As of May 8, 2002 IRIX 6.5.16 is releasing with all new systems
shipping from SGI worldwide manufacturing centers.
The IRIX 6.5.16 release contains updates for both the maintenance
(6.5.16m) and feature (6.5.16f) streams. This release continues the
focus on stability, reliability and compatibility required in the
IRIX 6.5.X quarterly release process.
Approximately 105 customer reported incidents are fixed in this release.
In addition to bug fixes, the IRIX 6.5.16 maintenance path delivers
several software enhancements and additional installation improvements.
Since a major goal of the IRIX 6.5.X release process is to provide a
feature stream as stable as the maintenance stream, the same bug fixes
and software enhancements are also applied to the IRIX 6.5.16 feature path.
The general distribution process is through the online ordering system.
IRIX 6.5.16m and 6.5.16f images are also available for download off
Summary of Software Enhancements delivered by IRIX 6.5.16
IRIX 6.5.15 Feature Stream:
System Performance and Tuning
IRIX 6.5.16 Maintenance and Feature Stream:
- New joblimitsign kernel tunable parameters group
This tunable can be used to specify that specific job limit resource
accumulation and enforcement should be ignored by the kernel.
- New setjusage system call
The setjusage system call is used to update resource usage for jobs
in the kernel. The system call can only be used to update usage
information if the limit accumulation and enforcement for the
specified resource is being ignored. This function can be used by
sites to implement a site-specific solution for resource accumulation
- Comprehensive System Accounting (CSA)
Change to csa.conf file
The ACCT_FS parameter in the /etc/csa.conf file is removed. The
MIN_BLKS parameter now determines the minimum number of free 1K
blocks needed on the file system on which the /var/adm/acct
directory resides. The default is 2000.
- New interrupt thread control interface
A new XThread Control Interface (XTCI) is introduced that allows
users to control many interrupt thread parameters, including cpu
binding. System administrators can use this interface to control
kernel thread properties separate from the physical interrupts
Performance Monitoring Tools
- Enhanced rtmond performance for large systems
Performance improvements have been made to the rtmond system
monitoring daemon. These improvements will be most noticeable
on systems with 128 CPUs and larger.
- Features added to Array Services
Array Services scaling support has increased from a maximum of
8 hosts to 64 hosts. Array Services also provides increased
interoperability with job limits.
- Enhanced mouse support
Support is added for the mouse with more than three buttons
or with wheels. Users with Microsoft Intellimouse or Intellimouse
Explorer can use this expanded functionality in many IRIX and Open
- New option to mpadmin(1) command
An -x[processor] option is added to the mpadmin(1) command that
allows you to exclude the specified CPU from performing any work.
This functionality is useful in a situation where a CPU may have
a suspected hardware error but you do not want to shut down the
Checkpoint and Restart
- For FailSafe customers, if you install IRIX 6.5.16, including
sysadm_base, on a cluster node where FailSafe 2.1.1 is installed,
you will need to upgrade to FailSafe 2.1.2 (sysadm_failsafe2) and
install 6.5.16 sysadm_cluster.
- New functions in Cpuset library
Cpuset library routines, cpusetMove(3x) and cpusetMoveMigrate(3x),
can be used to move processes between cpusets and optionally migrate
their memory. Using this functionality, existing cpusets can be
obseleted to free resources to run a prime job and then easily
reconstitute cpusets to continue prior jobs. Because memory used by
a process can be migrated to the node associated with the new cpuset,
memory locality is improved.
- New systune variable in usopenpollsema(3P) library call
The disable_uspollsema_chk systune variable turns off the standard
access mode checking on usopenpollsema(3P) (set on the first call
to usopenpollsema(3P) via the 'acc' parameter). Some older IRIX
applications that were written to work with usopenpollsema(3P) may
now require this variable.
- Planned Online Documentation Tools/Books Upgrade in IRIX 6.5.17
For the IRIX 6.5.17 release, the online documentation tools
(InSight) and books will undergo some changes. A more open,
standards-based technology will be utilized to create HTML books
from industry-standard DocBook XML markup. This same technology
will be provided to ISVs and customers.
An update process will be supplied to make existing books available
in the new format. InfoSearch will become the primary documentation
viewing tool and will be modeled after the SGI TechPubs Library
(techpubs.sgi.com), which already utilizes the new book format.
Books will also be viewable directly from the filesystem using any
available web browser. More detailed information regarding this
upgrade will be made available in the IRIX 6.5.17 Welcome web page.
SGI Software Product Life Cycle Management
- IRIX support policy
In accordance with the SGI software product life cycle management
strategy announced in November 2000, SGI will announce support mode
changes for various software products on a quarterly basis. To view
customer letters containing support mode changes announced since
November 2000, as well as the latest IRIX Support Policy documents,
visit the IRIX Support Policy Web page located at:
The following products were updated with bug fixes only:
- Impressario Printing Tools
- IRIX Interactive Desktop
- IRIX Interactive Desktop Administration
- IRIX Interactive Desktop Tools
- SGImeeting 2.0.2
The following products contain enhancements or new features:
- Array Services 3.5
- Information Searching Execution Environment
- License Tools 3.4.6
- NEdit 5.2
- Xinet Appletalk 10.02
IRIX 6.5 Application Compatibility Mandate
For those providers asking about quarterly recertification of
applications, please take a moment and become acquainted with the
application compatibility protections offered by IRIX 6.5. This is a
very powerful mandate that allows an application to be developed under
IRIX 6.5.X and be run on any IRIX 6.5.Y, regardless of whether
Y > X, Y == X, or Y < x.
The Mandate of Application Compatibility in SGI IRIX 6.5 is at URL:
Caveats to Read Before You Upgrade
Users are reminded to review the special "Caveats to Read Before You
Upgrade" section of the online Welcome document. Visit the
"Caveat and Release Note Updates" link at:
for any late-breaking information.
IRIX 6.5.X Lookahead
IRIX 6.5.17 is in development and is planned to release mid-August, 2002