inst is the package and installation utility on IRIX, and is supplemented by swmgr, an graphical frontend (the relationship is similar to aptitude and synaptic) to the command line.
inst is used for installing and uninstalling programs, applying patches and more.
inst can be started from within IRIX by typing "inst" as root to access the full menu, but it can be run as a user, but it will be read-only.
Entries in inst are numbers and accessible by pressing the corresponding number. A user may also automatically specify tardists or directories using the -f option.
"list" will list, depending on the view setting, either the distributions or target (installed programs) that are open.
"step" will allow a user to select subsystems one by one.
"close" will close a distribution, removing it from inst.
"keep" is used to return a subsystem to its normal state, meaning if its marked for installation it won't be installed, and if it's marked for removal it'll be retained.
"install" is used to install a subsystem, and remove is used to remove it.
"conflicts" is the dependency management system and ensures that all dependencies are met.
"go" starts the queue and will proceed, barring any conflicts, to perform the functions.
Much like Windows, IRIX has provisions for local installs too. Assuming that the user activating inst owns the directory specified with -r, it'll run:
inst -r /usr/people/owner/ -f neko_zlib_1211.tardist
For example will, if ~/bin is owned by owner, will open inst and allow the program to be installed in that prefix. This can be useful to offer multiple versions of the same program or allow multiple seats to have different software installed.
During a miniroot installation, the administration area can be used to setup network and perform other operations.