Arch Specific Notes -- Alpha

The Alpha port uses the alpha keyword. It focuses upon HP (formerly Compaq (formerly DEC)) hardware. This covers from ev4 (known as 21064) through ev7z (known as 21364a).

Alpha Kernel and Userland ABIs

All Alpha systems use a pure 64 bit kernel and a pure 64 bit userland.

All Alpha systems support both little and big endian — however, Linux only uses little endian.

Additional Alpha Keywording Requirements

It is generally expected that anyone who does keywording for Alpha should be on the alpha@ alias. However the Alpha team is happy if maintainers keyword their packages when they have access to Alpha hardware, although the team would like to know about it.

Alpha Instruction Set and Performance Notes

There are six basic Alpha instructions set standards:

When no -mcpu option is passed to gcc it defaults to the processor on which the compiler was built.

The -mieee flag should always be used unless you have a deep knowledge of the Alpha architecture, so the comments on Not Filtering Variables are really important on Alpha.

Notes on Alpha and PIC

General Position Independent Code policy also applies to Alpha. In fact, Alpha systems complain loudly if you try to link PIC and non-PIC code. Usually this results in errors during the compilation aborting emerge.

Contacting the Alpha Team

The Alpha team can be contacted:

Other Resources