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Useful Irix Commands

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System Configuration Commands

Hardware Configuration

Inventory Commands

Command Description
hinv hardware inventory command
hinv -vv verbose hardware inventory
hinv -mv hardware inventory with part numbers and revisions
/usr/gfx/gfxinfo display graphics subsystems information
glxinfo display info about GLX extensions and the OpenGL renderer

NVRAM, PROM and L1/L2 Controller Commands

nvram,sgikopt get or set non-volatile RAM variables
flash reprogram the flash PROM hardware on Origin and OCTANE machines

-V Print currently loaded flash PROM version and time see also FYI 100490 and the addition sent on August 27 Flash from within the PROM:

  • SGI Origin 2000 - flashcpu dksc(0,1,0)/usr/cpu/firmware/ip27prom.img
  • SGI Octane - flashcpu cdrom(0,4,7)/firmware/IP30/IP30prom.bin (-o has to be used?)
  • TIB 200415 IP35 Cache Size May Be Set Incorrectly to 4MB
    If you find some nodes that are not 8 MB, you should reflash
    them from IRIX by using the -o option with the following
    command line to override version checking:
    flash -o -b <brick id>/usr/cpu/firmware/ip35prom.img
l1cmd, l2cmd Send a command to the SGI L1 or L2 System Controller (available on the Origin3000 after IRIX version 6.5.15)


  • l1cmd env

Disk and I/O Commands

diskpatch -v get info about the disk (very useful)
swap -ln list all swap devices (7-column format)
swap -s logical swap usage in bytes
scsicontrol (pre-6.4), scsiha (>= 6.4) probe and control scsi devices


  • scsicontrol -i sc0d4l0 (l0 stands for lun 0)
    • sc0d4l0: CD-ROM TOSHIBA CD-ROM XM-3501TA0095
      ANSI vers 2, ISO ver: 0, ECMA ver: 0;
      Response format type 1, but has SCSI-2 capability bits set
      supports: reladdr. inquiry format is SCSI 1
      Device is not ready
  • When issuing scsicontrol on an optical drive, no disk may be in the drive
scsiadminswap perform a live plug or unplug of a scsi device


  • scsiadminswap -p -b <bus num.> -d <device num.> (-p plug / -u unplug)
diskpatch prevent stiction problems with some disk drives (useful for getting disk information, as well)


  • diskpatch -v
    sc0d3l0: Disk SGI IBM 0662 S12 1S11 Serial: 00222769
    sc0d1l0: Disk SGI QUANTUM XP34300 S89C Serial: MP621520
mt magnetic tape manipulation program (mt status is especially useful)
devnm identifies the special file associated with the mounted filesystem
/dev/MAKEDEV create device special files (Only use from within /dev)
ioconfig walks the /hw hardware graph tree and assigns a unique and persistent logical controller number to each physical device found
setdevperms, /etc/ioperms adds or removes entries from the /etc/ioperms file


  • /usr/lib/print/setdevperms -a "/dev/console 0644 root sys"
pciconfig hot-plug insert, hot-plug remove, and query PCI devices
mkfs create a filesystem

version=2 is the default >=6.5.14
IMPORTANT: IRIX < 6.5.6 cannot read XFSv2 filesystems

ssmcli, ssmgui CLI and GUI interfaces to the Storage Processor in a Fibre Channel RAID enclosure (ssmagent must be running)
fccli interface to the Storage Processor in a Fibre Channel JBOD enclosure (fcagent must be running)
bufview file system buffer cache activity monitor that works like top or osview

Process and Memory Commands

help_mem get exact memoryinfo (only at PROM)
pmem report per-process memory usage (belongs to package "pcp.sw.monitor /Performance Co-Pilot for IRIX")
ps report process status
gmemusage graphical memory usage viewer
osview, gr_osview system monitor (CLI and GUI)
top, gr_top display processes having highest CPU usage (CLI and GUI)
xload CPU load with history

Graphics and Video Commands

startgfx, stopgfx, gfxinit start/stop the window system
setmon set the current and default video output format


  • /usr/gfx/setmon 60Hz
  • /usr/gfx/setmon 1024x768_75
  • /usr/gfx/setmon stereo
  • setmon -p0 72Hz;setmon -p1 72Hz (Octane dual head)
  • setenv DISPLAY :0.0 ; /usr/gfx/setmon 72Hz (remote use)
xsetmon graphical setmon
xscreen replaces xsetmon (actually a link to xsetmon)
flatpanel SGI O2 only
ircombine Create, modify, query, load and save video format combinations

NUMA/Craylink Commands

linkstat the Craylink/NUMALink monitoring tool


  • linkstat /hw/module/1/slot/r2/router/mon
    Router: /hw/module/1/slot/r2/router/mon
    Port 3: Utilization: bypass 0% receive 2% send 2%
    Retries 71847 (6/Min), SN errs 116395 (19/Min), CB errs 31196
    Port 5: Utilization: bypass 9% receive 13% send 20% Retries 25087 (2/Min), SN errs 497298 (38/Min), CB errs 30417650
    (2914/Min) Port 6: Utilization: bypass 0% receive 4% send 3%
    Retries 46394 (4/Min), SN errs 6252865 (599/Min), CB errs 5557
sn, gr_sn NUMA Memory Management Configuration Tool (CLI and GUI)
nstats, gr_nstats NUMA Memory Management Statistics (CLI and GUI)
dplace a NUMA memory placement tool


  • dplace -data_pagesize 64k -stack_pagesize 64k a.out
dlook a tool for showing memory and process placement

To show memory and thread placement for a program called a.out that would normally be run by:
% a.out < in > out
and place the resuls in a file called output one would simply
% dlook -out output a.out < in > out

mkpart Partition Configuration Tool for Origin
sn0log Read Origin and Onyx2 CPU flash PROM log(s)


  • sn0log -w -a > logfile (dump PROM logs to logfile)
  • sn0log -c -a (clears PROM logs)
  • sn0log -a -i (initializes all PROM logs)

Software Configuration

chkconfig (services) configuration state checker
versions software versions tool

Useful options:

  • -n Show the internal version number rather than the date
  • long impr_base Shows all files that belong to impr_base
  • config Shows all config files --> usefull to find license files
  • changed List installed configuration files that have
    a corresponding .O or .N file and their
    respective .O or .N files.
  • -b brief
    • Ex.: versions -b patchSG\*
  • -m (modified) List only modified installed files
showfiles show files belonging to installed products

Useful options:

  • -A Print absolute pathnames
  • -c Show only config files
  • -- <filename>


  • showfiles -- <filename>
showprods show products installed on the system


  • showprods -nD1 (show version number of all top-level products)
nsadmin Name Service Administration Utility

See Also