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Silicon Graphics

SGI to drop Irix for Linux 148

bpdlr (who admits to being a PC Week writer) sent us a story that proclaims that SGI Will Drop IRIX in exchange for some little no-name penguin oriented OS that nobody has heard of. I'm hearing rumors of a new Linux based mega server coming out of SGI, as well as some hugely scalable systems. Interesting stuff.
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SGI to drop Irix for Linux

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  • I don't remember directly, but take a look at and ask there. SGI has funded development for Linux for Mips, but not for all platforms. Currently I know it's on the Indy, and Challenge/S
  • I work for SGI any you're post is completely inaccurate. SGI will continue to support MIPS and IRIX. SGI has NEVER announced dropping support for IRIX and it STILL doesn't intend to. Even this article points out that we have a MIPS roadmap for R12k R14k and R16k. The overall title of this slashdot article is completely misleading. The article isn't by SGI even it doesn't say SGI is dropping IRIX. I suppose to a salivating slashdot audience the notion of Linux displacing a grown up OS sounds exciting, but it just isn't ready to replace IRIX feature for feature so dropping that OS is NOT an option.
  • actually its easier than solaris for admins and the screen res (1600 x 1200) is by default and a real pleasure to work with. of course if they got rid of nodelocked license servers and other shit i'd be a *lot* happier....
  • its also the first os where its harder to compile for 64bit than 32bit...the 64bit libraries are usually never around when you need em. :)

  • I have in the past seen slashdot and it's subscribers bemoan the accuracy of reporting in the mainstream media. Unfortunately here we have an example of the sensationalist inaccuracy worthy of the lowest tabloid.

    Nowhere in the article was dropping Irix or it's support announced. There is even less which attributes any statement even similar to an SGI representative.

    In future at least read the referring article before choosing a title.
  • yes..but i'd challenge you to find a $10K IRIX which would run rings around a $10K alpha box running linux.
  • Of course not. But they are transitioning their *workstations* to IA-64.

    And as far as IRIX goes, they have a good reason NOT to port it to IA-64. It is much too reliant on the underlying hardware for primitives, and likely would not perform as well on a large IA-64 box (that is assuming that IA-64 will scale to 64+ CPUs).

    The truth is out there... Now go find it!!
  • Go get yourself a kernel book or two and READ about why Linux won't scale well. Then let us know what you learn.
  • SGI controls the OS as much as anyone else does if that OS is Linux. One simply doesn't need to be the sole owner. They can just concentrate on those parts of the OS that people would buy their hardware for.
  • IRIX was also the first 64b OS that fully and transparently supported 32b apps. No recompiling, no massive performance degradations... davemc
  • by Geoff ( 968 )
    Don't forget system accounts with no passwords!
  • As much as I love Linux, IRIX beats the heck out of linux when it comes to scalability. Ever see a 64 processor Linux box? I think Linux will get there in the future, but why would SGI kill IRIX now?

    Sounds like a rumor to me...
  • SGI bagging IRIX/MIPS? Doubtful, to say the least.

    Although I am thrilled that they are participating in the Linux Revolution (tm), they have much bigger fishies to fry.

    According to, SGI is owning the supercomputer market. They account for over 1/3 of the world's installed base, and almost 1/2 of the world's supercomputer horsepower.

    To even think that they'll push Linux in that direction is a stretch, since they already have IRIX doing it, and doing it well. Its not that I think its a bad idea; its just not practical for SGI to do it.

    I also seem to remember reading in one of the trade rags, (infoworld?) that SGI was designing hardware that would scale as high as 16k processors. (I might be wrong...this was about a year ago)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If I had to guess, SGI isn't looking to focus all of their efforts just on graphics -- if they were, they'd probably stick with IRIX rather than trying to get Linux up to shape.

    What seems more likely is that SGI feels like they're being locked out of larger, more lucrative markets like web serving and databases. This seems to be the main reason why they officially droped the name "Silicon Graphics" and adopted "SGI" as their name -- they don't want to be associated with just graphics anymore.

