About This Guide

IRIX Admin: Software Installation and Licensing explains how to install and license software running under IRIX, Silicon Graphics implementation of the UNIX operating system. Part I and Appendix A cover installation; Part II covers licensing.

Using This Guide

IRIX Admin: Software Installation and Licensing explains how to install Silicon Graphics software products using Inst, the command line interface to the IRIX installation utility, inst (see the inst(1M) reference page). It introduces readers to Silicon Graphics software release conventions and explains how to plan, execute, and maintain a software installation on Silicon Graphics workstations and servers.

Two installation methods are described in this guide:

  • live installations that in which software is transferred while the target system remains in operation

  • specialized installations, called miniroot installations, that rely on system firmware for the software transfer (This method requires a system shutdown.)

This guide contains only information that is specific to setting up FLEXlm™ licensing software on Silicon Graphics workstations and servers. Please refer to these documents, which are available online from IRIS InSight, for complete information on administering a licensing scheme:

  • FLEXlm End User Manual

  • Network License System Administration Guide

Inst or Software Manager?

In addition to Inst, the command line interface, the inst utility includes Software Manager, a graphical user interface to conventional installations. Software Manager is documented separately in the Personal System Administration Guide.

Because of its graphical features, Software Manager cannot be used for miniroot installations. To perform miniroot installations, use Inst and the instructions provided in Chapter 3 of this guide. Information in Chapter 1 explains how to determine whether a miniroot installation is necessary.

The operation of inst and the Inst and Software Manager interfaces can be customized with a set of preferences. Use Chapter 8 as a comprehensive reference for specifying preferences and for managing the configuration files that store preference settings for both interfaces.

Installing Diskless Systems

IRIX Admin: Software Installation and Licensing does not explain how to install software for diskless operation. Please refer to the Diskless Workstation Administration Guide for instructions on installing diskless systems.

What This Guide Contains

The IRIX Admin: Software Installation and Licensing is organized into two parts and two appendixes:

Part I

Part I of this guide comprises nine chapters and covers these installation topics:

Chapter 1, “Introduction” 

Describes how software distributions are organized and the effects of this organization on the installation process. Introduces the fundamental concepts and vocabulary of software installation and presents an overview of the installation process using Inst.

Chapter 2, “Preparing for Installation” 

Identifies the factors that must be considered in planning for installations and describes the preliminary work that should be done on a server and target system to ensure smooth installations.

Chapter 3, “Starting an Installation” 

Contains procedures for starting a miniroot and a live installation. Also explains how miniroot installations work. Use this chapter in conjunction with the procedures in Chapter 4 to install software.

Chapter 4, “Using the Main Menu” 

Contains procedures for installing software using commands on the Inst Main menu. Use this chapter after starting an installation with the procedures in Chapter 3.

Chapter 5, “Using Supplementary Menus” 

Describes how to use the View Commands menu to change the way information is displayed in software listings. Also explains how to use the Administrative Commands menu to execute specialized installation commands and change conditions on the target host during an installation session. Procedures in this chapter require mastery of Chapter 4 material.

Chapter 6, “Inst for Experts” 

Describes optional methods for using Inst that supplement the basic method presented in Chapter 4. Use this chapter after you become comfortable with the procedures in Chapter 4 material.

Chapter 7, “Maintenance Tips” 

Contains procedures for updating installed software and keeping software current with site requirements.

Chapter 8, “Tailoring Installations” 

Explains how to customize Inst to suite both personal preferences and the requirements of other system users. Includes information for tailoring Software Manager.

Part II

Part II of this guide currently comprises one chapter:

Chapter 9, “Licensing” 

Refers readers to the FLEXlm End User Manual and the Network License System Administration Guide for instructions on setting up and maintaing licensing schemes. Contains supplemental information that is specific to managing FLEXlm on Silicon Graphics systems.

Appendix A, “Inst Quick Reference” 

Contains a condensed version of the installation instructions presented in Chapter 4. Also contains a glossary of all commands that are available from Inst menus, including hidden commands. Commands are ordered alphabetically by menu.

Appendix B, “Troubleshooting Installations” 

Explains the types of errors that can occur during an installation, how to control error reporting, and how to interpret and resolve errors during various phases of the installation process.

Audience for This Guide

The audience for the IRIX Admin: Software Installation and Licensing is experienced UNIX system and site administrators who are responsible for putting software into service on various models of Silicon Graphics workstations and servers. This guide may also be used by individual workstation owners as a comprehensive guide to software installation.

Procedures in this guide require these proficiencies:

  • for routine installations, experience with a command line interface and familiarity with UNIX documentation conventions

  • for site preparation procedures, competence with managing servers and communications between network nodes

  • for advanced troubleshooting and installing on systems with non-standard filesystem configurations, proficiency with UNIX filesystem management

Notation Conventions

This document uses standard UNIX conventions when referring to IRIX reference pages. A command name is followed by a section number in parentheses. For example, mkfs(1M) refers to the mkfs command entry in Section 1M of the IRIX reference pages.

In text descriptions, appear in italics. Screen text, command syntax descriptions, and user entries follow these conventions:

typewriter font 

Menus, prompts, error messages, and other screen displays.

typewriter bold 

Commands and literal arguments, keywords and their abbreviations, and any text that is entered exactly as shown.


Filenames, directories, commands and command arguments, variables, and any other portion of an entry for which the user must supply a value.


(Angle brackets) Optional components in an entry.

Related Documentation

Refer to the documents listed below for supplementary information.

  • IRIX Admin: Disks and Filesystems for information on IRIX filesystem management

  • IRIX Admin: Networking and Mail for information on network administration

  • the owner's guide to target systems for specific information on using the services of the programmable read-only memory (PROM)

  • Personal System Administration Guide for instructions on using the Software Manager

  • Diskless Workstation Administration Guide for information on installing software for diskless clients

  • FLEXlm End User Manual and Network License System Administration Guide for information on administering software licenses