IRIX install on Indy, KERNEL ERROR...


New member
Dec 31, 2022
Czech Republic
Hi all,
First of all I apologize this is going to be long.
I've recently acquired an SGI Indy. It is my first SGI so I have zero experience with these machines. I'm generally into retro computing and have experience with (admittedly more pedestrian) machines of similar vintage.
The Indy is R4400 133Mhz, 64MB RAM, 8-bit graphics and some SCSI drive. During testing the system successfully booted to IRIX 6.5.22 login but of course I had no idea what the root password was.
First of all I bought a ZuluSCSI (SCSI2SD successor) as I wanted to replace the SCSI drive with solid state storage eventually. But I also hoped to use it as an emulated CDROM drive to either unlock the current system (on the original SCSI drive) or install a new one (to an SD card).
I've read guides on removing the root password - as I don't have another SGI system or a way to connect the SCSI drive to any of my *nix systems, it seemed using Admin tool after booting from IRIX install CD iso using the ZuluSCSI was my best chance of unlocking the system.
I was able to do exactly that and using vi removed both the root password and set passwords to not be required in their respective /etc files on the original SCSI drive system installation.
Unfortunately I hit a snag after that when quiting the inst tool - I got the "ERROR IN KERNEL CONFIGURATION" error message. After using "help kernelerror" command I was told some more details but I didn't go further yet.

Considering the only thing I did was installed the miniroot environment and edited the 2 files I'm not sure what I did to brake the apparently functional system. The iso I used should be the base IRIX 6.5 Installation Tools downloaded from if it matters.
I will be grateful for any tips.


Active member
Jul 22, 2020
If you want rescue some info or apps from original HD it's ok, but if you want take your Indy in working state I recomend install a fresh Irix 5.3 or 6.2 or upgrade your ram to use Irix 6.5. Of course you can run Irix 6.5 with 64Mb ram but slowly.

For Irix 6.5.x you need 128 Mb ram or more, for Irix 6.2 64Mb is the recomended base memory and 32 Mb for Irix 5.3. Of course this is the recomended ram for system but you need additional ram for running apps.

In this forum you have a lot of info about different solutions to install Irix. For your Indy config I say install Irix 5.3 in efs format. I recomend try Reanimator ( raspberryPi solution ) as helper to Install IRIX throught network.

If finally you decide continue with Irix 6.5 try Irix 6.5.7. Irix 6.5.22 give you access to SGI community homebrew but works too slow for Indy 133 mhz.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Elf

About us

  • Silicon Graphics User Group (SGUG) is a community for users, developers, and admirers of Silicon Graphics (SGI) products. We aim to be a friendly hobbyist community for discussing all aspects of SGIs, including use, software development, the IRIX Operating System, and troubleshooting, as well as facilitating hardware exchange.

User Menu