About This Guide

This guide discusses a variety of issues and tools involved in programming under the IRIX™ operating system. It describes the components of the compiler system, other programming tools, and dynamic shared objects. It also explains ways to improve program performance.

What This Guide Contains

This guide consists of the following chapters:

For an overview of the IRIX programming environment and tools available for application programming, see Programming on Silicon Graphics Computer Systems: An Overview.

What You Should Know Before Reading This Guide

This guide is for anyone who wants to program effectively under the IRIX operating system. We assume you are familiar with the IRIX (or UNIX®) operating system and a programming language such as C. This guide does not explain how to write or compile programs.

Suggestions for Further Reading

In addition to this guide, which describes general compilation issues for MIPS compilers, refer toTable In-1 for a list of other Silicon Graphics manuals you can consult for information about IRIX programming and languages.

Table 1. Suggestions for Further Reading



IRIX programming

Programming on Silicon Graphics Systems: An Overview

Topics in IRIX Programming

Assembly language

MIPSpro Assembly Language Programmer's Guide

C language

C Language Reference Manual

C++ language

C++ Programming Guide

Fortran77 language

Fortran77 Programmer's Guide

Pascal language

Pascal Programming Guide

Real-time programming

REACT/Pro Release Notes

You can order a printed manual from Silicon Graphics by calling SGI Direct at 1-800-800-SGI1 (800-7441). Outside the U.S. and Canada, contact your local sales office or distributor.

Silicon Graphics also provides manuals online. To read an online manual after installing it, type insight or double-click the InSight icon. It's easy to print sections and chapters of the online manuals from InSight.

You may also want to find out more about standard UNIX topics. For UNIX information, consult a computer bookstore or one of the following:

  • AT&T. UNIX System V Release 4 Programmer's Guide. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990

  • Levine, Mason, and Brown. lex & yacc. Sebastopol. CA: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1992

  • Oram and Talbott. Managing Projects with make. Sebastopol. CA: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1991

IRIX executes all binaries that are compliant with the SVR4 ABI, as specified in the System V Applications Binary Interface—Revised Edition and the System V ABI MIPS Processor Supplement. Consult these manuals for details.

Conventions Used in This Guide

This guide uses these conventions and symbols:


In text, the Courier font represents function names, file names, and keywords. It is also used for command syntax, output, and program listings.


Boldface is used along with Courier font to represent user input.


Words in italics represent characters or numerical values that you define. Replace the abbreviation with the defined value. Also, italics are used for manual page names and commands. The section number, in parentheses, follows the name.

[ ] 

Brackets enclose optional items.

{ } 

Braces enclose two or more items; you must specify at least one of the items.


The OR symbol separates two or more optional items.


A horizontal ellipsis in a syntax statement indicates that the preceding optional items can appear more than once in succession.

( ) 

Parentheses enclose entities and must be typed.

The following two examples illustrate the syntax conventions:

DIMENSION a(d) [,a(d)] …

indicates that the Fortran keyword DIMENSION must be typed as shown, that the user-defined entity a(d) is required, and that one or more of a(d) can be specified. The parentheses ( ) enclosing d are required.


indicates that either the STATIC or AUTOMATIC keyword must be typed as shown, that the user-defined entity v is required, and that one or more v items can be specified.