About This Guide

This guide explains how to set up and maintain a network of SGI workstations and servers. It includes information on TCP/IP networking, including SLIP and PPP, UUCP networking, and configuring the sendmail mail transfer agent.

The standard network communications software that runs on SGI workstations is derived from the networking software in the 4.3BSD UNIX releases from the University of California at Berkeley and the Sun Microsystems RPC (remote procedure call) system. The IRIX operating system implements the Internet Protocol suite and UNIX domain sockets using the 4.3BSD UNIX socket mechanism. The system also supports access to the underlying network media by means of raw sockets.

What This Guide Contains

IRIX Admin: Networking and Mail contains the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1, “About Networking Products”, discusses SGI standard hardware and software networking products and describes the standard software configuration (files, daemon, processes).

  • Chapter 2, “Planning a Network”, provides insight into planning a network. It includes internet addressing, the hosts database file, when to use certain applications, how to subnet a network, security issues, and heterogeneous network considerations.

  • Chapter 3, “Setting Up a Network”, describes, through example, the process of configuring a network (homogeneous and heterogeneous), how to set up a router, and basic troubleshooting advice.

  • Chapter 4, “Introducing Network Management”, describes the various tools available for managing a network, including backup strategies, performance issues, and fault isolation.

  • Chapter 5, “SLIP and PPP”, describes the features and functions of SLIP and details how to connect two stations using SLIP.

  • Chapter 6, “BIND Name Server”, provides an overview of the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) server, also known as named. It also provides an example setup procedure and general information on managing and troubleshooting BIND.

  • Chapter 7, “Unified Name Service ”, provides an overview of the Unified Name Server, nsd. It considers the interconnections with other name services and contains general information on troubleshooting UNS.

  • Chapter 8, “UUCP”, compares TCP/IP and UUCP and describes the features and functions of the UUCP networking utilities. It also provides a setup example and information about common UUCP error messages.

  • Chapter 9, “IRIX sendmail”, provides an overview of the mail system, the sendmail program, and the alias database. It contains a planning checklist and a setup example for various sendmail configurations.

  • Chapter 10, “SGI Infinite Network Bandwidth”, describes network striping that provides point-to-point bandwidth agregation over multiple interfaces. Network striping provides higher throughput transparently to network-based applications such as file transfer protocol (FTP), Remote Procedure Call (RPC), network file system (NFS) and user socket-based applications. It is described in detail in a new Chapter 10, “SGI Infinite Network Bandwidth”.

  • Appendix A, “BIND Standard Resource Record Format”, provides detailed information about all standard resource record formats used in BIND configuration files.

  • Appendix B, “IRIX sendmail Reference”, provides a concise reference to sendmail as it is implemented from the sendmail standard.

Conventions Used in This Guide

These type conventions and symbols are used in this guide:


This fixed-space font denotes literal items such as commands, files, routines, pathnames, signals, messages, and programming language structures.


Italic typeface denotes variable entries and words or concepts being defined.

user input 

This bold, fixed-space font denotes literal items that the user enters in interactive sessions. Output is shown in nonbold, fixed-space font.


Brackets enclose optional portions of a command or directive line.


Man page section identifiers appear in parentheses after man page names.


(Double quotation marks) References in text to document section titles


IRIX shell prompt for the superuser (root)


IRIX shell prompt for users other than superuser

Additional Resources

The IRIX Admin guides are available through the InfoSearch online viewing system. They are also available on the World Wide Web at http://docs.sgi.com. The set comprises these volumes:

  • IRIX Admin: Software Installation and Licensing —Explains how to install and license software that runs under IRIX, the Silicon Graphics implementation of the UNIX operating system. Contains instructions for performing miniroot and live installations using Inst, the command line interface to the IRIX installation utility. Identifies the licensing products that control access to restricted applications running under IRIX and refers readers to licensing product documentation.

  • IRIX Admin: System Configuration and Operation —Lists good general system administration practices and describes system administration tasks, including configuring the operating system; managing user accounts, user processes, and disk resources; interacting with the system while in the PROM monitor; and tuning system performance.

