General FAQ


  • 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 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 yes, sort of. HP Enterprise has no plans as of 2020 to open source IRIX. Unfortunately, there is no widely functional emulator the way there is for Amigas or other vintage computers, but limited support has been added to MAME. Please keep discussion about this in the appropriate categories.

  • 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 alleged 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.

  • Where can I find the sgi logo font?

That's available here: https://www.download-free-fonts.com/details/79810/sgi-text

  • What happened to IRIX.CC/IRIX.PW?

That's just the old domain name. It's not called IRIX.CC and never was. Please do not call the site IRIX.CC.

IRIX Network or IRIXNet is fine.

Development FAQ

  • What compilers are available for IRIX?

IRIX has a few compilers, the native option being MIPSPro, and the alternatives being LCC (Little C Compiler) and GCC (only up to 4.7.x in mainline, see below).

  • Can you cross-compile for IRIX?

No, not using the native toolchain. You can using GCC and binutils, but this brings far more bugs, and limitations and is highly discouraged as GNU does not accept IRIX patches upstream.

  • Why is GCC 4.8.x and higher not supported?

GNU's policy for compiler support is as follows: They only hold an obligation to support proprietary OSes as long as convenient, plus pending vendor support. As it's no longer convenient, IRIX joins the graveyard alongside old Solaris and AIX versions.