About This Guide

Getting Started With XFS Filesystems describes the XFS filesystem and XLV Volume Manager. Developed at Silicon Graphics®, these IRIX features provide high-performance alternatives to the Extent File System (EFS) and logical volume managers previously available with IRIX. This guide was prepared in conjunction with the initial release of XFS, called IRIX 5.3 with XFS.

The features described in this guide are included in IRIX system software releases beginning with the IRIX 5.3 with XFS release. However, to use several features, you must obtain NetLS licenses by purchasing separate software options. The features that require NetLS licenses are:

This guide covers only system administration of XFS filesystems and XLV logical volumes (including volumes used for GRIO). See the section “For More Information” later in this chapter for information about the programmatic interface to XFS, which is provided with the IRIS® Development Option (IDO) software option.


This guide is written for system administrators and other knowledgeable IRIX users who want to use XFS filesystems and/or XLV logical volumes. Because many of the procedures in this guide can result in loss of files on the system if the procedures are not performed correctly, this guide and its procedures should be used only by people who are

  • familiar with UNIX® filesystem administration procedures

  • experienced in disk repartitioning using fx(1M)

  • comfortable performing administration tasks from the shell in the miniroot environment provided by inst(1M)

  • familiar with filesystem backup concepts and procedures, particularly using dump(1M)

How to Use This Guide

This guide provides five chapters of basic information about the design and system administration of the XFS filesystem and XLV volume manager:

Two appendixes provide reference information for XFS and XLV:

  • Appendix A, “Error Messages,” lists error messages that can occur during the creation and administration of XFS filesystems and XLV logical volumes, their possible causes, and advice on how to proceed.

  • Appendix B, “Reference Pages,” contains the key reference pages for XFS and XLV administration and lists other reference pages that contain related XFS, XLV, and disk management information.

Hardware Requirements

At least 32 MB of memory is recommended for systems with XFS filesystems.

XFS filesystems and XLV logical volumes are not supported on systems with IP4 or IP6 CPUs.

Using XLV logical volumes is not recommended on systems with a single disk.

Some uses of guaranteed-rate I/O, described in Chapter 5, “Guaranteed-Rate I/O,” have special disk configuration requirements. These requirements are explained in the section “Hardware Configuration Requirements for GRIO” in Chapter 5.


This guide uses these font conventions:


Italics are used for command names, reference page names, file names, variables, and the names of inst(1M) subsystems.

fixed-width type 

Fixed-width type is used for examples of command output that is displayed in windows on your monitor.

bold fixed-width type 

Bold fixed-width type is used for commands and text that you are to type literally.


When you see <Enter>, press the Enter key on the keyboard; do not type in the letters.

Product Support

Silicon Graphics offers a comprehensive product support and maintenance program for its products. For information about using support services for this product, refer to the Release Notes that accompany it.

For More Information

For more information about disk management on IRIX, see these sources:

  • The IRIX Advanced Site and Server Administration Guide, provides detailed information on system administration of Silicon Graphics systems. Although it has not yet been updated to include information on XFS and XLV, it provides background information and procedures on disk management, logical volumes, filesystem administration, and system backups that remain applicable for systems using XFS and XLV.

    The IRIX Advanced Site and Server Administration Guide is available for online viewing with the IRIS InSight viewer, insight(1). It is also available in printed form.

  • Online reference pages (man pages) on various disk information and management utilities are included in the standard system software and can be viewed online using the man(1) and xman(1) commands or the “Man Pages” item on the Help menu of the System Toolchest. Appendix B provides a complete list of these reference pages.

  • The guide Selected IRIX Site Administration Reference Pages provides printed reference pages for many of the utilities used in the procedures in this guide.

For more information on developing applications that access XFS filesystems, see these sources:

  • Online reference pages for system calls and library routines relevant to XFS and GRIO are provided in the IRIS Developer's Option (IDO) software product. Appendix B provides a complete list of these reference pages.

  • The REACT/Pro™ Programmer's Guide provides information about developing applications that use GRIO.

For instructions for loading the miniroot, see the Software Installation Administrator's Guide.

For information on acquiring and installing NetLS licenses that enable the High Performance Guaranteed-Rate I/O software options, see the Network License System Administration Guide.

For addition information on the software releases that include the new features documented in this guide, see the Release Notes for these products:

  • IRIX

  • eoe

  • xfs

  • plexing

  • grio

  • nfs

  • dev