    As it is now, IRIX is probably too specialized for graphics and they'd rather move to a platform (one which, being open source, they can exert some creative influence on) which has a more general user base and application support.

    Just my $0.02
  • Thanks, I think you're illustrating the main
    problem I have with Linux -- it's zealot users.
    (Actually, I have a problem with zealotry from
    any OS camp, including my beloved BeOS.)


    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • scales up to 256 processors

    2048. Go read the latest supercomputer list. A single image IRIX-based Origin 2000 supercomputer is number six on the list. But the claim about IRIX being the first 64-bit OS is true if you are talking a *single image* system.
  • Thank you. About time somebody said it. It's the *IGNORANT FOOL* users that spread their misinformed opinions about Linux that actually hurt it. Rather than *acknowledging its weaknesses* (HINT - even LINUS does - read the kernel mailing list) - those zealots are the ones who only hurt Linux as serious users point to them and say "ha, I'll be damned if I'll run an OS if people can only spout off such garbage."

    I used to say the same thing when I ran OS/2. I've used them *all*, and I know the advantages and disadvantages as well as the architectures of each. Now if only everyone else did and could remain civilized...
  • Where does this live their high-end graphic applications?
  • You don't even know what SIMD, MIMD and MISD mean, do you?
  • Simple point of clarity. Also a minor goof in the article:

    "Linux is a 32-bit operating system and does not scale beyond four processors."

    A suppose those alpha types have just been wasting 32 bits this whole time, eh? =)
  • An educated opinion is a well-informed opinion. The following is my list, in order of decreasing complexity and (what I think) are admirable design characteristics and flaws:

    1. IRIX - fully multithreaded, very scalable, but VERY expensive (prohibitively in most app areas)
    2. WinNT - fully multithreaded, flexible, not too scalable, though it has a large learning curve and suffers from backward compatability
    3. Tru64 (formerly Digital UNIX) - microkernel based, flexible, fast, scalable, great networking OS
    4. QNX - microkernel, RTOS, small footprint. Main drawbacks are expense, copying overhead in the OS and only (currently) runs on X86
    5. BeOS - microkernel, fast, efficient, great development tools, portable. Doesn't scale to really big boxes.. At least not yet.
    6. Solaris - scalable, though it's too close to classic UNIX architecture for my taste and ships rather broken until you apply a gazillion patches.
    7. Linux - older architecture kernel, over-hyped, doesn't scale well for the lack of fine grained kernel locks, not fully POSIX compliant (yet). Is easy to develop on and has a wide base of portability; it's also cheap and supports a lot of lower end hardware, which makes it great for clustering (MIMD supercomputers) and research.
    8. FreeBSD - fast, efficient, but supports only X86 and doesn't scale very well. With Alpha support, it's winning some of my favor.
    9. VxWorks - great for embedded stuff, not much use to the average consumer; it's a RTOS.
    10. LynxOS - another RTOS, POSIX compliant, runs on PPC and X86, but it's rather broken unless you're reserving it for a dedicated application.
    11. MacOS - it's pretty but it's reminiscent of Win 3.1. MacOS X will change that.. But for now the Apple OS is rather worthless IMHO.
    12. HPUX - it's a kludge; it's a miracle it works. HP makes good printers. That's about all I give them credit for.
    13. Win95 - it's not an OS, get over it.

    VMS would be close to the top of my list, but it's dead.. Anyway WinNT is largely based on the good things of VMS from a computer science perspective, as is Tru64; hence they're on the top of my list.

    This opinion is based on ease of use, flexibility, scalability, TCO, portability, and of course- adherence to classical OS theory of each OS. My two cents.
  • Shouldn't the language be "claims" rather than "proclaims."

    An official with the company "proclaims" things. A journalist just "claims" them.

