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IRIX ( ) is a discontinued
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems like macOS macOS (; previously Mac OS X and later ...

operating system
developed by
Silicon Graphics Silicon Graphics, Inc. (stylized as ''SiliconGraphics'' before 1999, later rebranded SGI, historically known as Silicon Graphics Computer Systems or SGCS) was an American high-performance computing by the largest supercomputer over time A s ...
(SGI) to run on the company's proprietary MIPS workstations and servers. It is based on
UNIX System V Unix System V (pronounced: "System Five") is one of the first commercial versions of the Unix Unix (; trademarked as UNIX) is a family of multitasking, multiuser Multi-user software is computer software Software is a collection of In ...
with
BSD The Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) is a discontinued based on , developed and distributed by the (CSRG) at the . The term "BSD" commonly refers to its descendants, including , , , and . BSD was initially called Berkeley Unix because it ...
extensions. In IRIX, SGI originated the
XFS XFS is a high-performance 64-bit In computer architecture, 64-bit integers, memory addresses, or other data units are those that are 64 bits (8 octets) wide. Also, 64-bit central processing unit A central processing unit (CPU), a ...
file system and the industry-standard
OpenGL OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a cross-language, cross-platform In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic pr ...
graphics system.


History

SGI originated the IRIX name in the 1988 release 3.0 of the operating system for the
SGI IRIS 4D The SGI IRIS 4D series was a line of workstations from Silicon Graphics built in the late-1980s through mid-1990s. They were the first SGI workstations to use the MIPS architecture. The line culminated with the SGI Crimson, Crimson which was prod ...
series of workstations and servers. Previous releases are identified only by the release number prefixed by "4D1-", such as "4D1-2.2". The "4D1-" prefix continued to be used in official documentation to prefix IRIX release numbers. IRIX 3.x is based on
UNIX System V Unix System V (pronounced: "System Five") is one of the first commercial versions of the Unix Unix (; trademarked as UNIX) is a family of multitasking, multiuser Multi-user software is computer software Software is a collection of In ...
Release 3 with
4.3BSDThe History of the Berkeley Software Distribution begins in the 1970s. 1BSD (PDP-11) The earliest distributions of Unix from Bell Labs in the 1970s included the source code In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, b ...
enhancements, and incorporates the 4Sight windowing system, based on
NeWS News is information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process. For example, a single customer’s sale at a restaurant is data – this becomes informatio ...

NeWS
and
IRIS GL IRIS GL (Integrated Raster Imaging System Graphics Library) is a proprietary graphics API In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentati ...
. SGI's own
Extent File System Extent File System (EFS) is an older extent-based file system used in IRIX releases prior to version 5.3. It has been superseded by XFS. External links EFS support for LinuxEFS support for NetBSD
{{File systems Disk file systems IRIX ...
(EFS) replaces the System V filesystem. IRIX 4.0, released in 1991, replaces 4Sight with the
X Window System The X Window System (X11, or simply X) is a windowing system for bitmap displays, common on Unix-like operating systems. X provides the basic framework for a GUI environment: drawing and moving windows on the display device and interacting with ...
(X11R4), the
4Dwm 4Dwm is the window manager Typical elements of a Window (computing), window. The window decoration is either drawn by the window manager (X11) or by the client (Wayland (display server protocol), Wayland). The drawing of the content is the task of ...
window manager Typical elements of a Window (computing), window. The window decoration is either drawn by the window manager (X11) or by the client (Wayland (display server protocol), Wayland). The drawing of the content is the task of the client. A window man ...
providing a similar look and feel to 4Sight. IRIX 5.0, released in 1993, incorporates certain features of UNIX System V Release 4, including
ELF An elf (plural: ''elves'') is a type of humanoid supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of nature.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supernatural By definition, a supernat ...
executables. IRIX 5.3 introduced the
XFS XFS is a high-performance 64-bit In computer architecture, 64-bit integers, memory addresses, or other data units are those that are 64 bits (8 octets) wide. Also, 64-bit central processing unit A central processing unit (CPU), a ...
journaling file system Journaling may refer to: * Electronic message journalingElectronic message journaling is the process of retaining information relating to electronic messages. In this context, electronic messages are defined as any type of electronic communication ...
. In 1994, IRIX 6.0 added support for the 64-bit MIPS
R8000The R8000 is a microprocessor A microprocessor is a computer processor where the data processing logic and control is included on a single integrated circuit, or a small number of integrated circuits. The microprocessor is a multipurpose, clo ...

R8000
processor, but is otherwise similar to IRIX 5.2. Later 6.x releases support other members of the MIPS processor family in 64-bit mode. IRIX 6.3 was released for the
SGI O2 SGI O2+ Workstation The O2 is an entry-level Unix Unix (; trademarked as UNIX) is a family of Computer multitasking, multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Corporation, AT&T Unix, whose developm ...

SGI O2
workstation only. IRIX 6.4 improved
multiprocessor Multiprocessing is the use of two or more central processing units A central processing unit (CPU), also called a central processor, main processor or just Processor (computing), processor, is the electronic circuitry that executes Instruct ...
scalability for the
Octane Octane is a hydrocarbon In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bond, ...
, Origin 2000, and Onyx2 systems. The Origin 2000 and Onyx2 IRIX 6.4 was marketed as "Cellular IRIX", although it only incorporates some features from the original Cellular IRIX
distributed operating system A distributed operating system is system software over a collection of independent, networked, communicating, and physically separate computational nodes. They handle jobs which are serviced by multiple CPUs. Each individual node holds a specific ...
project. The last major version of IRIX is IRIX 6.5, released in May 1998. New minor versions of IRIX 6.5 were released every quarter until 2005 and then there were four minor releases. Through version 6.5.22, there are two branches of each release: a
maintenance release A maintenance release (also minor release or Maintenance Pack or MP) is a release of a product that does not add new features or content. For instance, in computer software, maintenance software release, releases are typically intended to solve mino ...
(identified by an "m" suffix) that includes only fixes to the original IRIX 6.5 code, and a feature release (with an "f" suffix) that includes improvements and enhancements. An overlay upgrade from 6.5.x to the 6.5.22 maintenance release was available as a free download, whereas versions 6.5.23 and higher required an active Silicon Graphics support contract. A 2001 ''
Computerworld ''Computerworld'' (abbreviated as CW) is an ongoing decades old professional publication which in 2014 "went digital." Its audience is information technology (IT) and business technology professionals, and is available via a publication website ...
'' review found IRIX in a "critical" state. SGI had been moving its efforts to
Linux Linux ( or ) is a family of open-source Unix-like A Unix-like (sometimes referred to as UN*X or *nix) operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system, while not necessarily conforming to or being certified to a ...

Linux
and the
Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary {{Short pages monitor