Subject: Re: Config of PCI-SCSI hostadapters in an Alpha 255/300
To: Uwe Lienig <>
From: Manuel Bouyer <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 01/31/2006 21:53:58
On Mon, Jan 30, 2006 at 04:10:56PM +0100, Uwe Lienig wrote:
> Dear all NetBSD alpha users,
> To replace my old DEC 5000/125 mail server that gets more and more 
> behind its task I thought of putting together a AlphaStation 255/300 
> with NetBSD 2.1. Installation went fine, no problems so far. To be 
> prepared for future space requirements I thought of having a PCI SCSI 
> hostadapter in the system to allow for decent drives which I have on hand.
> Before I go on in configuring the system I'd like to ask some questions
> 1. Which one to use?
>    I have a spare Dawicontrol DC-2976UW, which uses a NCR 53C875E.
>    NetBSD-2.1 configures this card perfectly, but is it tested
>    thouroughly?

Yes. All my SCSI boxes uses NCR controllers (875, 895 and 1010),
some of them with 36 drives over 6 busses.

>    ahc0: aic7890/91: Ultra2 Wide Channel A, SCSI Id=7, 32/253 SCBs
>    scsibus1 at ahc0: 16 targets, 8 luns per target
> 2. What about the BIOS config these cards offer under PC-BIOSes?
>    Do I have to switch off the SCSI-BIOS. How should I configure
>    the SCSI hostadapter under the PC-BIOS. The Dawicontrol does not
>    offer a lot of config settings. The Adaptec has a lot of settings.
>    Will the Alpha SRM use or even touch these settings?

The SRM should work properly with the NCR controller, or it won't touch
the PC settings. It won't probably not handle the Adaptec, and won't touch
the setting either.

> 3. Should I switch to NetBSD-3.0?
>    NetBSD-3.0 is somewhat new. Usually, a new release needs some time to
>    settle. Is there anything I would benefit from using NetBSD-3.0. I'd
>    like to use the system in production with apache and cyrus-imap. I
>    think the Alpha will perform quiet well for a workgroup of 20 users.

I started switching my servers to 3.0 (from 1.6.x). I've got SMP issues
with 2.x kernels, 3.0 seems to have lots of improvements here.

Manuel Bouyer <>
     NetBSD: 26 ans d'experience feront toujours la difference