    I'm not denying the possibility that the rumor is true, just pointing out that it's, um... a rumor, isn't it?
  • Joe Torre's been manager since the mid 90's, and, as long as he doesn't retire, he's not going anywhere anytime soon. Before that, Showalter was there for a good 3 or 4 years. I can't think of many other teams who have only had two or three managers in *this* decade. Blue Jays? Nope. Gaston's gone. Red Sox? Nope. They've had a half dozen or so. Braves? Okay, maybe, but all Bobby Cox has to do is show up with the pitching he has on that team. Mets? Nope. Expos? Maybe; they *know* they suck and no manager can help *that* (have they canned Alou?) Orioles? Nope. Rangers? Nuh-uh.

    It's common knowledge that, when a team is doing poorly, the manager is the first to go. It's no surprise that the Yankees went through quite a few managers in the late 80's. Name me a few teams who keep managers longer than the Yanks have held onto Torre. however.

    - A.P.

    "One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

  • By the time IA-64 is dominant I think that SGI will be helping to ensure that Linux will be up to speed on issues necessary for that.

    So... how about a donation to the Linux project of some parts of the IRIX filesystem, eh? Journaling?
  • ...who kicked the crap out of whom last week? 21-1? That's a frigging football score. Your Indians can come back when they've had a little more batting practice; we'll be ready.

    - A.P.

    "One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

  • MAny apps such as softimage and what not allow beowulf style rendering. This of course, is depending if the apps get ported.

    mental ray [], the renderer that most Softimage [] shops use, is already ported to Linux (x86 and Alpha) as well as many other flavors of Un*x. It lets a master machine farm out tiles to worker machines and it is multithreaded (takes advantage of SMP) as well.

  • Well, considering what I have been reading in a few newsgroups recently about how badly some 32-bit Linux apps port to Linux Alpha, yes.
  • berate SGI now? The only real mistake I see lately is their logo change. They still support MIPS in their other systems. The Visual Workstations are a step in the profit direction. Instead of having to use all of their own software (having a hardware and software division gets very expensive) they can now use Windows or Linux on their workstations and servers. They're doing their best to port their IRIX stuff to linux, which is much easier than porting to NT because linux is entirely open source. Their hardware is nothing to scoff at either, a 64bit PCI bus isn't something Amptron offers of their motherboards, and their total memory bandwidth is very high. Yes I know the 810 will get 3+ gigs of bandwidth, but will people really use it? Having a completely locked down motherboard is something I thought might be going away. SGI's board is expandable as any other 440BX board.
  • In a couple weeks at SIGGRAPH, SGI will be demoing hardware acceleration and IRIS Performer under linux. []
  • >they are also porting IRIX to IA64

    No they are not. This was killed. You are correct that MIPS is still to be irix and they are still developing future versions of irix for mips cpu's but they have offically canned the port of irix to ia64.

    This cnet article confirms it:,4,38162,00.html?

    complete with quotes from sgi senior executives.
  • But look at them now. They're going to be selling Merced/Linux systems. They don't make the hardware and they don't make the software. I'm sure the systems they sell will be high-end and quality systems, but we've seen a giant fall.

    Now, don't go overboard. The correct statement is that they don't make the processor and they don't make the operating system. They will most likely continue to make all the other hardware, and all the other software. They make their own motherboards, AFAIK, and these puppies have some pretty fast, fat pipes pumping the bits around.

    99 little bugs in the code, 99 bugs in the code,
    fix one bug, compile it again...

  • so, because sgi has decided to move into a lower-end workstation market, as well as their previous markets, they dont deserve credit? All that they're doing, is getting their part in a lucrative market with the x86 boxes.. they still sell mips systems, and still packed with irix to boot ;P

  • great! now open up the source to Irix so we can use the good parts in Linux
  • It presumes that SGI is capable of making a decision.
  • Actually, the default screen res is 1280x1024...

    It does look a lot nicer at that res than NT does at 1600, though.

