About This Guide

This document, the IRIX GSN Administrator's Guide, provides instructions for configuring, verifying, monitoring, and troubleshooting an SGI Gigabyte System Network (GSN) connection. This guide does not provide information about system administration of a GSN fabric. This guide documents IRIX GSN version 2.1 operating over IRIX 6.5.9f or later.


The audience for this document is network system administrators who are already familiar with general IRIX networking and system administration. This document assumes that the reader already knows the information documented in the online, IRIS InSight–viewable guide IRIX Admin: Networking and Mail, which is shipped with each copy of IRIX.

Where to Find More Information

Figure 1 illustrates sources of additional information for the IRIX GSN product and IRIX networking. Subsequent sections describe each of the illustrated sources.

Figure 1. Sources of Additional Information

Sources of Additional Information

Installation Instructions

The SGI GSN XIO Hardware Installation Instructions for SGI Origin Family, SGI\x15 2000\x15 series, and Silicon Graphics Onyx2 Platforms provides instructions for System Service Engineers (SSEs) who have been trained by SGI. This document is for the SSE (only).

The SGI Origin 3000 Series Owner's Guide describes the SGI Origin 3000 server series, which are servers whose functionality is divided into distinct functional units called bricks. The servers in the series are the SGI Origin 3200, 3400, and 3800. This guide describes how to connect a console and how to add or replace PCI cards and storage disk drives to your server. It also describes how to power on and power off your server and how to use the L1 and L2 controllers (and controller commands) to monitor and control your server system.

Hardware Owner's Guide

The SGI GSN Hardware Owner's Guide describes the customer interface to the SGI GSN hardware: the LED behavior, the connectors on the panel plate, and the cable specifications. A printed copy of this guide is shipped with the SGI GSN hardware /IRIX GSN software product.

Administrator's Guide

This document, the IRIX GSN Administrator's Guide, describes the IRIX GSN software. Refer to the IRIX GSN Administrator's Guide to set up, configure, verify, monitor, and troubleshoot the IRIX GSN connection, including the network interface (for IP and ST), and suspected hardware problems. IRIX GSN is designed so that you can maintain most of the components of the system without the help of a trained technician. Hardware installation/removal is the only part of the IRIX GSN product that requires an SSE.

The administrator's guide can be viewed by the following methods:

  • Use IRIS InSight. The digital format for this document (that is, the installable image) is included with the IRIX GSN software.

  • Use a Web browser to view the HTML version at http://techpubs.sgi.com.

  • Order a printed manual from http://techpubs.sgi.com or from the local SGI sales representative.

  • Use a Web browser to download PostScript or PDF files from http://techpubs.sgi.com.

IRIX Administration Documents

The Networking and Mail volume of the IRIX Admin manual set is recommended as a reference for system administration tasks of logical network interfaces (for example, IP).

This document can be viewed by the following methods:

  • Use IRIS InSight. The image is included with IRIX, either preinstalled on the system disk or available on CD-ROM. You can display this book from a graphics workstation using the IRIS  InSight viewer.

  • Use a Web browser to view the HTML version at the SGI Technical Publications Library on the World Wide Web: http://techpubs.sgi.com.

  • Order a printed copy from the local SGI sales representative.

  • Use a Web browser to download PostScript or PDF files from http://techpubs.sgi.com/library.

Online Man Pages

The IRIX GSN software includes a set of IRIX man (manual) pages, formatted in the standard UNIX man page style. These are installed on the main system disk along with the IRIX GSN software, and are displayed using the  man command. For example, to display the man page for the gsncntl command, enter the following command at a shell prompt:

man gsncntl

IRIX GSN includes man pages for the following items: gsn(7m), gsnarp(1m), gsncntl(1m), gsnsttest(1m), gsntest(1m), harp(7m), harpd(1m), and harpdump(1m).

Citations in the documentation to these man pages include the name of the command and the section number in which the command is found. For example, “gsncntl(1)” refers to the gsncntl command and indicates that it is found in section 1 of the IRIX reference.

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

In addition, the apropos command locates man pages based on keywords. For example, to display a list of man pages that contain information about GSN, enter the following command at a shell prompt:

apropos gsn

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

World Wide Web-Accessible Documentation

SGI maintains a World Wide Web (WWW) page from which you can retrieve manuals in a variety of formats. For example, you can retrieve the latest versions of many of the company's documents, or you can order printed (paper-copy) versions of online documents.

To view or retrieve the latest version of a document, use your Web browser to open the following URL:


To locate the latest versions of IRIS GSN documents (including this one), make the following selections:

  1. In the Keyword search field, enter gsn 

  2. In the Look in area, select Title only.

  3. Click the Search button.

  4. From the list of documents, click on the document that you want to view, download and print, or purchase in bound printed format.

To order a printed (paper-copy) version of a document, use your Web browser to open the following URL:


Release Notes

You can view the release notes for a variety of SGI 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) man pages.


InfoSearch is a unified system for retrieving and viewing online information, providing you with quick and easy access to online information available on SGI computers. With InfoSearch, you can search or browse through release notes, man pages, application help cards, online books, and other forms of online information.

There are two ways to use InfoSearch:

  • The infosearch utility, which runs on IRIX workstations.

  • A World Wide Web interface, infosrch.cgi, that you can access through any Web browser.

An SGI system can be configured as an InfoSearch server so that other workstations on your network can use it to retrieve information. However, you must have a graphical workstation in order to use InfoSearch, either with the infosearch command or via a Web browser.

For basic information about getting started with InfoSearch, see the infosearch(1), sgindexAdmin(1), booksAdmin(1), and infosrch.cgi(1) man pages.

Obtaining Updated or Printed Versions of This Document

To order printed (paper-copy) manuals or to retrieve a newer version of a manual, use the SGI Web page, as described in “World Wide Web-Accessible Documentation”, or contact your sales representative.

SGI Product Support

SGI provides a comprehensive product support and maintenance program for its products. If you are in North America and would like support for your SGI supported products, contact the Technical Assistance Center at 1-800-800-4SGI. If you are outside North America, contact the SGI subsidiary or authorized distributor in your country.

Conventions Used in This Guide

Throughout this guide, the following stylistic conventions are used:

Italicized text 

Represents commands, variables, document titles, and filenames.

Initial capitalization 

Identifies proper names for protocol entities. The initial capital letter distinguishes the word from generic use of the term. For example, GSN Message, refers to the item described and labeled in the ANSI standard, as opposed to message, which can refer to any communication that has a clear beginning and an ending.

Courier font 

Represents text that appears on a terminal.

Glossary term 

Indicates that the term is explained in the Glossary.

Reader Comments

If you have comments about the technical accuracy, content, or organization of this document, please tell us. Be sure to include the title and document number of the manual with your comments. (Online, the document number is located in the front matter of the manual. In printed manuals, the document number can be found on the back cover.)

You can contact us in any of the following ways:

  • Send e-mail to the following address:

    [email protected]

  • Use the Feedback option on the Technical Publications Library World Wide 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 Pkwy., M/S 535
    Mountain View, California 94043-1351

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

We value your comments and will respond to them promptly.