Remote X with Irix

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pentium
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Remote X with Irix

Unread postby pentium » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:51 am

I feel like in the past I might of asked this question already...or I'm remembering when I setup my Sun Enterprise 3000 to boot remote Sun Ray and X terminals.

I can't seem to remember or find anything in the Diskless Workstation Administration or in any of my manuals so far that indicated that Irix had a way to remotely manage another SGI like say an Origin 2000 while in a 4DWM environment. Sure there's telnet and SSH but at that point you're just logging into what feels like another *nix box. Was there any form of bundled protocol or just the standard remote X?
Last edited by pentium on Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby pentium » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:59 pm

The Onyx and O2K these days are not easy for me to hang a local console off of but I always have an SGI in my bedroom (the O2) where I don't have to live with the sound of a deskside constantly whirring away. Graphically logging in from them without doing something crazy like running a 40 foot monitor and keyboard cable across the house would be convenient.

Booting diskless however is covered extensively in the Diskless Administration book however. It actually even talks about netbooting stuff back to the IP5.
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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby duck » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:01 am

*unlurks*

It's been rather a long time since I did any remote X11, but wouldn't it all go over XDMCP? Sun might have used their own openlook(or whatever it was called) system though.

Anyway, XDMCP is the keyword I wanted to highlight here, xdm (and whatever flavour of xdm the terminal/thin client runs) includes something called a chooser that lets you select which remote XDM host you want to log in to from the X11 terminal.

It should just be enough to run xdm on a system with a properly set up /usr/lib/X11/xdm/Xaccess in order to allow remote systems to discover the server and use it. If both ends are SGI:s, ISTR there is was some mechanism for running OpenGL applications remotely as well, but I never tried that.

Super vague, but perhaps it'll give you some starting points.

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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby josehill » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:37 pm

I found that I could do the vast majority of things I needed to do simply by running a remote Toolchest. My screen often featured Toolchests from three or more machines at once, each Toolchest having it's own color and window name. (I have a few old posts on how to do that buried somewhere in the ancient history of the Nekochan.) Of course, duck's XDMCP pointer is correct, too. You need SGIs on both ends for a complete experience, but you'd still get almost everything except gr_osview and a few other tools using XDMCP when using a low end X terminal or Mac/PC based X Servers.

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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby pentium » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:31 am

I found that I could do the vast majority of things I needed to do simply by running a remote Toolchest. My screen often featured Toolchests from three or more machines at once, each Toolchest having it's own color and window name. (I have a few old posts on how to do that buried somewhere in the ancient history of the Nekochan.)

Thing is that when I try to access the toolchest from another machine I properly fill in the blanks, press apply I get a window that says "starting" for half a second. then that closes and nothing happens.

Edited: perhaps I've missed a step when I configured something? I can loopback into the machine and share toolchests and resources form another user but not with the Origin.
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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby josehill » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:49 am

pentium wrote:perhaps I've missed a step when I configured something? I can loopback into the machine and share toolchests and resources form another user but not with the Origin.


The first thing that comes to mind is an xhosts network security setting. You can invoke xhosts on the command line or edit its config file and restart networking. I presume that you are on a "trusted" network, so "xhosts +" might be ok as you are troubleshooting, though it is a major security faux pas on an untrusted network.

Unfortunately, none of my IRIX machines are active at the moment, and my memory for further specifics is a bit dim, so my usefulness as a troubleshooter might be limited.

PS. Don't forget to make sure that the $DISPLAY variable is properly set on your Origin to send the display to the bedroom. (Somehow, I feel a little dirty typing that.)

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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby josehill » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:02 am

ivelegacy wrote:SGI-O2 as an X11 terminal, anyone has already tried it ?

You won't get the XDMCP Chooser, but maybe you can get some tips in viewtopic.php?f=10&t=16089
For example,

Code: Select all

XWin -query hostname

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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby diegel » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:59 am

There is a problem with Irix Xkb and remote gtk2 applications. A workaround is discussed here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=15205&hilit=xkb+gnome

I use the xkb.so workaround with the LD_PRELOAD environment variable at the remote system. Firefox is working with this, but don't expect too much it scrolls not very fast.
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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby pentium » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:19 pm

I won't be able to bring the system up for a few more days.