  • I've been an IRIX user for a long time (own
    an Indy), and must admit this might actually
    be a Bad Thing. Now, don't get me wrong, I
    also have a Linux box, and use it most of the
    time, but IRIX really is amazing. I hate to
    see it go. I'm hoping that ALL Irix software
    will be ported. If that happens, then I'll
    switch this over to a Good Thing. Irix is
    by far the most stable operating system I
    have ever used. I would love to see the same
    software minds who came up with it now focus
    on Linux. We're in for a fun ride!
  • A letter I sent to their comments email:

    To: Newswire@VNUBPL
    Subject: SGI to use Linux...

    Hello, and warm greetings from the U.S.,

    In your article about SGI opting for Linux on its
    IA64 based machines, there were a couple of
    factual errors concerning the Linux operating

    Since roughly 1995, Linux has been a 64bit OS.
    It currently runs in full 64bit mode on Compaq's
    Alpha (the first 64bit chip supported by Linux,
    way back in the day), and also has a port to
    Sun's UltraSPARC family of CPUs, which are 64bit
    (though I hear there are a couple of problems
    making 64bit memory access work correctly
    because of some weirdness in the way Sun
    structures its hardware).

    Linux' scalability is certainly not up to snuff -
    especially when compared to that of IRIX or
    Solaris, but it will run on 16-processor systems
    (just not well). Its sweet-spot is currently two-
    processor systems. Look for version 2.4 to
    increase the scalability of the OS kernel, as it
    will have support for finer-grained locking and
    management of resources.

    Further, the Linux OS already runs on the MIPS
    family of processors, as well as other big-endian
    CPUs (such as the aforementioned SPARC). While I
    agree that there is little chance of Linux on
    IA64 running binaries made for IRIX on MIPS, the
    issue at hand isn't Linux per se, but a question
    of machine architecture. For instance, it would
    be technically possible and quite feasible to
    make IRIX/MIPS binaries run on Linux/MIPS. It
    may be that I misread this part of the article,

    Just a couple of points, hopefully rationally



    Their response:

    Thanks for pointing that out. We've posted a
    corrected version and the incorrect story is
    being removed. Sorry these things slip through
    the net sometimes - we appreciate your


    Andrew Craig
    Deputy News Editor
    VNU Newswire
  • well yeah, being that they only now own cray. the biggest of the bad assed supercomputing companies.
  • The transistion from 32 bit IRIX 5 to 64 bit IRIX 6 was a disaster at that time.

    So maybe they do themselves a favour not porting it to IA64.

  • Thanks for the hint!
    The WWW-Site at indeed
    is a good starting point to get informations
    about Linux on SGI/Mips and SGI/Intel. There
    is a distribution called "Hard Hat 5.1" derived from RedHat 5.1.
    It should be possible to use Linux on a large
    number of R4x00 and R5000 SGI machines. For other
    brands of R3000 (DEC 2100 etc.) linux ports have
    been done.

    Freely available patches for Irix (according
    to A.C.)
    - Are you sure about Irix 5.3?
    - We are talking about R3000 Indigo for which you
    can't get an Irix 6.x
    - Never change a running system ;-) Hopefully
    they will at least be usable as terminals,
    with or without Linux

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don't worry.

    SGI is migrating down to linux the features they think linux needs to move up to the type of hardware SGI wants to build (think Origin and Onyx with Merced in place of MIPS). XFS and the direct rendering infrastucture are the most visible of these.

    It will take time for these, and other less visible, Irix features to migrate to Linux - which is why SGI is still commited to supporting Irix on MIPS through two more processor generations (R14K and beyond).

    I can't comment on the state of XFS for Linux, SGI said they would need some time to put the source in a releaseable form - they need to make sure they don't release copyrighted code etc.
  • Anyone else have trouble viewing the page? All I get is what looks like a frame asking me if I want to comment on the story.
  • I wrote into their comments address and pointed out a few factual errors.

    As a result, an updated version has been posted here.

    The errors corrected are:

    • Linux not being only 32-bit
    • IRIX being the first 64-bit UNIX (OSF/1 was).
    • The MIPS processors are R12000, R14000, R16000 not just the numerics.
  • WinNT strategy: You can get a box with Linux, and install NT over it. But why would you want to hobble your k-rad SGI hardware like that?


