Chapter 1. IRISconsole Features and Capabilities

This chapter introduces the operational features and capabilities of the IRISconsole software. The major sections in this chapter are as follows:

IRISconsole Hardware Configuration

The IRISconsole software allows an OCTANE, O2, or Indy workstation to control Origin200, Origin2000, CHALLENGE, Onyx2, and Onyx systems through one to six SCSI-based multiplexers and up to ten Ethernet-based multiplexers. The multiplexers can be any of the following Silicon Graphics multiplexers: ST-1600, ST-1616, ST-1620, ST-1032, EL-8, EL-16, or EL-32. Serial cables that are ordered as separate the IRISconsole option products connect the Remote System Control port and the System Console port on each server to the multiplexer.

IRISconsole includes a security feature that lets you specify administrators and users who will have access to the functions of IRISconsole. Also, certain features of IRISconsole can be accessed remotely using ictelnet, a version of telnet that works with IRISconsole.

IRISconsole is a local system; the IRISconsole software applies only to systems that are physically attached to the multiplexer connected to the OCTANE, O2, or Indy workstation on which the IRISconsole software is running. The IRISconsole software cannot communicate with another system running IRISconsole to share access to attached systems.

Cabling the multiplexer and Origin, CHALLENGE, Onyx2, and Onyx systems is explained in the IRISconsole Multiplexer Installation Guide (007-2839-nnn), and online man pages. Figure 1-1 shows an example IRISconsole site installation.

Figure 1-1. IRISconsole Site Example

Figure 1-1 IRISconsole Site Example

Hardware requirements for the IRISconsole software are as follows:

  • The 24-bit O2 or Indy workstation or OCTANE workstation must have a minimum of 32 MB of memory and must be running IRIX 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, or 6.5. The 20-inch display is strongly recommended for IRISconsole operation, as are XFS file systems, for their decreased recovery time and typically better performance.

  • If one of the attached servers is a CHALLENGE S, or if an attached CHALLENGE or Onyx system does not have a Remote System Control port, not all features of the IRISconsole software are available. An upgrade consisting of an RS-232 plate assembly is available to equip CHALLENGE L servers that lack this port; contact your service representative.

  • Only cables ordered as IRISconsole options are supported for connecting the Origin, CHALLENGE, Onyx2, and Onyx systems to the multiplexer. The describes these cables.

IRISconsole Commands

The IRISconsole software includes the following shell commands: ic, icpass, ictelnet, and icdbcnvrt.


The ic command brings up the IRISconsole graphical user interface. It is described in the next section, “IRISconsole Graphical User Interface.”


The icpass command is used for setting up and maintaining administrator and user logins, each with a password. These logins and passwords are specific to IRISconsole and are independent of system logins and passwords. Using icpass, you can

  • determine whether IRISconsole security is off or on

  • add an IRISconsole administrator

  • add an IRISconsole user

  • change the administrator's or user's password

  • delete an administrator or user

  • set IRISconsole security off or on

  • view a list of IRISconsole users

  • allow or deny system access based on the cron command's allow and deny files.

Using icpass is described in Chapter 2, “Configuring IRISconsole,” and Chapter 4, “Administering Sites.”


You can use the command ictelnet, which is a version of telnet adapted for IRISconsole, to access the IRISconsole text-based menu from another system.

Preparing the IRISconsole OCTANE, O2, or Indy system for using ictelnet is described in the section “Setting Up IRISconsole for Remote Access” in Chapter 2. Using ictelnet is described in the section “Connecting to a Remote IRISconsole Workstation” in Chapter 4.


The IRISconsole 2.0 release uses a database introduced in the IRISconsole 1.3 release to store site and system information. The icdbcnvrt command is run by installation software to convert site and system information from the IRISconsole 1.2 or 1.3 release to the IRISconsole 2.0 release.

IRISconsole Graphical User Interface

The IRISconsole graphical user interface (GUI) enables you to set up and administer sites. A site is a group of workstations, servers, or other systems that are administered through IRISconsole.

The command that invokes the IRISconsole GUI is called ic. You can use the IRISconsole GUI to

  • set up a site or add or delete the systems in a site, get the SYSLOG files for all systems, shut down all systems in a site, and edit alarm scripts for all systems

  • display, view, or take control of the console of a system

  • generate a nonmaskable interrupt (NMI), perform a hardware reset, or power cycle a system, power on or power off a system

    Note: System controllers on Origin and Onyx2 systems have passwords, which are different from IRIX login passwords. In this release of IRISconsole, generating an NMI, performing a hardware reset, power cycling a system, and powering on and powering off require that system controller passwords have their default values.

  • view activity logs and other system reports

  • connect to the system controller on an Origin or Onyx2 system and issue system controller commands

  • set alarms and view system performance tools throughout the site

  • view real-time graphs of hardware operating statistics of a system in a site, such as voltage, operating temperature, and blower speeds; save the graphs as files and display them (this feature is not available on Origin, Onyx2, or other systems not from Silicon Graphics)

  • set a threshold for operating statistics so that an alarm is activated and various activities are triggered when the threshold is exceeded (this feature is not available on Origin and Onyx2 systems)

Chapter 3, “Configuring Sites,” and Chapter 4, “Administering Sites,” in this guide explain how use the IRISconsole GUI to set up sites and administer sites, respectively.

IRISconsole Security

IRISconsole includes security features that use local password protection to assist administrators in securing IRISconsole and its managed systems from unauthorized access. When IRISconsole security is turned on (the default), access to certain operations is controlled. Some of these operations are represented by buttons in the site window of the IRISconsole GUI. The operations that are controlled when security is turned on are as follows:

  • adding or deleting sites and systems in the sites (Edit pulldown menu)

  • getting the console (Get Console), viewing the console window of a system controlled by another user (Spy Console), and taking control of a system console that another user is currently using (Steal Console)

  • generating a nonmaskable interrupt (Generate NMI)

  • performing hardware reset (HW Reset), power cycle (Power Cycle), power on (Power On), and power off (Power Off)

  • viewing console activity logs (Show Console Logs)

  • optionally creating allow or deny files by a system administrator with root permission to further restrict a user's access to particular sites or systems

Note: Generate NMI, HW Reset, and Power Cycle on Origin and Onyx2 systems require that the system controllers on those systems have default passwords.

Checking the current security setting and changing it are described in the sections “Determining Whether IRISconsole Security Is On or Off” and “Setting IRISconsole Security On or Off” in Chapter 2.

Overview of IRISconsole Operation

The installation and operation of IRISconsole consists of these major steps:

  1. Install the multiplexer hardware and cable it to the OCTANE, O2, or Indy workstation and the systems you plan to control. See the IRISconsole Multiplexer Installation Guide for instructions. Additional information is also available in online man pages.

  2. Install the IRISconsole software and configure it: specify administrators and users, choose the security setting, identify multiplexer port numbers, and prepare for remote access. See Chapter 2, “Configuring IRISconsole,” for instructions.

  3. Specify sites, groups of workstations, servers, or other systems that are to be administered through IRISconsole. See Chapter 3, “Configuring Sites,” for instructions.

  4. Use the features of the IRISconsole graphical user interface to administer the sites. See Chapter 4, “Administering Sites,” for details.