Subject: Re: SRM
To: Aleksandar Ilic <>
From: Jon Lindgren <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 11/17/1999 06:54:17
On Wed, 17 Nov 1999, Aleksandar Ilic wrote:

> Can somebody explain me what SRM is. I am completely new to the Alpha and
> netbsd world:)

You can think of the SRM as the BIOS of the alpha (sorry for the pee-cee
reference).  Similar to a SUN's PROM, it's a piece of code which gives the
user basic control over the machine.  It lives on a flash chip on the
alpha's motherboard.

The basic startup sequence is this:

1) The user hits the power switch.  Circuits wait for power levels to
2) A small bit of code (forget what it's called) starts executing, and
does some basic checks of the system (basic CPU checks, interrupt checks,
etc...), basically to confirm that the system is at least operable in a
basic sense.
3) The basic diagnostics finish, then load and execute the SRM.
4) The SRM provides higher level diagnostics, as well as an interface to
the user.

When the SRM finishes its diags, it provides the user with a prompt.  The
user can enter some basic commands (read/write memory, boot a file, test a
device, etc...).  It's the SRM which would load the operating system's
boot loader into memory and start it executing.

Hope this helps.

-Jon Lindgren
 "Xyzzy!  You're a duck!",