    Seriously, however, they'll still be offering NT. There's still a lot of demand for it-- lotta Microsoft-only shops out there-- and it'd be foolish to turn down that customer base.

    Look at it this way: The money they make selling NT solutions will help them develop even better Linux solutions };-)
  • give an perspective to Your comments..

    Thomas Berg
  • This is the most interesting spin on this article I have seen yet. The idea of Linux being a unifying force in the Unix world. This could be the thing which really brings Unix to be THE dominant OS for business.

    Imagine if Solaris, HP-UX, IRIX, etc. were all to be replaced with Linux. A single Unix which has the developement efforts of not only the Linux community, but all the major computer companies. I think this is something which could actually make M$ sweat.

    Unfortunately, I do not see this as being a trend. IBM, HP, SUN all have way too much invested in there commercial Unix variants to drop them. As several others have pointed out, this is simply the end of Irix on Intel, not on MIPS. This is still a wonderful thing for the Linux community, and will undoubtedly lead to significant improvements to the Linux kernel, and hopefully the XFree project also.

    Good for SGI. Good for Linux. Hopefully, bad for M$.
  • The MIPS R4000 was the first 64-bit CPU (back in 1989 or 1990, IIRC).

    The first 64-bit microprocessor, perhaps.

    Nothing against MIPS parts -- my main workstation at home and my main games machine both use 'em (the latter is faster, of course) -- but 64-bit machines existed well before that.

    Just wait; when Merced-based PCs become available, the idiot press will tout them as the first 64-bit computers.

  • SGI is already going to bag MIPS (eventually)
    because it is such a niche chip. The super
    computers that SGI "owns" are Crays, not SGIs,
    and they run Unicos, not Irix. I'm sure Unicos
    will be around for a while, but it makes total
    business sense to drop Irix in favour of Linux.

    Any hardware that "SGI" is designing to run 64k
    processors will run Unicos, not Irix.
  • Another thing that this may aloow is for linux users to see ports of some killer apps such as softimage, maya and others along those lines. This, in combination with the killer graphics speed of SGI hardware, would make linux a viable replacement for CG. Something else that might benifit is improvment of the tcp stack. MAny apps such as softimage and what not allow beowulf style rendering. This of course, is depending if the apps get ported.
  • SGI is forsaking all of their customers.

    Most of SGI's customers left a while ago. That's why they're doing this - they aren't able to compete anymore. The faster and cheaper PCs get, the less likely it is that $10,000 workstations from SGI (and others) are going to be considered an option.

    It's happening across the board - everybody (not just SGI) is reorganizing around Intel on the low end, because they can't compete on price with Intel systems, and the majority of low-end systems are sold on price, not performance. I'm not saying it's right, but I would rather see SGI stay alive by selling Linux than die a slow, wasting death clutching onto IRIX...

    P.S. Before anyone feels the need to point it out, I know that the $10K SGI will run rings around the $3K Intel box - but try to convince a purchasing manager of that...

  • Adding layers of middle management is a good solution, see what its done for them in the last couple of years.. Get to hiring those pointy haired boss types. And if you go over personell budget? Fire some engineers and replace them with contractors!

    (If you dont get the joke: SGI has the largest percentage of middle management compared to the rest of the tech industry and silicon valley)
  • Well, I cannot reveal my sourced, but:

    * SGI plan to modify Linux to run on 64 & up processors..
    * They're porting Linux to MIPS (not just the R3000, think MUCH bigger numbers - R10000 & up)
    * And some more surprises.

    As soon as I'll have more info, I'll post it on /.

  • Hey!

    I run Linux on a rather expensive Intel SMP box and wouldn't mind buying a SGI box if I could get linux to run on it. I (and probably a lot other linux users) use Linux because it suits my needs and I got the source if somethings needs changing, now *thats* what linux is all about, not saving money...

  • aah, bite me.

