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IRIX for Indy and Challenge S

From Higher Intellect Vintage Wiki

Support for the SGI Indy started with the ill-fated Indy IRIX 5.1, supporting R4000 with or without cache.

The Challenge S system is essentially a server version of the Indy, adding additional network and disk interfaces while dropping Indy graphics, sound, and video capabilities.

While there are many versions of IRIX which will run on Indy/Challenge S hardware, the three most commonly used versions are IRIX 5.3, IRIX 6.2, and IRIX 6.5.x.

There were many, machine-specific releases of IRIX 5.3, so it is important to verify that a particular IRIX 5.3 cd will work with a particular Indy/Challenge S. The "IRIX 5.3 for Indy including R5000" and the "IRIX 5.3 XFS for Indy including R5000" editions seem to work on all Indys.

  • For individuals who need to execute COFF binaries on their Indys (regardless of the amount of RAM installed in their machines) IRIX 5.3 is the best choice, as IRIX 6.2 and 6.5 do not support COFF binaries.
  • For Indys with less than 32 MB of RAM, IRIX 5.3 is the best choice.
  • For Indys with 32-64 MB of RAM, IRIX 6.2 is the best choice.
  • For Indys with 64 MB of RAM or higher, IRIX 6.5.x is a good choice, particularly on systems with R5000 processors or on machines that have 128 MB of RAM or greater.

The final version of IRIX to support SGI Indy hardware is IRIX 6.5.22.

Corrupt MAC addresses

Seems to be an issue with corrupt MAC addresses when installing IRIX on an Indy.

In an old Nekochan forum topic There is a comment about SGI Indys throwing exceptions if the MAC address is corrupt when installing IRIX.

Tried everything, none ...
Then I remembered to check the MAC address.
I didn't think about it because PROM settings were retained ...

It wasn't ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff, but some bits were corrupted and the starting values weren't

dump -w -x 0xbfbe04ec confirmed it

So I did
setenv -f eaddr 08:00:69:08:e2:0a (random values were chosen, no MAC address sticker)
was successfull.

fill -w -v 0x08 0xbfbe04e8
fill -w -v 0x00 0xbfbe04ec
fill -w -v 0x69 0xbfbe04f0
fill -w -v 0x08 0xbfbe04f4
fill -w -v 0xe2 0xbfbe04f8
fill -w -v 0x0a 0xbfbe04fc

printenv now shows the mac address

The installation process now starts 

See also this section of the wiki: SGI Indy