Why Trust Techopedia

What Does IRIX Mean?

IRIX is a Linux-based operating system from Silicon Graphics Inc. It is compatible with UNIX system V with Berkley Software Distribution extensions. The IRIX operating system is optimized for applications using 3D visualizations and virtual reality environments.


Techopedia Explains IRIX

IRIX was first released in 1988 when UNIX 3.0 was released for the IRIS series of servers and work stations. Integrating IRIX provided the first real-time 3D X Windows by integrating Open Graphics Library with the X Window System environment. IRIX supports symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) as well as 64-bit and 32-bit environments. IRIX is the first UNIX-based operating system supporting SMP. It is designed for SGI computers.

The main versions of the IRIX OS are:

  1. 4D1 3.0 (1988): This is the earliest version. It was based on UNIX System V Release 3 with 4.3BSD enhancements and also included the 4Sight windowing system (based on NeWS and IRIS GL).
  2. 4D1 4.0 (1991): This was another major version. 4Sight was replaced with the X Window System (X11R4), using the 4Dwm window manager and providing a similar look and feel to 4Sight windowing system.
  3. IRIX 5.0 (1993): This version incorporated certain features of UNIX System V Release 4, including ELF-format executables. The XFS journaling file system was introduced in IRIX 5, after the release of the OS.
  4. IRIX 6.0 (1994): This supported a 64-bit OS.
  5. IRIX 6.5: This was the last major release. IRIX 6.5.30 was introduced in August 2006, after which the OS was deprecated.

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.