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Re: Why Linux on SGI

To: linux-mips
Subject: Re: Why Linux on SGI
From: (Paul Antoine)
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 11:41:12 +1000 (EST)
In-reply-to: <> from "Ralf Baechle" at Apr 11, 97 00:01:54 am
Organization: Softway Pty Ltd
Ariel Faigon of SGI wrote:

> Miguel's answer is excellent. For the non-SGI'ers on the list
> I just would like to add:
> 1) IRIX has many features that important customers require

Important customers == big $$

>    (e.g. trusted IRIX capabilities, real time scheduling

<Softway advertising mode on>

...or if you need the advanced kernel resource management features of 
Softway's Share II on your SGI box, then IRIX is the only way to go...

<advertising mode off>

>     and many more) that actually make it slower than Linux
>    (in general). 

...yes, and although each feature on it's own tends to only make a small 
contribution to this, they do add up...

>    As a vendor SGI is committed to support
>    these features from low end to high end for a long time
>    to come.

I think this is an important point: these features will be available on
every 32 and 64 bit platform sold in the last few years from a single source
tree base that adds significantly to the maintainability and stability of
the core code. Many customers demand this kind of heterogeneity in their
environment (you would too if you had 5000 SGI's to administer)... however 
this is also a difficult task, and one that tends to lead to a *lot* of code.

>    IRIX is big. Linux is smaller and faster.
>    Once we have Linux running and we'll start running simple
>    benchmarks you'll see this very clearly. Another big feature
>    for our customers is XFS. Linux doesn't support a safe file
>    system, IRIX does (try to turn off your Linux box and you
>    lost a lot of stuff, unlike on IRIX with XFS.

As Ariel says, many of SGI's really important customers *demand* the 
facilities of XFS... and we're pretty unlikely to have anything like it 
under Linux unless someone on the net has 10's of person-years spare to 
implement something like it!

> The guy who said "SGI has hundreds of highly paid engineers
> tuning IRIX to run fast on MIPS" simply misses the issues.

Actually it's only 3 guys in the basement of building 6 in Mountain 
View... just kidding! :-)

> Both Linux and IRIX have their place. Each of them is good
> at different things. People should have a choice between SGI
> taking care of all their needs and the alternative to have
> full control of their software.
> Linux on SGI should prosper.

Indeed... and most especially on the older hardware: Linux will no doubt 
breath new life into ageing R3000's, and SGI workstations with small amounts 
of memory... :-)

Thanks Ariel!

Paul M. Antoine,                                        Net:
Softway Pty Ltd                                         WWW:
PO Box 305, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012, Australia       Tel: +61 2 9698 2322
Level 2, 79 Myrtle St, Chippendale, NSW 2008, Australia Fax: +61 2 9699 9174

"It is the lack of acceptance of diversity which threatens to 
 destroy society, NOT the free expression of it." - Me.

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