    Just chill, man. We're not competing here.
    Or did you need to justify your inflated
  • I guess no one wants all that 'mathy stuff' anymore. Serious computing is at an end.

    IRIX 6.2 with IDO:

    sgi3 10# apropos matrix | wc
    1006 24627 153747
    sgi3 11# apropos eigen | wc
    244 6123 42143

    Redhat 5.2:

    stupidpc:~# apropos matrix
    matrix: nothing appropriate
    stupidpc:~# apropos eigen
    eigen: nothing appropriate

    But why reinvent the wheel?
    When all you need is the valve stem....
  • Here [], rather.

    For some reason the comment poster/editor doesn't like quotes in links.. And, it posted my first update as an AC..

    Is something broken?


  • The URL in the story doesn't seem to work, but this one does: earch_mo.right_frame?p_story=87942
  • You still have the wrong logo.
    The 'sgi' one is for the new
    silicon graphics.
  • here's the list:

  • by Anonymous Coward
    >Freely available patches for Irix (according
    > to A.C.)
    > - Are you sure about Irix 5.3?

    IRIX 5.3, 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4
    SGI also provides patches and workarounds that make the base IRIX releases 5.3, 6.2, 6.3, and 6.4 Y2K-compliant.

    As for R4000 Indigos, they are still support up to and including IRIX 6.5 (if you wish to run it or not is up to you). R3000 processors are limited to 5.3+xfs

    And as for changing a running system, how many Linux users havent updated their system at all in more than 5 years. Perhaps the way Linux is updated gets people thinking it is the way all systems work. Patch updates under IRIX are very s imple to install and back out of. The download will be the longest period of time in the procedure. Inst or swmgr will take care of the rest.

  • What you say above is exactly was SGI states if you ask them. They seem to have a bit more insight than some of their competitors (or perhaps arrive at the insight a little quicker?).

  • Why is everyone so confrontational here on
    /. anyways? Sheesh. Must be all the caffeine
    in the systems.

    I read the article, too.

  • I wonder how many of these guys use SGI equipment. I also wonder if they read the details which seemed to spell out the distinction between Mips/Intel hardware. I have plenty of SGI hardware to play with and despite the great performance their stock has dropped from higher values of years gone by.

    I see this as good news for SGI because a Linux community will strive to make their hardware look even better. This could be a wake up and smell the coffee situation as the Linux community works with systems that show the power of SGI graphics!

  • I think that if SGI is going to drop Irix, it would be wonderful to see them release portions of their code under a BSD-license, especially since Irix grew out of BSD (and became the first POSIX certified BSD-derived OS).
  • Read the article closely (and others that deal with the subject)! SGI is not killing Irix. They just opted to not port it to IA64.

    At the end of the article it is spelled out clearly that there is MIPS CPU roadmap for R14000 and R16000. For a few years minimum, we will see MIPS/Irix systems alongside with IA64/Linux systems being sold and supported by SGI.
  • It may be a headache for sysadmins, I don't know, but it's the best OS *ever* for an end user. I'm ten times more productive on my little Indy than on my shite NT box with four times the horsepower.
  • I sincerey hope that this doesn't get moderated down to Flamebait! :)
  • by Foogle ( 35117 )
    Um, they already gave us XFS, didn't they? We just haven't used it yet.\

  • umm... somebody want to tell them that it supports up to 16 cpu's (on the 2.0, don't know about the 2.2).
    oh yeah and what about ultra pengiun? a few more bits there, 64.
    damn e-zine writers... don't want to read the howto's.... just like a newbie.
  • Possibly SGI has decided that they can write better proprietary Graphics software if they don't have to also maintain the platform it runs on. It would be a strategic move to "give away" the base operating system in order to regroup and focus on what SGI is best at: high end graphics. The OS is just the black tar surface. The applications are the high performance vehicles that roll across it.

    I doubt (but then this whole subject is based on rumors yet, is it not?) that SGI is giving away the crown jewels yet.
  • by jerodd ( 13818 ) on Monday August 02, 1999 @06:10AM (#1770180) Homepage
    Linux doesn't scale very well beyond two CPUs, and beyond four, adding more CPUs can sometimes make things worse. Thus, it can't scale to 16 CPUs.

