[UFO Chicago] SuSE for Alpha and other ramblings... note for Paul too...

Paul Suda paul@manufaxure.com
Sat, 14 Jul 2001 16:09:13 -0500

This Helios is commercial software? Most likely they distribute binaries
and not source code. Compiled binary programs must be run on their native
platform because they contain CPU specific machine code. It must explicitly
support the Alpha if it is to run on Linux under the Alpha platform. The
only exception to this is if it's commercial software written using an
interpreted language (like Perl or PHP), or is compiled into a binary that
is architecture independent (like Java byte code).

This is one of the real bummers about dealing with commercial binary-only
software in linux. If you have the source for a program, it can be built on
any system which has a port of the linux kernel and the GNU development
environment. But if you only have a binary, you can run into problems
between linux distros or versions even on the native architecture. 

Thomas, I'll email you privately about setting up Suse on that machine, my
schedule for this next week is a little screwy, and we may or may not want
to do it as a group thing.


On 2001.07.13 11:34:34 -0500 Thomas wrote:
> I sent them (Helios) an e-mail requesting some information, but basically
> being the weekend in Germany I doubt I'll hear anything before
> Monday/Tuesday.  The install CD we have for them clearly states it can be
> installed under Linux... but it doesn't say anything about Alpha, and
> that
> may be a sticky point... Helios is NOT free so if it won't run on the
> Alpha
> hardware there's no way to get the source to compile it.  But I don't
> think
> that Helios actually has any direct hardware interaction, so I'm hoping
> in
> its eyes Linux is Linux.  And if it doesn't work, well it'll be fun
> trying
> anyway.  I should also see what SuSE has to say about Helios now that I'm
> thinking about it....