC - XC I & B
Hewlett-Packard Company - ZKO1-3/D-B.8     (603) 884-0301
110 Spit Brook Road, Nashua NH 03062       Jay.Estabrook@xxxxxx

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