About This Manual

This publication documents the IRIX 6.5.21 operating system running on SGI server systems.

This guide is a reference document for people who manage the operation of SGI computer systems running the IRIX operating system. It contains information needed in the administration of various system resource management features.

This manual contains the following chapters:

Related Publications

This guide is part of the IRIX Admin manual set, which is intended for administrators: those who are responsible for servers, multiple systems, and file structures outside the user's home directory and immediate working directories. If you maintain systems for others or if you require more information about IRIX than is in the end-user manuals, these guides are for you. The IRIX Admin guides are available through the IRIS InSight online viewing system. The set consists of these volumes:

  • IRIX Admin: Software Installation and Licensing - Explains how to install and license software that runs under IRIX, the SGI implementation of the UNIX operating system. Contains instructions for performing miniroot and live installations using inst(1M), 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 Extent File System (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, the Miser Batch Processing System, the Cpuset System, Comprehensive System Accounting (CSA), IRIX memory usage, and Array Services.

  • IRIX Admin: Peripheral Devices - 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 InSight) - Provides concise man page information on the use of commands that may be needed while the system is down. Generally, each man page covers one command, although some man pages cover closely related commands. Man pages are available online through the man(1) command.

Obtaining Publications

You can obtain SGI documentation in the following ways:

  • See the SGI Technical Publications Library at http://docs.sgi.com. Various formats are available. This library contains the most recent and most comprehensive set of online books, release notes, man pages, and other information.

  • If it is installed on your SGI system, you can use InfoSearch, an online tool that provides a more limited set of online books, release notes, and man pages. With an IRIX system, select Help from the Toolchest, and then select InfoSearch. Or you can type infosearch on a command line.

  • You can also view release notes by typing either grelnotes or relnotes on a command line.

  • You can also view man pages by typing man title on a command line.


The following conventions are used throughout this document:




This fixed-space font denotes literal items such as commands, files, routines, path names, 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.


Ellipses indicate that a preceding element can be repeated.

Reader Comments

If you have comments about the technical accuracy, content, or organization of this publication, contact SGI. Be sure to include the title and document number of the publication with your comments. (Online, the document number is located in the front matter of the publication. In printed publications, the document number is located at the bottom of each page.)

You can contact SGI in any of the following ways:

  • Send e-mail to the following address:

    [email protected]

  • Use the Feedback option on the Technical Publications Library Web page:


  • Contact your customer service representative and ask that an incident be filed in the SGI incident tracking system.

  • Send mail to the following address:

    Technical Publications
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, M/S 535
    Mountain View, California 94043-1351

  • Send a fax to the attention of “Technical Publications” at +1 650 932 0801.

SGI values your comments and will respond to them promptly.