distcp - copy or compare software distributions
distcp [ -cnrsvw ] from to [ file ... ]
distcp copies or compares software distributions. Software distributions
are software releases for one or more software products prepared by
Silicon Graphics and installed by inst(1M) or swmgr(1M). distcp is
typically used to copy a software release tape or to copy software from a
tape to a server workstation, which becomes the software distribution
source for many workstations on a network.
NOTE: Installing (loading) the miniroot from tape is no longer possible
as of IRIX 6.2. It is still possible to install software from tape, but
it is not supported.
from is the location of the software distribution to be copied, and to is
the location where the copy will be created. from can be a tape device,
a directory containing a software distribution, or the name of a product
in a distribution directory. to can be a tape device or a directory.
from and to can include the name of a remote machine and a userid.
When accessing a remote machine, you must be superuser to give the distcp
command. In addition, the userid on the remote machine (default is
guest) must have read permission (for from) and/or write permission (for
to). The exact syntax for from and to is identical to the syntax for the
source argument of the inst -f option. See inst(1M) for details.
The optional file arguments are another way to specify what to copy or
compare. A software distribution is a collection of files. Some of
these files are archives that contain the files in the product. Other
files contain information about what is in the software distribution,
installation configuration information, and tools for performing the
The possible files are
sa Contains the standalone tools and environment for
miniroot installations (see inst(1M)).
mr Is an additional file for miniroot installations.
product Is known as a product descriptor for product and contains
information about the contents of the distribution.
product is a short name for one software product.
product.idb Is called the idb file and contains one line for every
file, directory, link, and fifo in a software product.
product.image Contains the files that will be installed by inst on a
workstation. Typical images are sw and man.
A software distribution can contain multiple products. The sa and mr
files are required for miniroot installations but need not be included in
every software distribution created with distcp. The default is to
include them in copies or comparisons. Use the -n option to exclude
By default, distcp copies software distributions. The following options
allow you to compare distributions or otherwise alter distcp's default
-c Compare (rather than copy) from and to.
-n Do not include the standalone files sa and mr.
-r Retension tape before reading or writing.
-s Compare silently; return exit status only.
-v Verbose; report file names as they are copied.
-w Warnings for short files; report during comparison if file sizes do
To create a distribution directory that will enable users on a network to
install from disk rather than tape, first create a directory (such as
/d/newrel) on a system that has enough disk space to contain all the
software on all the tapes. Then, insert each tape in the drive and give
this command once per tape:
distcp /dev/nrtape /d/newrel
To make a tape from a remote machine of just one product in a
distribution directory, say the Network Filesystem product (nfs), give
distcp -n machine:/d/newrel /dev/nrtape "nfs*"
If you are using a tape to copy the distribution, it should be the norewind
It is possible to copy to a remote directory, but you cannot create a
tape on a remote machine.
distcp cannot be used to copy distributions from CD-ROM to a directory,
because the CD-ROM is itself mounted as a filesystem (one may of course
use the mounted CD-ROM directory as a source when using distcp to copy to
tape). To make a local copy of a CD-ROM, use cp with the -r option or
one of the many other methods of making directory copies. Similarly, to
copy an installable CD-ROM over the network, use rcp with -r.
distcp takes tape as an argument by itself to be a synonym for
/dev/nrtape. Thus, if you want to refer to a directory named tape, you
must refer to it by the full pathname or ./tape or similar workarounds.
cp(1), inst(1M), rcp(1C), versions(1M), tps(7M).
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