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OSdata.com: IRIX 




    IRIX is a UNIX-based operating system made by SGI that runs on SGI MIPS.


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Intended purpose

server/mainframe: medium to large scale servers; super computer use

desktop/workstation: workstations (for those with UNIX familiarity)

handheld: not appropriate

real time: not appropriate

Kind of OS: proprietary UNIX

Release Date:

Current Version: 6.5.11e124

Cost: only available as part of the purchase of SGI hardware

Hardware Supported: SGI MIPS

Maximum Number of Processors: 128e63

    “The entry into the product line is a one- to eight-processor deskside system that can be rack-mounted and seamlessly expanded to 128 processors, providing up to 256GB of shared physical memory and 80GB per second of sustained I/O bandwidth. The key component of an Origin2000 system is a modular building block of processors, I/O, memory, system bandwidth, power supplies, and chassis. A single module supports one to eight MIPS® R10000™ processors and 64MB to 16GB of memory, and provides more than 5GB per second of sustained I/O bandwidth. Each module also internally supports up to five 3.5-inch Ultra SCSI devices and a CD-ROM. As your needs grow, you can expand the system by adding modules and linking them with the revolutionary Silicon Graphics® CrayLink™ Interconnect, a high-speed, scalable interconnect fabric that provides a single system image across all modules. Alternatively, you can use CrayLink Interconnect to link multiple modules into a tightly integrated array of departmental servers.”w34

    “The ‘product line’ supported by IRIX is extremely broad; the paragraph which you quote only describes the entry point into the Origin server product line.”e92

Number of bits: 64w43

    “Digital UNIX continues to dominate the 64-bit arena, leaving HP-UX and IRIX to contest the second position, followed closely by AIX. Solaris and NT trail significantly behind. IRIX has transitioned its hardware line completely to 64-bit technology, but lags in the area of 64-bit standards conformance, without support for the predecessor of the 64-bit UNIX98 standard, UNIX95.” —D.H. Brown Associatesw43

Kernel: Proprietary. “SGI has put a lot of work into IRIX; it isn’t just someone else’s kernel with some bundled software on top. It also predates MACH or any other open unix standard by a number of years.” — Walter Robersone46

POSIX: compatible

Peripherals: “lots of high-end graphics equipment” —Kristian Elof Sørensenw36

File Systems Supported:

Other Systems Emulated:

Graphics Engine: “Varies across the broad product line, including possibly none at all for many configurations in the server product lines.”e92

Text Command Shell: UNIX shells

User Interface (graphic): IRIX Interactive Desktop (formerly Indigo Magic Desktop)e92

Graphic Command Shell: IRIX Interactive Desktop (formerly Indigo Magic Desktop)e92

Disabled support:

Internet Services:

Powered By ...?

    Businesses and organizations with servers powered by IRIX: Hustler, Maserati, MayoHealth.org, Nissan, SGI (Silicon Graphics)w52

    IRIX 6.4 places third, bundling CacheFS and AutoFS, and network security features almost as strong as Digital’s. But IRIX lacks network time facilities (NTP) and TCP/IP capabilities such as IPv6 and IPSec.” —Digital Equipment Corporation, “AIX 4.3 Leaps To 64-Bits In Dead Heat With Digital UNIX 4.0”w51

See also chart of internet features.

Application Programs:



    “IRIX 6.4 earns a surprising lead [among commercial UNIXs] for reliability and scalability functions overall, having previously introduced many of the features that are only now being offered by high-profile commercial competitors. IRIX also scores very well for Internet/intranet features.” —D.H. Brown Associatesw42


references within this web site

(for your convenience, look for this symbol marking passages about IRIX)

further reading: web sites

Please send recommendations on additional URLs to Milo.

official web sites

    SGI: http://www.sgi.com

    http://techpubs.sgi.com (on-line documentation)


(Frequently Asked Questions)

    http://support.sgi.com (official SGI FAQs)e3

    http://www-viz.tamu.edu/~sgi-faq/ (user contributed FAQs)e3

user group web sites

    Silicon Graphics User Groups Guide to all the Silicon Graphics user groups.

