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Mounting IRIX CDs on Non-IRIX Systems

From Higher Intellect Vintage Wiki

Why Do I Want to Read IRIX CDs on a Non-SGI System?

Owners of SGI systems without optical drives, or those who have a large number of systems to install, may wish to set up a network installation server using a non-IRIX system. In that case they may need to read the IRIX distribution CDs on a non-IRIX system in order to setup their installation server.

Even if you don't want to setup a network installation server, you may wish to pull off some software subsets, docs or patches for installation on your SGI system.

Can I Mount IRIX CDs on Non-IRIX Systems?

The answer is Maybe. Most operating systems do not ship with support for IRIX' filesystems: CXFS, EFS, XFS. However most modern Linux distributions include read-only support for EFS, and read-write support for XFS. There are however a few tricks...

Mounting EFS CDs on Linux Systems

A command like "mount -r -t efs /dev/cdrom /mnt/irix" should do the trick provided you have all the necessary packages for your distribution installed. However if you don't, or if your system has trouble with the fact that the EFS filesystem uses 512 byte blocks, you might see a situation like that reported by forum member unixgeek42:

user@linuxbox:/media% sudo mount -t efs -r /dev/scd0 /media/cdrom
mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sr0,
missing codepage or helper program, or other error

Forum member jan-jaap has reported success by adding the "efs" and "loop" keywords to the fstab(5) entry for his DVD-ROM drive. Here's the example he provided:

# <file system> <mount point>   <type>           <options>             <dump>  <proc>
/dev/hdc        /media/cdrom0   efs,udf,iso9660  user,noauto,loop      0       0

When forum member smj checked his new Fedora 14 system there was no entry for the optical drive in /etc/fstab, since it uses autofs, or hald, or some other daemon to automatically mount and unmount removable media. However the following worked when mounting the IRIX Core Foundation 1 CD:

fedora14# mount -o ro,loop -t efs /dev/cdrom /mnt
fedora14# df -h /mnt
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sr0              545M  527M   18M  97% /mnt
fedora14# ls /mnt

In other cases forum members were able to make a block-by-block image of each CD as a file using dd(1), then mounting the files. This may be handy in a case where an optical drive cannot be directly connected to a Linux system either. For example:

sample# dd if=/tmp/irix63inst.iso bs=1M
sample# mkdir /mnt/irix
sample# mount -v -o loop -t efs /tmp/irix63inst.iso /mnt/irix
mount: going to use the loop device /dev/loop0
set_loop(/dev/loop0,irix63inst.iso,0): success
mount: setup loop device successfully
/tmp/irix63inst.iso on /mnt/irix type efs (ro,loop=/dev/loop0)
sample# ls /mnt/irix
CDgrelnotes  CDrelnotes  coffcheck  dist  firmware  help  insight  relnotes  stand

Thanks to forum members Arabski and bri3d for the original examples combined above.