Booting the installation CD
When an Alpha system is powered on, the first thing that gets started is the firmware. It is loosely synonymous with the BIOS software on PC systems. There are two types of firmware on Alpha systems: SRM (Systems Reference Manual) and ARC (Advanced Risc Console).
SRM is based on the Alpha Console Subsystem specification, which provides an operating environment for OpenVMS, Tru64 UNIX, and Linux operating systems. ARC is based on the Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) specification, which provides an operating environment for Windows NT. A detailed guide on using SRM can be found at the Alpha Linux website.
If the Alpha system supports both SRM and ARCs (ARC, AlphaBIOS, ARCSBIOS) then follow these instructions for switching to SRM. If the system already uses SRM, then everything is ready. If the system can only use ARCs (Ruffian, nautilus, xl, etc.) then choose MILO later on when the instructions talk about bootloaders.
Now to boot an Alpha Installation CD, put the CD-ROM in the tray and reboot the system. SRM can be used to boot the Installation CD. If that isn't possible, MILO needs to be used.
To boot a CD-ROM using SRM, first list the available hardware drives:
dkb0.0.1.4.0 DKB0 TOSHIBA CDROM
Next boot the CD by providing the right CD-ROM drive device. For instance, with dkb0:
boot dkb0 -flags 0
-flags 2 the serial port /dev/ttyS0 will be used as the default console.
To boot a CD-ROM using MILO, use a command like the following after substituting sdb with the right CD-ROM drive device:
boot sdb:/boot/gentoo initrd=/boot/gentoo.igz root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc looptype=squashfs loop=/image.squashfs cdroot
To use the serial port /dev/ttyS0 as the default console, add
console=ttyS0 to the command line.
After booting, a root ("#") prompt will be shown on the current console. Users can switch to other consoles by pressing Alt + F2, Alt + F3 and Alt + F4. Get back to the first one by pressing Alt + F1.