Chapter 1. Introduction

Welcome to the CHALLENGE™ S server. The Challenge S Server Owner's Guide is your guide to installing, troubleshooting, and maintaining your Challenge S server. It also includes information on installing optional software products. Chapter 1 sources of information about the Challenge S server. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the system, includes descriptions of the various system components and connectors, and describes the general theory of operation (system buses, I/O channels, and memory configurations).

In addition, this manual tells you how to:

Appendices provide the following information:

Finding the Information You Need

The Challenge S server ships with the sources of information illustrated in Figure 1-1:

Figure 1-1. Sources of Information for the Challenge S Server

The following sections describe each of the sources of information illustrated above.

You should also read this section:

Challenge S Server Owner's Guide

Refer to the Challenge S Server Owner's Guide to set up the system and install hardware options, or whenever you suspect there is a hardware problem. In addition, you can refer to this guide when you install or remove optional software.

The system and all the procedures in this guide are designed so that you may maintain the system without the help of a trained technician. However, do not feel that you must work with the hardware yourself. You can always contact your maintenance provider to have an authorized service provider work with the hardware instead.

Online Reference (Manual) Pages

The Challenge S server comes with a set of IRIX reference (manual) pages, formatted in the standard UNIX “man page” style. These are found online on the internal system disk, and are displayed using the man command. For example, to display the reference page for the Add_Disk command, enter the following command at a shell prompt:

man Add_Disk

Important system configuration files as well as commands are documented on reference pages. References in the documentation to these reference pages include the name of the command and the section number in which the command is found. For example, “Add_Disk(1)” refers to the Add_Disk command and indicates that it is found in section 1 of the IRIX reference.

For additional information about displaying reference pages using the man command, see man(1).

In addition, the apropos command locates reference pages based on keywords. For example, to display a list of reference pages that describe disks, enter the following command at a shell prompt:

apropos disk

For information about setting up and using apropos, see apropos(1) and makewhatis(1M).

Release Notes

You can view the Release Notes for a variety of Silicon Graphics products and software subsystems using one of two utilities:


Text-based viewer for on-line Release Notes.


Graphical viewer for on-line Release Notes.

To see a list of available Release Notes, type the following at a shell prompt:


For more information, see the relnotes(1) and grelnotes(1) reference pages.

Optional Documentation

These two optional books are strongly recommended:

  • IRIS Software Installation Guide – This book describes a variety of software installation scenarios, including how to install software from CD-ROM, from tape, and from the hard disk of a remote system. It also includes instructions for setting up a software distribution on a server (so that other workstations on the network can install software without CD-ROM drives) and instructions for copying software distributions onto tape.

  • IRIX Advanced Site and Server Administration Guide – This book contains detailed information about running and managing servers and workstations. It includes information about configuring network software and mail, performing backups, adding and partitioning hard disks, and keeping the systems secure.

These books are included online. You can display them from a graphics workstation using the IRIS InSight[tm] viewer. If you cannot use InSight, contact your sales representative for information about obtaining printed copies of these books.


This Challenge S Server Owner's Guide uses these conventions:

  • References to documents are in italics.

  • References to other chapters and sections within this guide are in quotation marks.

  • References to commands that you type at the shell prompt are in italics.

  • Names of IRIX reference (manual) pages are in italics and are followed by the section number of the reference page. For example “who(1)” refers to the who command, which is found in section 1 of the IRIX reference.

  • Names of menu choices are in quotation marks.

  • Steps to perform tasks are in numbered sentences. When a numbered step needs more explanation, the explanation follows the step and is preceded by a square bullet. For example:


  1. Connect the Ethernet AUI cable to the Ethernet AUI port on the back of the Challenge S server.

    • Make sure the sliding bracket on the Ethernet port on the system is pushed all the way left.

    • Plug the cable into the port.

    • Slide the bracket right to hold it in place.

About the CD Software Media

You received one or more compact discs (CDs) with your Challenge S server. The CDs include optional software that you might find useful, and a copy of the operating system and software installation tool that are already on your system disk. If your server was shipped with a Silicon Graphics system disk, you don't need the CDs to set up and use your system. Store the them in a safe and convenient place so you can find them when you need to install new software, or in case of a system failure.

Where to Go From Here

To learn about the Challenge S system, turn to Chapter 2, “Chassis Tour and Theory of Operation.”

To set up the Challenge S server and start using the system, turn to Chapter 3, “Getting Started.”