Alpha & LINUX SCSI questions. Urgent answers needed.

Alpha & LINUX SCSI questions. Urgent answers needed.

Post by SetUpNam » Sun, 23 Feb 1997 04:00:00



Can you please email me IMMEDIATELY if you can help me with these
questions: Thanks!

Do DEC Alpha workstations come with a SCSI port? ie. do they have a
SCSI host bus adapter? If so, is the port compatible with 32-bit wide
transfer mode?

Is it possible to connect a SCSI hard disk from a manufacturer other
than DEC and just plug it into the Alpha and use it without a new device
driver (written specifically for that SCSI device working with Digital
UNIX Alpha)? This may sound like a stupid question, because the answer
is probably "no", but the reason I am confused, is because surely
the device driver for the SCSI host bus adapter remains the same, and
I thought this takes care of all the low level details like the geometry
of the disk etc.

By 'SCSI host bus adapter', I mean the equivalent of a SCSI controller
card like you have with PCs. With Linux, when they started to support
SCSI disks, they merely brought out a new kernel with device drivers for
various popular PC SCSI controllers(like the Adaptec, and Future Domain
range). So in other words they were a creating device drivers for the
SCSI host bus adapter, not the specific SCSI hard disks, made by various
disk manufacturers.

Of course I understand that a new device would have to be mounted and
a file system created on it etc., but is the in-built device driver for
the SCSI host bus adapter sufficient?

 
 
 

Alpha & LINUX SCSI questions. Urgent answers needed.

Post by Stuart R. Full » Wed, 26 Feb 1997 04:00:00


: Can you please email me IMMEDIATELY if you can help me with these
: questions: Thanks!

I'll be happy to post to the newsgroup.  For personal assistance via mail,
I'm sure we can come up with some consulting arrangements ;^).

: Do DEC Alpha workstations come with a SCSI port? ie. do they have a
: SCSI host bus adapter? If so, is the port compatible with 32-bit wide
: transfer mode?

Most Alpha systems have one or more SCSI ports.  The one's that are built-in
tend to be single ended and narrow (8 bit).  Newer systems may have wide (16
bit) ports.  But "DEC Alpha workstations" is a bit ambiguous; not too unlike
asking if PCs come with SCSI ports.

: Is it possible to connect a SCSI hard disk from a manufacturer other
: than DEC and just plug it into the Alpha and use it without a new device
: driver (written specifically for that SCSI device working with Digital
: UNIX Alpha)? This may sound like a stupid question, because the answer
: is probably "no", but the reason I am confused, is because surely
: the device driver for the SCSI host bus adapter remains the same, and
: I thought this takes care of all the low level details like the geometry
: of the disk etc.

Yes, it's possible to connect most any modern SCSI hard disk to most any
machine.  After all, there is a "standard" (remember, the word "standard" does
not appear anywhere in the expansion of the acronym "SCSI").  

With Digital Unix, there is no device driver written specifically for any SCSI
disk, so I don't know if I understand what you're getting at.

: By 'SCSI host bus adapter', I mean the equivalent of a SCSI controller
: card like you have with PCs. With Linux, when they started to support
: SCSI disks, they merely brought out a new kernel with device drivers for
: various popular PC SCSI controllers(like the Adaptec, and Future Domain
: range). So in other words they were a creating device drivers for the
: SCSI host bus adapter, not the specific SCSI hard disks, made by various
: disk manufacturers.
:
: Of course I understand that a new device would have to be mounted and
: a file system created on it etc., but is the in-built device driver for
: the SCSI host bus adapter sufficient?

You're correct in that you need an appropriate device driver that knows how to
communicate with your SCSI host adapter.  I don't have Linux running on any
Alpha systems that I can access, but I'm sure that most Linux distributions
for the Alpha would have the appropriate SCSI host adapter driver installed in
the distribution kernel.