Subject: To try or not to try (NetBSD)
To: None <>
From: Idar Tollefsen <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 07/27/2001 15:00:22

For over a month now I've been trying to get first OpenBSD and
then FreeBSD to work on my Alpha. Neither with satisfactory results.

Having seen and heard a lot of good things about NetBSD on Alpha,
I'm thinking of giving it a try. Before I do that however, I would
like get some verification that such an effort would actually get me
where I want to go, not just wasting more of my time.

I have a 21164A on a 164LX motherboard. It has a ESS sound card, a
Diamond FireGL 1000 Pro graphics card  (Permedia 2 from 3DLabs) and
an Adaptec ANA-62011 NIC.

My biggest concern is whether or not I willbe able to get X running.
This has so far been my biggest grief with the two other BSDs.

Having read the NetBSD FAQ for the Alpha, the phrase  "only ZLXp-E1
and Powerstorm 3D30 are supported by the X server, while X client
programs run just fine" doesn't sound promising. Should I take this
as a "No, you can't run X with your Diamond card" (I suppose I
should)? And what consequences does this have? That I have to run
the client programs from another machine that has a working X server
for my graphic card?

Another problem with the two others have been their support (or lack
thereof) for my network cards. I have tried three different kinds, of
which only one worked (an Intel EEPro 10/100). The ANA-62011 and two
3C905(B) all gave me "[sf/xl]: watchdog timeout" upon running
ifconfig and the network was dead from there on. No help was to be
found either, or at least, none that worked.

NetBSD apparently got support for the ANA-62011 quite recently.
Has anyone tried it on an Alpha?

- IT