    Ultra Penguin doesn't let user space programs run in 64-bit mode. This makes it rather useless for 64-bit applications. AlphaLinux can, but the gcc/gas code generator for the Alpha is not very good--thus AlphaLinux is slower than NT (which is shameful).

    We've still got a lot of work to do, but it's good to see SGI's announcement--they can give us some help on the high end (as they've already done with things such as their large-memory patches).


  • True -- but linux doesn't SCALE well at all with more than 4 cpus. With linux in it's infancy, though, and now with the support of Sun, this may not be an issue in a short while.

  • Yes, just four CPUs. It doesn't scale that well yet. It can START 16 processors, but won't utilise them all appropiately. So, just four (with 2.2).

    The part about Linux being 32 bits is way off, though, as you noted. Linux runs as a 64-bit OS on Alpha and UltraSPARC. But then, the article's author's mentality is surrounded around Wintel.
  • According to, SGI is owning the supercomputer market. They account for over 1/3 of the world's installed base, and almost 1/2 of the world's supercomputer horsepower.

    And according to page 13 of SGI's 10Q [] from Q3 1999, the supercomputer market and the desktop Unix market is shrinking. And they didn't turn a profitable quarter last Q because of Cray.

    They're simply following the money with what they would consider a midrange offering.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's fantastic news and I think this is where SGI needs to be. And it's especially good news for me because I'm right smack-dab in the midrange market. But if I had a dime for everyone who said that SGI is making money because of the supercomputing biz, I'd have enough of a slush fund to buy SGI's loser stock. (That might be considered a donation to a non-profit organization! 'Course, there's last quarter's actual good news...)

    I don't think SGI will forsake any market -- supercomputing, desktop IRIX, whatever -- for Linux. Frankly, they'd be fool to. A lot of Guv'ment stuff riding on mega-multi processing power. But not enough for SGI to be consistently profitable in the past.

    Linux is SGI going for diversification. *sigh* As is NT. And I'm sure there's more to come. If SGI is smart -- and there's some indication of intelligent life in Mountain View -- they'll go for the profitable markets, not the stuff that people think is "cool."

    Hell, everyone else is...Sun...HP...IBM Anyone I missed?

  • Yours doesn't work either. (It works if I select it and cut&paste, but not when I click it. It looks like the URL you put in the HREF=... part doesn't match what you are showing on the screen.) What you show on the screen was right, though. Here's the corrected correct link.
  • Okay, what of Alias|Wavefront? I've heard no rumblings about a Maya (or Composer, etc) port to Linux. This is the 'killer app' for a significant market segment... and it's *owned* by SGI. We know it's portable -- I mean, it runs on IRIX, HPUX (that was the port that the commerce department required when SGI bought Alias and Wavefront, IIRC), and NT. I've heard rumours of a Houdini port... I can't believe SGI would ignore this apparent hole in their corporate strategy -- I mean, it's looking more and more like they're moving from 'Linux as a Visual Workstation server solution' to 'Linux as a total desktop solution'. And smeggin' tanj, Maya is just *cool*.

  • My link got altered by slashdot's HTML filtering, I think. It has the same problem yours did. I typed in this:
    <A HREF="buncha stuff here">
    buncha stuff here
    And it deleted the stuff after the HREF= when I submitted it.

    Rob, something is broke on your site I think.

  • mumble mumble mumble blah blah
  • OS400? BLEH! sick OS they made us take in first semester college course! hate it, and they go on about how secure it is, looked to me like security through obscurity

    what a pain in the ass it was
  • I'd hope that this journalist makes it sound like a fact, since it wasn announced over a year ago that the MIPS line was no longer being manufactured and IRIX wasn't being supported any more. Face it, it IS a fact
  • it deals with Intel, not MIPS. MIPS will still be IRIX. they are also porting IRIX to IA64 (no new info there) and wil help make Linux 64 bit on IA 64.

    why is this news again? seriously, this is nothing new, except the misleading idea that IRIX/MIPS is dying.

    jose nazario
  • by noxie ( 74488 )
    "We are looking at getting chunks of Irix technology into Linux," said Shiffman.

    setuid /bin/eject!