    Huntsville SGI User Group (Alabama)

    Atlanta SGI User Group (Georgia)

    SGI Chesapeake Region User Group (Maryland)

    Silicon Graphics User Group Denmark

    Silicon Graphics User Group Deutschland (Germany)

    SGI Metroplex User Group (Dallas)

    Houston SGI User Group

    Silicon Graphics Gebruikers Groep (Netherlands)

    NASA Langley SGISIG (Virginia)

other related web sites

    r4400’s guide to sgi/irix Excellent set of links to all kinds of information on IRIX.

    http://www.futuretech.vuurwerk.nl/sgi.html “SGI Technical Advice and Information”e124

    http://www.sgihelp.org/ “S G I Help”e124

    http://www.sgiaddict.net/ “the sgi addict”e124

    SGI in the media: Myth vs. Reality

    http://home.earthlink.net/~bhami/rosetta.html “Rosetta Stone for Unix”; a guide for comparable commands and directories in several popular forms of UNIX (AIX, Darwin, DG-UX, FreeBSD, HP-UX, IRIX, Linux, NetBSD, OpenBSD, SCO OpenServer, Solaris, SunOS, Tru64, and ULTRIX).


    Stokely’s SGI System Administrator FAQ links

    CPU Speed Tests

    http://www.linuxrx.com/WS_Linux/OS_comparison.html “The Linux resource exchange — Operating systems comparison” LINUX, HPUX, Windows NT, BSDi, FreeBSD, IRIX, Digital UNIX, Solaris, Macintosh, OS/2, UnixWare, OpenServere83

    http://www.unix-vs-nt.org/ John Kirch’s article “Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 versus UNIX”

    http://www.dhbrown.com/pdfs/osscorecard.html “Operating System Scorecard — D.H. Brown Associates”

further reading: books

    For more UNIX book listings, see also the general book listings on the UNIX web page.

If you want your book reviewed, please send a copy to: Milo, POB 1361, Tustin, CA 92781, USA.

Price listings are for courtesy purposes only and may be changed by the referenced businesses at any time without notice.

further reading: books: introductory/general

A Practical Guide to the Unix System; by Mark G. Sobell; Addison-Wesley Pub Co; October 1994; ISBN 0805375651; paperback; 800 pages; $37.95

further reading: books: administration

Essential System Administration: Help for Unix System Administrators (Nutshell Handbook); 2nd edition; by Aeleen Frisch; O’Reilly & Associates; December 1996; ISBN 1565921275; paperback; 788 pages; $27.96

The Complete Guide to Netware 4.11/Intranetware; 2nd edition; by James E. Gaskin; Sybex; December 1996; ISBN 078211931X; paperback; $47.99; includes information on getting NetWare working with Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, and OS/2

further reading: books: internet

Building a Unix Internet Server; by George Eckel; New Riders Publishing; June 1995; ISBN 1562054945; paperback (with CD-ROM); 325 pages; $30.40

further reading: books: enterprise/business

further reading: books: content creation

further reading: books: programming

Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment (Addison-Wesley Professional Computing Series); by W. Richard Stevens; Addison-Wesley Pub Co; June 1992; ISBN 0201563177; hardcover; 744 pages; $63.95

further reading: books: hardware

further reading: books: miscellaneous

In Association with Amazon.com

If you want your book reviewed, please send a copy to: Milo, POB 1361, Tustin, CA 92781, USA.

OSdata.com is used in more than 300 colleges and universities around the world

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    A web site on dozens of operating systems simply can’t be maintained by one person. This is a cooperative effort. If you spot an error in fact, grammar, syntax, or spelling, or a broken link, or have additional information, commentary, or constructive criticism, please e-mail Milo. If you have any extra copies of docs, manuals, or other materials that can assist in accuracy and completeness, please send them to Milo, PO Box 1361, Tustin, CA, USA, 92781.

    If you have an extra or unwanted copy of any official manuals or documentation on this operating system, please send them to: Milo, POB 1361, Tustin, CA 92781, USA. I have the following items: NONE.

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    Last Updated: March 25, 2004

    Created: June 22, 1998

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