Tuesday, December 11, 2007

PersonalAlpha - Alpha CPU Emulator lets you run OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX on your PC

I already told you about SIMH, the VAX emulator, now it's time to look at a working Alpha emulator (there is another one I know of that works, but it's rather expensive and intended for development purposes). This means you can run OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX right at home, on your PC :-).

PersonalAlpha is a Alpha emulator that can run OpenVMS or Tru64 right on your i386 desktop machine.

You can use 128 MB of emulated Alpha memory, 1 Ethernet adapter, VT-terminal emulation and 4 disks.

Minimum requirements: A Windows machine, 1 GHz CPU, 1 GB of memory(512 MB will run with performance penalty), 1 Ethernet adapter and 4 GB of free disk space.

Now all you need to do is join the DECUS society (or Encompassus) and get yourself that free OpenVMS hobbyist kit and you're good to go :-).

Also, check out Virtutech Simics.

Various links and resources to other Alpha emulators / simulators /whatever:


cmihai said...

Aram has left a new comment on your post "PersonalAlpha - Alpha CPU Emulator lets you run Op...":

Hmm... I wonder if Windows NT 4.0 works in this. Let me search the CD, I think it was one CD for all architectures.

-> Probably not, Windows NT 4.0 did have an Alpha port (even pre RTM version of Windows 2000 for that matter) but it is dependent on the Alpha Console Firmware.

Basically, there are 2 versions of Alpha firmware:
- The SRM console, for OpenVMS and Tru64 UNIX (and Linux, etc)
- the ARC, AlphaBIOS or ARCSBIOS console for Windows NT. (it even comes with a partitioning utility, etc).

So I somewhat doubt that you could boot NT using this :-). Feel free to prove me wrong though...

Anonymous said...

Yes, it can't boot because of firmware and I don't even think PersonalAlpha emulates a video card with graphic mode capabilities (that is why is using putty for console).

Anyway -- I can't find the damn NT 4.0 CD -- it was on my desk a week ago.

Do you know any other ALPHA simulator (or MIPS or any other platform NT 4.0 ran, except for x86) that implements enough of that platform to make it possible to run NT 4.0 on it?

cmihai said...

Yes, actually. Virtutech Simics can simulate Alpha, AMD64, ARM, EM64T, IA-64, MIPS (32- and 64-bit), MSP430, PowerPC (32- and 64-bit), POWER, SPARC-V8 and V9, and x86 CPUs. And it does so very well.

It pretty much runs anything from MS-DOS, Windows, VxWorks, OSE, Solaris, FreeBSD, Linux, QNX, and RTEMS.

And the emulation is _very_ good ( NetBSD was ported to AMD64 using Simics before the public release of the chip).

It's mostly used in the embedded market, and it's rather expensive. It's been used by IBM (To develop Power 6) and Sun and AMD and Intel and just about everyone. This is kick ass high end stuff, but it's intended for development, not for mucking around :-). It's got some crazy features like "going back" instructions (you basically run the machine "backwards" in time) and so on.

cmihai said...

Oh, and qemu can also emulate MIPS and SPARCS and such.. and again, with say SPARC you'd need OBP and such (firmware). I did manage to use a 3rd party port to boot Solaris / SPARC on qemu, but it's not quite there yet.