  • Is is already possible to install Linux on these
    old systems being an ordinary Unix admin? It
    really would be nice if SGI would do some
    polishing and make a linux distribution for their
    old day systems.
    We have four Indigo systems with an R3000 for
    which we can't get an actual version of Irix and
    therefore no Y2K support.

  • The word 'disaster' is completely wrong. Overall, SGI have a pretty good record in transitioning to new API's. IRIX64 works quite well.

    I can believe they're thinking twice about the port to IA64, however.
  • 'Diabolical enough'? - No.

    'Proprietary'? - some. I'd say that would be the hardware though. Not the software.

    SGI really want to sell their hardware, above all. There will be no 'fork', why should there be?
  • By MY measure I am a bigger SGI fan than you.
    By MY measure the new logo is appropiate for
    Intel/Linux Boosters.
    By MY measure the cube is for the pre-new logo
    machines (excluding the VPC, of course)
    So I should be commenting here, and I do.

    Btw: any SGI fan would know that 'SkyWriter'
    is the name of such a machine that is appropriate
    for the cube logo, and as such, rightly bears it
  • if sgi is really going to drop irix (which i SERIOUSLY doubt), they are going to be making a BIG mistake. irix has features (such as guaranteed io bandwidth) that linux doesn't. i think this rumor is pure bullshit.
  • Does anyone else here think that SGI might be diabolical enough to make a "better" Linux-based graphics platform that is largely proprietary? Maybe they wouldn't/couldn't do that, but I'll have to say it makes me a bit nervous. A distro is fine, but massive changes could start a fork.
  • Ummm, isn't that backwards?

    Apple has mighty fine color matching software [] because they control the OS, computer, and (if you're doing it right) the monitor.

    I can understand SGI wanting to get out of the OS business, but not to make their graphics software better.

    At any rate, investment from SGI towards Linux can help in a few areas everyone says it's needed: CPU scalability and high-end (esp. 3D) graphics.

  • by HenryFlower ( 27286 ) on Monday August 02, 1999 @06:37AM (#1770221)
    1. Do you make your money off of hardware, support, consulting, and add-on software, or on your proprietary OS?
    2. Are there unique strengths your company has? (IBM=global enterprise services, SGI=visualization, Sun=network is the computer)
    3. In the short or medium term, are you shifting to an Intel hardware strategy (ia32, ia64)? (SGI, HP, IBM?)
    4. In the short term, can you live with less than enterprise level? (SGI)
    Why spend oodles of money developing the OS whose only function is to create a market for your hardware, services, unique value, if you can spend less money developing those features into Linux? In the final analysis, your competitive strength is not your OS (especially SGI, IBM, HP; Sun seems to be more tied to Solaris), and it is defocusing to pretend that the OS does anything more than help you get into the market where you strengths show.

    The problem for the moment for IBM, Sun, HP, is that Linux is seen mostly as an Intel solution, and that it doesn't scale up to enterprise levels. But it makes perfect sense for SGI to phase out Irix in favor of a Linux with all the support for visualization that plays to SGI's strengths. And it makes sense for the rest to shift R&D from proprietary OSs, into Linux, to develop the enterprise level features and strength on non-Intel platforms to allow them to phase out AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, etc.

    This is a clear win for Linux (witness XFS, etc.), and we ought to encourage this as much as possible.

  • It's probably just very expensive for big vendors to maintain their own flavour of unix, so just put the best bits of their own unix into linux, and allow the open source community to look after it, with allthe other bebefits linux brings (multi-platform compatibility etc).
    Maybe if more vendors do this (competing to add technology to linux ???) then we'll see it improve much further than it already has.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"