We're in the middle of a heatwave. ;)
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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby uunix » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:24 pm

I've never found XMDCP very good on IRIX (unlike Solaris & AIX), no background etc etc, but interestingly if I XMDCP into a SMOKE session, I do get the background and all the fonts. It's really nice.
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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby japes » Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:37 pm

pentium wrote:We're in the middle of a heatwave. ;)


30 C in my office yesterday! I got it down to 28 C. It's a bit hard to work when the sweat is dripping into your eyes and all you're doing is sitting. If I keep the AC in our bedroom running maybe I can get the house under 20 once the weather cools off at the end of the week.

I like the XMDCP chooser you get with Solaris boxes. I'd probably run an x86 Solaris just to manage all my boxes if I ran the Suns much - or a SS5. I thought it was strange that SGI didn't have something similar. Whenever I see this question remote Tool Chest always comes up. I think it's probably pretty reasonable.

I think SGI might have intended you to have a SGI workstation, more of a personalized environment. Like Apple. You might have a render farm in the server room, but why would you want a remote desktop to a server. It might seem foreign today with Windows and RDP handing out a desktop environment. In the workstation environment you might have applications running on 4 different systems but displaying on your workstation together, not as viewports to 4 desktop environments. Similar to the Windows VM integrations from vmware and Parallels on Mac OS X.
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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby josehill » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:55 pm

japes wrote:I like the XMDCP chooser you get with Solaris boxes.

Agreed! Just for kicks, I even tried to set up an Indy running CDE to see if I could duplicate the XDMCP Chooser functionality on IRIX, but I never succeeded.

japes wrote:I'd probably run an x86 Solaris just to manage all my boxes if I ran the Suns much - or a SS5. I thought it was strange that SGI didn't have something similar. Whenever I see this question remote Tool Chest always comes up. I think it's probably pretty reasonable.

I often launched IRIX sessions from a Solaris CDE environment Chooser in our old data center. It worked pretty well, aside from being unable to support DGL programs, like gr_osview. Not much different from using X Server software on an old Mac (like eXodus) or PC (like Hummingbird Exceed).

japes wrote:I think SGI might have intended you to have a SGI workstation, more of a personalized environment. Like Apple. You might have a render farm in the server room, but why would you want a remote desktop to a server. It might seem foreign today with Windows and RDP handing out a desktop environment. In the workstation environment you might have applications running on 4 different systems but displaying on your workstation together, not as viewports to 4 desktop environments. Similar to the Windows VM integrations from vmware and Parallels on Mac OS X.

Exactly, hence the remote Toolchest approach. :)

VNC also was a reasonable option for sharing an entire IRIX desktop once upon a time, but the age of the IRIX VNC tools precludes using them on anything but a secure network these days.

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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby smj » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:39 pm

japes wrote:In the workstation environment you might have applications running on 4 different systems but displaying on your workstation together, not as viewports to 4 desktop environments.

This, times 10. X with it's designed network capabilities was an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. ;)

japes wrote:Similar to the Windows VM integrations from vmware and Parallels on Mac OS X.

It pains me that we have to use analogies like this, but since the networking support has been stripped out or disabled in all the stock Linux X builds for the past decade (or more?), you can hardly blame users for not having experienced it.

I'm not anywhere near saying X is/was without issues, but wrangling multiple RDP/VNC sessions is not an adequate replacement...
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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby japes » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:52 am

smj wrote:
japes wrote:Similar to the Windows VM integrations from vmware and Parallels on Mac OS X.

It pains me that we have to use analogies like this, but since the networking support has been stripped out or disabled in all the stock Linux X builds for the past decade (or more?), you can hardly blame users for not having experienced it.

I'm not anywhere near saying X is/was without issues, but wrangling multiple RDP/VNC sessions is not an adequate replacement...


Absolutely, I have 6 RDP sessions open right now, it's stupid. I don't really want a desktop, I want a tool running on the remote system.
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Re: Remote X with Irix

Unread postby robespierre » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:23 am

eXodus is a classic MacOS application. The last versions required PowerPC, before that there were versions for 68k.
You could also use MacX, MachTen, or MI/X on MacOS 7/8/9.

I think SGI looked at the Xterminal market and decided it was already saturated. Sun also tried once to sell a terminal, but it (the SparcClassic X) was almost the same price as a workstation, and never really that popular. Sun later developed the SunRay which is a lot more interesting way to do remote sessions.
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