IRIX and SGI FAQ

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IRIX and SGI FAQ

What follows are a list of commonly asked questions about IRIX, the operating system, SGI (Silicon Graphics) and the machines made by SGI.If you've been directed here, please read carefully the FAQ in full, especially if you're new to the hobby.

  • What is IRIX? Is it a Linux, a BSD?
IRIX is a proprietary variant of UNIX System V developed from the late-1980s to 2006 by Silicon Graphics Inc. It shares an ancestry with Sun/Oracle Solaris, AIX, HP-UX and other proprietary UNIX operating systems. Like most, it contains significant BSD code. It's not related to GNU/Linux in any way.
  • What does IRIX run on? Is it open source?
IRIX is closed source and only runs on Silicon Graphics and some CRAY hardware. All of these use MIPS processors, running in big-endian mode.
  • Why should I bother with IRIX?
IRIX is historically important, as it is the source of SGI's XFS, a major player in CGI, CAD, and the development of SMP for Linux and BSD, as well as HPC (High Performance Computing)
  • Where can I get IRIX?
IRIX has not been sold by SGI (Now owned by HP Enterprise) in over a decade. We offer IRIX versions on the FTP servers and mirrors, and also you may buy CDs of it on eBay.
  • Any efforts to open source IRIX? Can it be emulated?
The answer is currently no and no. HP Enterprise has no plans as of 2018 to open source IRIX. Unfortunately, there is no functional emulator the way there is for Amigas or other vintage computers. But, there's people who may offer VNC or other access to SGI machines if you want a taste of it.
  • What happened to SGI?
SGI phased out the MIPS-powered Silicon Graphics hardware in early 2006, in favor of Intel's Itanium running variants of Linux. It later went bankrupt in 2009, and was purchased by Rackable Systems, who rebranded as Silicon Graphics International, and then in 2016 HP Enterprise purchased SGI, ending all support for SGI's MIPS and IA-64 computers.
  • Whats a cheap SGI?

Unlike Amigas, there's really no clear cut answer. Prices range from under $100 USD for a relatively low end system, to over $1000 USD for a top end system.

  • What happened to Nekochan.net?
Nekochan.net, which started sometime in 2001 or earlier, was shut down by its admin, Peter Plank in May of 2018 due to concerns over the EU Regulations of the GPDR.
  • When did IRIX Network start?
IRIX Network was started by Raion in 2017 along with his friend and colleague Praetor.
  • Why IRIX.CC?
That's just the domain name. It's not called IRIX.CC. Please do not call the site IRIX.CC.