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Gentoo/Alpha Status Report
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Gentoo/Alpha Status Report

1. Status Reports


This is the status of the Gentoo/Alpha porting team. It will be posted
regularly, but not with a static frequency. All questions can be posted
to The Gentoo/Alpha porting team, has its own
project page (just like almost all other Gentoo projects). You can find
it at Also you can contact us via IRC at
#gentoo-alpha on The latest status report can always
be found on the Gentoo Linux Alpha Status Reports[1] subproject page.



This status report will briefly discuss the following tasks, objectives,
and/or projects related to the Gentoo/Alpha porting team:

* New Developers
* Keywording and Stabilization
* Firefox and Thunderbird are Broken
* Documentation Project
* Alpha Arch Testers Project
* New Alpha project page
* Donations
* 2.6 SMP Kernels

2. Content

New Developers

Since the last status report, the following developers have joined the
Gentoo/Alpha porting project:

* Christel Dahlskjaer (christel)
Christel joined the Gentoo/Alpha porting team recently to help
with testing kernels on SMP hardware.
* Thomas Cort (tcort)
Thomas joined the Gentoo/Alpha porting team in early April to help
with bug fixing, keywording, documentation, and security bugs.
* Chris Gianelloni (wolf31o2)
Chris joined the Gentoo/Alpha porting team recently to help with
testing kernels on SMP hardware.

Keywording and Stabilization

Stephen Bennett (spb) has continued his work with SELinux on alpha.
hardened-sources is now keyworded for alpha. Thanks to the work of
Stefaan De Roeck (stefaan) and others, modular X has been keyworded and
is working well on alpha. The Alpha arch team is also pleased to
announce that we have stabilized gnome-2.12.3 and kde-3.5.2 since the
last status report.

Firefox and Thunderbird are Broken

The mozilla project[2] has chosen to discontinue the development of the
1.0.x versions of firefox and thunderbird. Since that decision, multiple
security holes have been uncovered. As a result, we had to mask the
1.0.x versions of firefox and thunderbird to keep our users secure since
there are no plans to fix the security holes.

No one on the Gentoo/Alpha team has been successful at getting the 1.5.x
versions of firefox and thunderbird to run correctly, see Bug #113944
and Bug #131359. If you can help get these packages working on alpha, it
would be very much appreciated.


Documentation Project

The documentation subproject has written multiple new documents:

* The Gentoo/Alpha FAQ[5] - an FAQ intended to answer some of the
most frequently asked questions relating to Gentoo/Alpha and
Linux/Alpha in general.
* Alpha Porting Guide[6] - a guide intended to show C programmers
how to port programs written on other architectures to the Alpha

Thomas Cort (tcort) has begun work on an SRM console guide. It will be
published in the documentation subproject[7] section of the Gentoo/Alpha
project page.


Alpha Arch Testers Project

The Alpha Arch Testers Project was recently created by Fernando J.
Pereda (ferdy). The project is meant to help the Alpha Arch Team provide
a stable, secure and up to date Gentoo Linux port by allowing users to
participate in the testing and stabilization process. If you want to
learn more about this excellent opportunity to give back to Gentoo,
please check out the Alpha Arch Testers Project Page[8].


New Alpha Project Page

Our project page was significantly revamped by Jose Luis Rivero
(yoswink) and Fernando J. Pereda (ferdy) with the help of the rest of
the Gentoo/Alpha team. The developer list has been refreshed to reflect
the current team membership. We now have information about our
subprojects too. Most subprojects now have their own project pages.

* Gentoo/Alpha Project Page[9]



Hardware donations are always welcome. We will gladly accept spare alpha
hardware. Even an old AlphaServer 1000 is useful for testing
installation media and kernels. More powerful systems could be used to
assist in testing packages, to provide developers with access to alpha
hardware to port applications, or to assist in building releases. Alpha
computers aren't the only hardware that we could benifit from; a SCSI or
IDE DVD burner would allow us to test dvdrtools, PCI 802.11 NICs would
allow us to do more extensive testing and unmask the wifi USE flag
(currently only 1 dev has an alpha with wireless), PDAs would allow us
to test PDA applications and unmask the pda USE flag. If you would like
to make a donation, please drop by #gentoo-alpha on or
send an e-mail to

2.6 SMP Kernels

The Linux kernel developers have been working hard on the Alpha port.
SMP is functional again and has been tested by a number of developers
and users in #gentoo-alpha. and have both been tested
on SMP hardware with good results.