Chapter 1. Introduction

Welcome to the CHALLENGE S server. The CHALLENGE S Server Owner's Guide is your guide to installing, troubleshooting, and maintaining your Challenge S server. It also provides information on installing optional software products. Chapter 1 sources of information about the Challenge S server. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the system, includes descriptions of the various system components and connectors, and describes the general theory of operation (system buses, I/O channels, and memory configurations).

In addition, this manual tells you how to

Appendices provide the following information:

Finding the Information You Need

Figure 1-1 illustrates sources of information about the Challenge S server.

Figure 1-1. Sources of Information for the Challenge S Server

The following sections describe each of the sources of information illustrated above.

You should also read this section:

Challenge S Server Owner's Guide

Refer to the CHALLENGE S Server Owner's Guide to set up the system and install hardware options, or whenever you suspect there is a hardware problem. In addition, you can refer to this guide when you install or remove optional software.

Figure 1-2. Documentation

The system and all the procedures in this guide are designed so that you may maintain the system without the help of a trained technician. However, do not feel that you must work with the hardware yourself. You can always contact your maintenance provider to have an authorized service provider work with the hardware instead.

Online Reference (Manual) Pages

The Challenge S server comes with a set of IRIX reference (manual) pages, formatted in the standard UNIX “man page” style. These are found online on the internal system disk, and are displayed using the man command. For example, to display the reference page for the Add_disk command, enter the following command at a shell prompt:

man Add_disk

Important system configuration files as well as commands are documented on reference pages. References in the documentation to these reference pages include the name of the command and the section number in which the command is found. For example, “Add_disk(1)” refers to the Add_disk command and indicates that it is found in section 1 of the IRIX reference.

For additional information about displaying reference pages using the man command, see man(1).

In addition, the apropos command locates reference pages based on keywords. For example, to display a list of reference pages that describe disks, enter the following command at a shell prompt:

apropos disk

For information about setting up and using apropos, see apropos(1) and makewhatis(1M).

Release Notes

You can view the release notes for a variety of Silicon Graphics® products and software subsystems using one of two utilities:


Text-based viewer for online release notes.


Graphical viewer for online release notes.

To see a list of available Release Notes, type the following at a shell prompt:


For more information, see the relnotes(1) and grelnotes(1) reference pages.

World Wide Web-Accessible Documentation

Silicon Graphics makes its manuals available in a variety of formats via the World Wide Web (WWW). Using your Web browser, open the following URL:

Look in the category “Publications” for the Technical Publications Library.

Optional Documentation

For IRIX 5.3 systems, these two optional books are strongly recommended:

  • Software Installation Administrator's Guide—This book describes a variety of software installation scenarios, including how to install software from CD-ROM, from tape, and from the hard disk of a remote system. It also includes instructions for setting up a software distribution on a server (so that other workstations on the network can install software without CD-ROM drives) and instructions for copying software distributions onto tape.

  • IRIX Advanced Site and Server Administration Guide—This book contains detailed information about running and managing servers and workstations. It includes information about configuring network software and mail, performing backups, adding and partitioning hard disks, and keeping the systems secure.

For IRIX 6.2 systems, the IRIX Admin Manual Set is strongly recommended. This set of administration manuals contains the following books:

  • IRIX Admin: Software Installation and Licensing—This book explains how to install and license software that runs under IRIX, the Silicon Graphics implementation of the UNIX operating system. It contains instructions for performing miniroot and live installations using Inst, the command-line interface to the IRIX installation utility. It also 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—This book 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—This guide explains disk, filesystem, and logical volume concepts. It provides system administration procedures for SCSI disks, XFS and EFS filesystems, XLV and lv logical volumes, and guaranteed-rate I/O.

  • IRIX Admin: Networking and Mail—This book 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—This guide 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: Peripheral Devices—This book describes how to set up and maintain the software for peripheral devices such as terminals, modems, printers, and CD-ROM and tape drives. It also includes specifications for the associated cables for these devices.

  • IRIX Admin: Selected Reference Pages (not available in IRIS InSight)—This book provides concise reference 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 also available online through the man command.

Except where noted, the optional books listed above are included online with the appropriate version of IRIX, either pre-installed on the system disk or available on CD-ROM. You can display these books from a graphics workstation using the IRIS InSight viewer.

If you cannot use InSight, you can obtain these optional books in one of the following ways:

  • Visit the Silicon Graphics Technical Publications Library on the World Wide Web (

  • Contact your sales representative for information about obtaining printed copies of these books.


This CHALLENGE S Server Owner's Guide uses these conventions:

  • References to documents are in italics.

  • References to other chapters and sections within this guide are in quotation marks.

  • References to commands that you type at the shell prompt are in italics.

  • Names of IRIX reference (manual) pages are in the default font and are followed by the section number of the reference page. For example “who(1)” refers to the who command, which is found in section 1 of the IRIX reference.

  • Names of menu choices are in quotation marks.

  • Steps to perform tasks are in numbered sentences. When a numbered step needs more explanation, the explanation follows the step and is preceded by a square bullet. For example:


  1. Connect the Ethernet AUI cable to the Ethernet AUI port on the back of the Challenge S server.

    • Make sure the sliding bracket on the Ethernet port on the system is pushed all the way left.

    • Plug the cable into the port.

    • Slide the bracket right to hold it in place.

About the CD Software Media

You received one or more compact discs (CDs) with your Challenge S server. The CDs include optional software that you might find useful, and a copy of the operating system and software installation tool that are already on your system disk. If your server was shipped with a Silicon Graphics system disk, you don't need the CDs to set up and use your system. Store the them in a safe and convenient place so you can find them when you need to install new software, or in case of a system failure.

Where to Go From Here

To learn about the Challenge S system, turn to Chapter 2, “Chassis Tour and Theory of Operation.”

To set up the Challenge S server and start using the system, turn to Chapter 3, “Getting Started.”