We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Old SGI Indy.

crash020297
crash020297 asked
on
Hello,
I want to re-install the system software for this old Indy I picked up. It has a minimal Irix 6.5 installation on it but I want to try writting some software on it and stuff like that.
I have an external SCSI cd-rom that I'm hooking into the back of the INDY and it came with one of those big monitors that only work with it.
Ok, it says that in order to install Irix on this machine I have to press escape or something while it's booting...I'm sure that would work fine except shows up on the monitor until it wants me to login!
I really don't know where to change this setting...and the devices are so oddly named that I don't even know if I'd be able to choose the correct device to install from (my external CD...which I don't even know how to access). Irix is so different from other *ix's. I normally use FreeBSD so when I got it I figured it couldn't be THAT different...but it really is.
If someone could give me a little helping hand I'd totally appreciate it.
Thanks,
Chip
Comment
Watch Question

Top Expert 2005

Commented:
If the system already has a minimal 6.5 OS installed it would actually be easier to simply add what you want to the existing installation. You can do that quite easily from the software manager. It's been quite a while since I've had my hands on an Indy, but I remember it allowing you to drop into maintainence mode at powerup. I don't remember any setting that would disable that screen, but there could be such a setting. Someone else my know for sure.

Author

Commented:
While we're waiting to hear about that, perhaps you could tell me somemore about the Software Manager. I've seen it and run it...but like I said..I have no idea what device my cd-rom is. This thing doesn't have a floppy either. It also doesn't use DHCP...which I prefer but can live without.
but back to the cd-rom, what are the device naming semantics of Irix and should I put it in fstab before trying to use the software manager?
I've got the cd-rom set to 10 and I have looked at the drive but I figured it wouldn't boot had their been a problem.
Top Expert 2005
Commented:
I went looking for more info on this and found that the PROM monitor should issue the usual "Starting up the system", "Stop for Maintenance" Gui if it thinks the box has an attached graphics head. Otherwise the "Starting up the system..." and "To perform system maintenance instead, press <ESC>" messages will be on the serial port. If you don't see the Gui message at power-on, try connecting a terminal (9600baud, 8bit, 1 stop, no parity) to the serial port.

The CDROM drive should be set for SCSI ID 5. Normally you'd go into maintenance mode and use hinv to be sure that the SCSI ID's are correctly set and that the Indy is seeing all attached devices. If it recognizes the CDROM drive, the OS will automagically create the device node and mount the CD when one is in the drive. If the CD is recognized Irix and the software manager will know how to access it.

Author

Commented:
THANKS!!
You've been a big help. I found out that 'nvram console g' is what I needed to do to reset the indy to use my monitor at boot time. My cd-rom is working great and I've even managed to get it all hooked up to my local network..so I'm happy to be writting you from an old version of netscape from my indy.
I've cleaned up and added a bunch of software...but much of what comes with the IRIX install cd's requires a license (the c++ compiler specifically)...so now I'm going to go download gcc and start playing around!
I still wish I could put FreeBSD on this machine but I'll live without it :)
Thanks again and if you happen to have any dev tips for acessing serial devices then drop a comment, other wise I'll talk to ya later.
-Chip

Explore More ContentExplore courses, solutions, and other research materials related to this topic.