Personal System Administration Guide
Underlying the applications and tools you use on your IRIS ® is the IRIX (TM) operating system (a version of the UNIX ® operating system). IRIX is much more flexible and powerful than traditional personal computer operating systems in these ways:
IRIX is a multiuser operating system, which means several users can
work on the system simultaneously and maintain private files.
IRIX makes the IRIS a multi-tasking system, which means the IRIS can
run several applications, print files, and update files simultaneously.
IRIX lets you connect the system to a network where you can transparently
transfer files to and from another system or peripheral device.
IRIX lets you add a broad range of hardware peripherals such as printers, terminals, disk drives, and modems without additional software.
Along with the advanced capabilities of the IRIX operating system come certain responsibilities for setting up, maintaining, and troubleshooting it. This set of responsibilities is known as system administration. Click a topic below for more information.
an Administrator and Privileged Users" describes the responsibilities
and permission levels of different users.
"Using System Administration Tools" describes the System toolchest and the IRIX shell.
You need to decide which people will be responsible for keeping the system in good running order and, if the system is connected to a network, who will work in conjunction with the network administrator to access network services.
Because many people may use the same system, the system provides a built-in security scheme where you can grant different people different capabilities for changing the system. There are three levels of capability:
In a large, secure, networked environment run by an experienced network administrator, the scheme could work in this manner:
The network administrator is the Administrator for every system; this
means he is the only person who can use the root account, his name appears
on the account, and only he knows the password.
The Administrator creates a standard personal login account for each
person who will use a particular system; the average is three Users per
Out of all the Users, the Administrator selects one person to be responsible for maintaining the system daily; the Administrator adds administrative privileges to this person's account, making the person a Privileged User.
In a smaller, less secure environment where each person has one system, the scheme could work in this manner:
Each person is completely responsible for maintaining his own system.
That person is both a Privileged User and the Administrator. Usually the
person performs administrative tasks while logged in to his personal account.
But when he must use the IRIX shell with administrative privileges, the
person logs out and logs back in to the root account.
The Privileged User adds login accounts for other people who occasionally need to use the system. If one of these Users ever needs to perform administrative tasks, the Privileged User adds privileges to the User's account to make him a Privileged User.
For environments in which one person uses a particular system much more frequently than anyone else (where the person is essentially the system's owner), you can designate that person as the Primary User. The Primary User does not necessarily have any special access privileges; the person's name appears along with the Administrator's name in the system's System Manager window so other users know who uses the system regularly. There is only one Primary User per system.
Note: The System Setup tool supports the model where one person has one system which he must maintain. When you create a login account for a person using this tool, it designates that person as the Primary User, and also makes the person a Privileged User. If necessary, you can later use the User Manager to remove administrative privileges or assign the title of Primary User to someone else.
A Privileged User can use administration tools to perform these tasks:
Setting up the system initially as a standalone system or as a member
of an existing network. (See "Setting
Up System Basics.")
Creating login accounts so all users of the system can access it. (See
a User Login Account.") If the system will be connected to a network,
the Administrator may work in conjunction with the network administrator.
Installing application software and updating system software. (Only
the Administrator can do this at this time; see "Installing
Performing regular backups of the entire filesystem and, in some cases,
of individual users' data, and restoring data when it is lost. (Only the
Administrator can do this at this time; see "Backing
Up and Restoring Files.")
Monitoring and troubleshooting the system to keep it working efficiently and properly. (See Chapter 6, "Managing Disk Space", and Chapter 7, "Maintaining the System", and Chapter 8, "Troubleshooting.")
If your system will be part of a network, the Privileged User is also responsible for:
Contacting the network administrator before connecting your system to
the network. The network administrator provides information that you need
to uniquely identify your system on the network and to ensure that the
regular users of your system can have accounts on other systems on the
network. (See "Setting
Up Network Connections.")
Making all, some, or none of your system's directories available to
all, some, or none of the other systems and users on the network. (See
Your Disk Space Available to Other Systems.")
Providing access to printers on other systems so the users of your system
can send files to them. (See "Accessing
a Printer Across the Network.")
Providing access to disk space that's available on other systems on the network. (See "Using Disk Space on Other Systems.")
The responsibilities of a network administrator vary greatly from site to site. If you will be using the network, it's important to contact the network administrator to understand all the services that are available to you. In general, the network administrator is responsible for:
Setting up and maintaining the network so connections are reliable and
data is transferred as quickly as possible.
Creating, maintaining, and periodically distributing a list of all systems
and users so that each has a unique identity on the network.
Setting up and maintaining network services such as electronic mail and the Network Information Services (NIS).
For more information on network administration, see Chapter 15, "Understanding Silicon Graphics Networking Products,"Chapter 16, "Planning a Network," and Chapter 17, "Setting Up a Network" in the IRIX Advanced Site and Server Administration Guide.
As the Administrator or Privileged User you can use two different types of tools:
The System toolchest provides a collection of graphical system administration
The IRIX shell accepts IRIX commands that you use for more advanced administrative tasks.
This online information describes how to use the graphical tools in the System toolchest to perform as many administration tasks as possible; in cases where no graphical tools support a task, you must use IRIX commands or edit system files. If you prefer to perform all administrative tasks without using the System toolchest, see the IRIX Advanced Site and Server Administration Guide (choose "Online Books" from the System toolchest, and look in the SGI_Admin bookshelf). Regardless of whether you edit system files manually or let the graphical tools do it for you, you are changing the same system files.
The administrative tools that you'll use most frequently are in the System toolchest menu; you run a tool by choosing it from the menu. The first tool in the menu is the System Manager. Tools that you use less frequently appear when you choose "System Admin Tools" from the Tools menu in the System Manager window.
The System toolchest includes these tools:
Only the Administrator can perform administrative tasks that are not supported by the graphical tools since he must use the root account in a shell window. The home directory for the root account is the root (/) directory of the filesystem. The user logged in to the root account can move, change, and delete every file and directory on the system, regardless of who owns them and what type of permissions they have set. Be sure to create a password for this account that only the Administrator knows. (See "Designating the Administrator with the User Manager".)
Note: Some UNIX and IRIX documents refer to the user of the root account as the superuser rather than the Administrator.
When you're already logged in as a regular user, you can start a shell window and log in as root by following these steps:
Choose "Unix Shell" from the Desktop toolchest.
Position your cursor within the new window and type:
Then press <Enter>.
If a prompt for a password appears, type the password then press <Enter>. If a prompt appears but the root account has no password, just press <Enter>. (See "Customizing System Account Information" to create, change, or remove a password.)
You are now logged in to the root account and are located in the root (/) directory. When you are logged in as root, the IRIX prompt is a pound sign (#) rather than a percent sign (%).
To log out of the root account, type:
Then press <Enter>. The shell window disappears.
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