Digital Unix - Boot Prompt Basics

This page is not meant to be a comprehensive study of the options available at the boot prompt. This page just contains the commands that are most often used. For a more complete reference, please see the hard copy manual that comes with the systems. For instance the "AlphaServer 4100 System Drawer user's Guide", DEC Order number EK-4100A-UG, E01.

General Information

There are several features to make use of the boot prompt easier.

Displaying Device Information

The "show config" and "show devices" commands can be used to display the hardware configuration off the system. The "show device" displays information about each card, scsi bus, and scsi device in the system. The "show config" command shows information about the devices on the system and IO buses such as CPUs, memory, and PCI and EISA cards.

This command can be useful in verifying that new hardware installed is visible to the system, or for determining hardware configuration for rebuilding new kernels after hardware has been added or moved. It can also be used to determine hardware names for boot devices.

Setting Default Boot Options

Booting from Alternate Devices

First you need to find the device name or alias for the device you wish to use. This can be obtained by using the "show device" command. NOTE: CD-ROM devices typically use SCSI ids of 5, and have a device type starting with "RR".

Front Panel Controls

The controls available will differ depending on the type of system. The panel configuration for 4100 and 1000 AlphaServers is similar. The front panel pictured is from an AlphaServer 4100.