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Topic Title: migrating from True64 Unix to Linux & AMD64
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Created On: 10/06/2003 03:31 PM
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 10/06/2003 03:31 PM
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awd4dad
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I'm searching for examples of projects that are migrating True64 unix on DS10 alpha compaq architecture to AMD64 & linux architecture. And of course, heavy software fitting in (distributed computing and HMI on Ilog views-X11) and therefore a nice porting to do . I would like to avoid a 32 bit porting given the fact that all the software is already written in 64 bit.
Thanks for tips (porting costs, encountered difficulties, potential gains).
 10/30/2003 04:01 AM
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deuxway
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awd4dad, I don't want to drag you too far off topic, but have you considerd FreeBSD as well as Linux?

It may be worth trying to see which provides a closer fit to True64. I'm honestly not pushing one over the other, but I have had times where getting a better intial fit would have helped.

I believe that FreeBSD are getting along well with their AMD64 port .

You might want to consider ILog JViews too for visualisation. If you're not already committed to Ilog, I'll add my colleges like SL groups components (http://sl.com/), I have no opinion, as I haven't used them.

Just a thought
DeuxWay
 10/30/2003 05:21 AM
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jes
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While I was researching which OS to put onto my Opteron box, I tried FreeBSD and *really* liked it....that is until I found I couldn't get it to recognise the second CPU, I hunted around and spotted some strange things in the header files (i.e. lots of things missing). Then I found this on the FreeBSD website (for release 5.1)-

Status:
Currently FreeBSD/amd64 runs in 64-bit multiuser mode. Multiprocessor hardware is supported, but currently only running in uniprocessor mode.


i.e. it'll work on multiprocessor machines, but only recognise one CPU. This might satisfy your requirements but it didn't for me. I'll take another look at FreeBSD once they sort that out (I'm not saying its a straightforward task for them!.

Just out of interest, I tried lots of different Linux/BSD distro's when trying to decide what to use. FreeBSD seemed to be about the most advanced of the BSD ports, with the obvious exception of the SMP stuff, it (FreeBSD) was also the *only* distro that recognised my onboard Promise PDC SATA controller, meaning that I didn't have to use a standard ATA drive to install on (but that's another story!.

I tried the RedHat distro (both by trying the Taroon/Gingin distro and a standard 32-bit distro then upgrading the rpms with ones from Rawhide). I found this a *complete* nightmare while I did get a working system in the end, I entered what can only be described as "rpm dependency nightmare". I had to write a few scripts which recursively found the dependencies for RPM's and applied them in order (yes I know rpm should be able to handle this...but it didn't!. Part way through, something broke and I ended up having to complete the "upgrade" by using a boot CD....not exactly a straightforward upgrade! I also wasn't happy at the end of it all that all the libraries etc were 100% correct, I didn't like the thought of 32-bit libraries lurking in places I didn't know about just waiting to make something fall over.

I tried Debian, it refuses to recognise my hardware...gave up after a few hours (it was a long day).

Then by chance I spotted Mandrake had released an AMD64 Beta (yes I know its a BETA, but with AMD64 we're all early adopters as far as OS's go at the moment!. I have to say I was very impressed. The install was clean, no problems whatsoever and everything works like a dream...just the way it should be. I'll definitely by buying the full release when it arrives.

John.

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 10/30/2003 09:34 PM
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Pro Kid
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QUOTE (jes @ Oct 30 2003, 04:21 AM) Status:
Currently FreeBSD/amd64 runs in 64-bit multiuser mode. Multiprocessor hardware is supported, but currently only running in uniprocessor mode.


Isn't that a little contradictory. What good is the support if it won't do it.

