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SGI apps Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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    SGI apps Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This is one of the Silicon Graphics FAQ series, which consists of:

    SGI admin FAQ - IRIX system administration
    SGI apps FAQ - Applications and miscellaneous programming
    SGI audio FAQ - Audio applications and programming
    SGI diffs FAQ - Changes to the other FAQs since the last posting
    SGI graphics FAQ - Graphics and user environment customization
    SGI hardware FAQ - Hardware
    SGI impressario FAQ - IRIS Impressario
    SGI inventor FAQ - IRIS Inventor
    SGI misc FAQ - Introduction & miscellaneous information
    SGI movie FAQ - Movies
    SGI performer FAQ - IRIS Performer
    SGI pointer FAQ - Pointer to the other FAQs
    SGI security FAQ - IRIX security

Read the misc FAQ for information about the FAQs themselves. Each FAQ is
posted to comp.sys.sgi.misc and to the  and 
newsgroups (whose purpose is to store FAQs) twice per month. If you
can't find one of the FAQs with your news program, you can get it from

( is home to many other FAQs and informational documents,
and is a good place to look if you can't find an answer here.) The FAQs
are on the World Wide Web at

If you can't use FTP or WWW, send mail to with
the word 'help' on a line by itself in the text, and it will send you a
document describing how to get files from by mail. Send the
command 'send usenet/news.answers/sgi/faq/misc' to get the SGI misc FAQ,
and similarly for the other FAQs. Send the command 'send
usenet/news.answers/internet-services/access-via-email' to get the
"Accessing the Internet by E-Mail FAQ".

You may distribute the SGI FAQs freely and we encourage you to do so.
However, you must keep them intact, including headers and this notice,
and you must not charge for or profit from them. Contact us for other
arrangements. We can't be responsible for copies of the SGI FAQs at
sites which we do not control, and copies published on paper or CD-ROM
are certain to be out of date. The contents are accurate as far as we
know, but the usual disclaimers apply. Send additions and changes to

Topics covered in this FAQ:
   -1- Where can I find software for SGIs?
   -2- Where can I find software already compiled for SGIs?
   -3- What about Explorer?
   -4- WHAT TO USE?
   -5- Where's the C compiler?
   -6- What's a good graphical text editor for SGIs?
   -7- What's a good mail program for SGIs?
   -8- What's a good POP server for SGIs?
   -9- Can I use MediaMail with a POP server?
  -10- What's a good graphical 'diff' (side-by-side file comparison)
       program for SGIs?
  -11- What's a good calendar/reminder program?
  -12- What is a good serial communications application?
  -13- How can I convert ASCII to PostScript?
  -14- How can I preview PostScript?
  -15- How can I edit PostScript files?
  -16- How can I deal with PDF (Portable Document Format) files?
  -17- How can I format unformatted manpages?
  -18- IRIX' version of top(1) doesn't let me renice or kill processes
       interactively. What to do?
  -19- What is the IRIX equivalent of 'trace'/'truss'?
  -20- What is the IRIX equivalent of 'etherfind'?
  -21- How can I capture a single frame from my IndyCam on the command
  -23- Why isn't Iris Insight working properly?
  -24- Why don't the arrow keys work in vi?
  -25- How can I tell application X about my screen size?
  -26- Why does ksh lock up if one's home directory is NFS-mounted?
  -27- Why can't I 'talk' to Suns?
  -28- How can I change what the keys on my keyboard do?
  -29- Why is 'jot' so slow on a remote display in IRIX 5.2?
  -30- Why does 'man -k' repeat itself in IRIX 5.2?
  -31- Netscape 1.1S (the custom SGI version) says it can't find
       'soundplayer'. What should I do?
  -32- Netscape emits "X Error"s. What should I do?
  -33- Netscape complains about a conflicting 'Netscape' file. What
       should I do?
  -34- Why do unwanted programs (e.g. Netscape) start themselves every
       time I log in?
  -36- What are the correct versions of the Irix Development Option
       (IDO) and Fortran for current versions of IRIX?
  -37- Why can't I compile my non-ANSI C program?
  -38- Why doesn't application X understand NIS (Yellow Pages)?
  -39- Where's 'edge' in IRIX 5.x? What can I use instead?
  -40- How can I generate IRIX 4.0.x-compatible executables under IRIX
  -41- How can I convert IRIX 4.0.x executables to IRIX 5.x?
  -42- Why are some non-shared libraries missing in IRIX 5.x?
  -43- Where are the audio, CD and DAT libraries in IRIX 5.2?
  -44- Why can't my networking application resolve hostnames in IRIX
  -45- Can I use dynamic shared objects in IRIX?
  -46- How can I tell which shared objects my executable uses?
  -47- Why does malloc() never return NULL?
  -48- What is the difference between libc's malloc() and libmalloc's
  -49- What prototypes are missing in IRIX 4.0.x and 5.x?
  -50- Where are the regcmp and regex functions?
  -51- Why does make(1) complain about syntax errors that I can't find?
  -52- What's wrong with strip(1)?
  -53- Why does my floating point signal processing routine, when given
       certain inputs, run incredibly slowly and consume all of the CPU
       in _system_ or _interrupt_ time ?
  -54- Why don't IRIX 5.3 executables run on IRIX 6.0.1?
  -55- Why don't COFF executables run on IRIX 6.1 or 6.2?
  -56- What object file formats does IRIX 6.2 support?
  -57- What are GP-relative and GOT overflows, and how can I fix them?
  -58- Why can't Perl open a socket on my SGI?
  -59- PORTING
  -60- How can I make the 'install' program work like BSD 'install'?
  -61- Where's 'ranlib'?
  -62- What do I need to do to build gcc/g++?
  -63- Is there an SGI-compatible version of XView?
  -64- How can I get db-1.85 to work on IRIX 5.x?

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM