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One of my customers has a HP Itanium (Integrity Rx6600 I think) box. They want to use it for a running our apps (Linux based). I was initially hoping to put a ESXi on it and load Ubu 10.10 but I was surprised IA64 is declining :

  • Windows discontinued support since 2008
  • Ubuntu 10.04 is last of support
  • CentOS also unsure
  • VMWare ESXi not supported

What are people doing ? Are people running Ubuntu 10.04 on Itanium succesfully ? Also FreeBSD 8.2 says supports it - are they going to keep with the platform ?

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The sinking of the Itanic (2004) – RedGrittyBrick Mar 10 '11 at 10:51
Just out of interest why were you surprised that an Itanium wouldn't run ESXi? there's more chance of my refrigerator running it than an Itanium. – Chopper3 Jun 27 '11 at 10:40
Indeed, Esx(i) need x86_64 processor to work. It's in the website of VmWare. Alors I'm pretty surprised that you says centos don't support it, CentOS 4 still support it. Also if you want to create a server ubuntu 10.04 is (for me at last) the best server edition of ubuntu. – Anarko_Bizounours Jun 27 '11 at 10:58
What to do with an itanium box? Sell it to a collector on ebay and put the proceeds towards something you know you can use. Life's too short and complicated as it is without going out looking for ways to make it more difficult. – RobM Jun 27 '11 at 18:14
FreeBSD already lists IA64 as a Tier 2 platform. They mainly keep it because the current code and toolchain make it quite easy to port to. Most of it hasn't been updated since 2006, and even the latest updates are from Jan 2011 (~6mo old as of writing). – Chris S Jun 27 '11 at 18:32

Debian 6.0 aka wheezy still supports ia64. If you're comfortable with Ubuntu, you'll find Debian quite familiar. With some apt repository tweaking, you'll be able to get similar package versions as well.

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VMware never supported Itanium. They only support x86 and x64.

Windows Server 2008 R2 is supported on Itanium. That's the current version of Windows and it will be supported for a good few years (10 at least, I think).

Several Linux distributions support Itanium. I don't think Ubuntu is a common distribution for servers and there would thus be little demand for an Itanium Ubuntu. Ubuntu's parent distribution, Debian GNU/Linux, runs on itanium.

CentOS appears to be a Red Hat derivative. Better look at major distributions for Itanium (server) hardware.

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CentOS is not a desktop linux distribution. It's a Server/desktop. CentOS is a RedHat without support that's all. So it'll work fine as server. (even better as server than desktop.). – Anarko_Bizounours Jun 27 '11 at 10:54

What does your application run on? The first choice for that box would be HP-UX 11iv3. It's a decent OS if possibly a bit outdated compared to Linux/Solaris and it's designed to run on that box. HP are often keen to get new vendors to support Itanium boxes and often offer to lend you hardware to test and certify your application on their platform. Look in to the HP DSPP program for discounts and free access to equipment.

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FreeBSD10 supports IA64, we have more than 300 applications running on FreeBSD, web servers, databases, text processing, video editing dvd authoriting, web servers, vpn servers.. you can run FreeBSD diskless on small intel booting from the itanium. and have all the applications running on the servers, You can also mount another FreeBSD server (amd64) and run windows using Virtualbox, and access windows application inside the itanium. You can use the Itanium for firewall, nat, vlan server, dns, cache/proxy, dns server, file server... All you need is only 2 computers: the OLD itanium, and an AMDfx9350 with 32GB to run several windows servers (2003,2008...) the other computers runs diskless... you can install it remote worldwide, all you need is to download the CD and boot.

(you can check at => it is in portuguese, but you can have an idea)...

some images => of a running system

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