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 10/30/2003 11:28 PM
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Bitey
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Mandrake has released a beta3 for 9.2, (look around, it has not made it to the mirrors yet)

but they have other final versions

http://www.mandrakesoft.com/co...ess/.../2418&wslang=en' ">http://www.mandrakesoft.com/co...roducts/2418&wslang=en

http://www.mandrakesoft.com/co...ess/...esoft/news/2414' ">http://www.mandrakesoft.com/co...mandrakesoft/news/2414

 10/31/2003 05:10 AM
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jes
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QUOTE (Pro Kid @ Oct 30 2003, 05:34 PM) QUOTE (jes @ Oct 30 2003, 04:21 AM) Status:
Currently FreeBSD/amd64 runs in 64-bit multiuser mode. Multiprocessor hardware is supported, but currently only running in uniprocessor mode.


Isn't that a little contradictory. What good is the support if it won't do it.
I suppose what they're saying is...."We'll manage to install on an SMP machine, but don't expect us to do anything fancy like using the second processor *just yet*"

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 10/31/2003 10:42 PM
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deuxway
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Sorry awd4dad, and to Jes thank you for the correction on FreeBSD. I had missed the uniprocessor comment.

Also thanks for the short-circuit evaluation of red-hat and Debian, and the pointer to Mandrake.
There's a couple of days extra life ahead of me :-)

I did notice gentoo (http://www.gentoo.org/) have a AMD64 Linux distro. I have no experience of this whatesoever, but maybe someone can comment?

Also anyone noticed any effort on porting Apples OS X core, Darwin, to AMD64?
It should be SMP aware and 64 bit clean as it runs Apple's G5's.

I'm not sure if this helps, awd4dad, but I did notice these Tru64 Linux tools at HP: http://h30097.www3.hp.com/affinity/portability.html' ">http://h30097.www3.hp.com/affinity/portability.html

So you could try the Linux tools. like gcc etc., piece meal on your exisitng Tru64 system before commiting to a complete move to a new OS and hardware etc.

What distributed computing technology are you looking for? Cluster-communication libraries, CORBA, ...?

DeuxWay
 11/01/2003 12:11 AM
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deuxway
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I had another look at gentoo Linux.
They also have some alpha support; your DS10 is listed.
They do warn that can be "non-trivial" getting it to all to work.
http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/gentoo-alpha-install.xml' ">http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/gentoo-alpha-install.xml

You might want to investigate gentoo on Alpha though, then hop over to AMD64.
With gentoo, you can have AMD64 on the "bleeding edge" beta Linux 2.6 kernel, which claims significatly better SMP support than the current 2.4 Linux kernel.

DeuxWay
 11/01/2003 01:03 AM
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awd4dad
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OK thx for the tips, DeuxWay. The company I work for is very conservative and they primalry intended to swicth from expensive alpha architecture to cheaper red Hat 32 bit on Intel server t. But I've prepared them a nice file about AMD64 capabilities and they've been impressed, wondering if Intel had a response and they realize the Itanic failure. The most important thing is that they now know that AMD64 is now a viable solution, endorsed by IBM, all the linux distros. It's enough .
 11/04/2003 07:33 PM
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deuxway
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awd4dad, I assume you've visited Spec benchmarks' ">http://www.specbench.org/ they will almost ceratinly have benchmarks of your Alpha hardware which may be comparable to AMD64.

When you get your Red Hat stuff, please report for the rest of us to dream about
DeuxWay

PS - Have you seen any news of 64bit Java (1.5) on AMD64?
 11/07/2003 12:23 AM
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awd4dad
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About the spec.org benchmarks, they tend to prove the great capabilities of AMD64 technology in the server market .
I think the next big thing with Java will be the upcoming opteron Sun system with Solaris and the port of java desktop on AMD64 technology. We are not concerned for the moment with Java in our mission critical operations. We use Ilov Views C++ for HMI but we need fast computation on double precision (64bit) data for what we call cooperative tools (complex algorithms to determine trajectories and potential conflicts between aircrafts). Current systems (Compaq PWS, DS10) are rock solid but also rock expensive to maintain (memory extension, OS).
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