  • IRIX Admin: Disks and Filesystems —Explains disk, filesystem, and logical volume concepts. Provides system administration procedures for SCSI disks, XFS and EFS filesystems, XLV logical volumes, and guaranteed-rate I/O.

  • IRIX Admin: Networking and Mail —Describes how to plan, set up, use, and maintain the networking and mail systems, including discussions of sendmail, UUCP, SLIP, and PPP.

  • IRIX Admin: Backup, Security, and Accounting —Describes how to back up and restore files, how to protect your system's and network's security, and how to track system usage on a per-user basis.

  • IRIX Admin: Resource Administration—Provides an introduction to system resource administration and describes how to use and administer various IRIX resource management features, such as IRIX process limits, IRIX job limits, Array Services, Comprehensive System Accounting (CSA), Cpuset System, and Miser.

  • —Describes how to set up and maintain the software for peripheral devices such as terminals, modems, printers, and CD-ROM and tape drives.

  • IRIX Admin: Selected Reference Pages (not available in InfoSearch)—Provides concise reference page (manual page) information on the use of commands that may be needed while the system is down. Generally, each reference page covers one command, although some reference pages cover several closely related commands. Reference pages are available online through the man command.

  • Performance Co-Pilot for IRIX Advanced User's and Administrator's Guide —Describes the Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) suite of advanced performance management applications for SGI workstations and servers. PCP provides a systems-level set of tools that cooperate to deliver distributed, integrated performance monitoring and performance management services spanning the hardware platform, operating system, multiple layered services, and end-user applications.

Internet Request For Comment documents are available from the Internet Network Information Center (InterNIC) at the following address:

Network Solutions
Attn: InterNIC Registration Services
505 Huntmar Park Drive
Herndon, VA 22070
Phone: 1-800-444-4345 or 1-703-742-4777

Internet Request For Comment documents are also available by anonymous ftp from various sites, such as ftp.ds.internic.net.

RFC 2461, Neighbor Discovery for IP Version 6 (IPv6)

RFC 2373, IPv6 Addressing Architecture

Abitz, P, Liu, C., DNS and BIND (Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.).

Braden, R. “Requirements for Internet Hosts.” Internet Request For Comment 1112 (1989).

Comer, D. E., Internetworking with TCP/IP Volume 1. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1995).

Costales, B. with Allman, E, sendmail. (Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1997).

Deering, S. “Host Extensions for IP Multicasting.” Internet Request For Comment 1112 (1989).

Everhart, C., Mamakos, L., Ullmann, R., Mockapetris, P. “New DNS RR Definitions.” Internet Request For Comment 1183 (1990).

Held, G., LAN Management with SNMP and RMON. (J. Wiley and Sons, 1996).

Huitema, C., Routing in the Internet. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1995).

Hunt, C., TCP/IP Network Administration. (Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1992).

Leinwand, A., Conroy, K.F., Network Management - A Practical Perspective. (Addison Wesley, 1996).

Lottor, M. “Domain Administrator's Guide.” Internet Request For Comment 1033 (1987).

Lottor, M. “TCP Port Service Multiplexer (TCPMUX).” Internet Request For Comment 1078 (1988).

Loukides, M., System Performance Tuning. (Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1990).

Mockapetris, P. “DNS Encoding of Network Names and Other Types.” Internet Request For Comment 1101 (1989).

Mockapetris, P. “Domain Names – Concept and Facilities.” Internet Request For Comment 1034 (1987).

Mockapetris, P. “Domain Names – Implementation and Specification.” Internet Request For Comment 1035 (1987).

Mogul, J., Postel, J. “Internet Standard Subnetting Procedure.” Internet Request for Comment 950 (1985).

Partridge, C. “Mail Routing and The Domain System.” Internet Request For Comment 974 (1986).

Stahl, M. “Domain Administrator's Guide.” Internet Request For Comment 1032 (1987).

Stern, H., Managing NFS and NIS. ((Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1991).

Stevens, W. R., TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1. (Addison Wesley, 1996).

Obtaining Publications

To obtain SGI documentation, go to the SGI Technical Publications Library at http://docs.sgi.com .

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