tapex - Tape exerciser program
/usr/field/tapex [option(s)] [parameter(s)]
Some tapex options cause specific tests to be performed,
for example, an end-of-media test. Other options modify
the tests, for example, enabling caching. The tapex
options are as follows: Performance measurement test that
calculates the tape transfer bandwidth for writes and
reads to the tape by timing data transfers. Continuously
runs the write/read tests until the process is killed.
This option can be used in conjunction with the -r or -g
option. Enables caching on the device, where supported.
This does not specifically test caching, but it enables
the use of caching on a tape device while running the
other tests. Disables caching on TMSCP tape devices. If
the tape device is a TMSCP unit, then caching is the
default mode of test operation. This option causes the
tests to be run in noncaching mode. Tests the ability to
append to the media. First, the test writes records to
the tape. Then, it repositions back one record and
appends additional records. Finally, the test does a read
verification. This test simulates the behavior of the tar
r switch. End-of-media test. This test first writes data
to fill up a tape, which may take a long time for long
tapes. It then does reads and writes past the end of
media, which should fail. Next it enables writing past end
of media, writes to the tape, and reads back the records
for validation. Runs an extensive series of tests in
sequential order. Due to the large number of tests, this
option takes a long time to complete. Depending on tape
type and cpu type, this series of tests can take up to 10
hours to complete. Specifies the name of the device special
file that corresponds to the tape unit being tested.
Refer to the System Administration guide for information
on device special files. The default tape device is
/dev/tape/tape0_d0. File-positioning tests. First, files
are written to the tape and verified. Next, every other
file on the tape is read. Then, the previously unread
files are read by traversing the tape backwards. Finally,
random numbers are generated; the tape is positioned to
those locations, and the data is verified. Each file uses
a different record size. File-positioning tests on
already-written tape. This option can be used in conjunction
with the -F option to run the file position tests on
a tape that has already been written to by a previous version
of the -F test. For this to work, the same test
parameters, for example record size and number of files,
must be used as when the tape was written. No other data
should have been written to the tape since the previous -F
test. Random record-size tests. This test writes records
of random sizes. It reads in the tape, specifying a large
read size; however, only the amount of data in the randomly-sized
record should be returned. This test only
checks return values and does not validate record contents.
Displays a help message describing the tape exerciser.
Interactive mode. Under this mode, the user is
prompted for various test parameters. Typical parameters
include the record size and the number of records to
write. The following scaling factors are allowed: for
kilobyte (1024 * n) for block (512 * n) for megabyte (1024
* 1024 * n)
For example, 10k would specify 10240 bytes. Write
phase of the tape-transportability tests. This
test writes a number of files to the tape, and then
verifies the tape. After a successful verification,
the tape is brought offline to be moved to
another tape unit and read in with the -k option.
The purpose of this test is to prove that a tape
can be written on one drive and read by another
drive. Note that the test parameters for the -k
phase of the transportability test must match the
parameters of the -j test. Any changes of test
parameters from the defaults should also be changed
during the -k test. Read phase of the tape-transportability
tests. This test reads a tape that was
written by the -j test and verifies that the
expected data is read from the tape. Success of
this test proves that a tape can be written on one
drive and read on another. As stated in the
description of the -j option, any parameters
changed in the -j test must also be changed in the
-k test. Media loader test. The number of cartridges
should be specified with -num_ct. For
sequential stack loaders, the media is loaded,
written to, and verified. Then the media is
unloaded, and the test repeats on the next piece of
media. This verifies that all the media in the
input deck is writable. To run this test in readonly
mode, also specify the -w option. End-of-file
test. This test verifies that a zero byte count is
returned when a tape mark is read and that another
read will fetch the first record of the next tape
file. Displays tape contents. This is not a test;
it reads the tape sequentially and prints out the
number of files on the tape, the number of records
in each file, and the size of the records within
the file. The contents of the tape records are not
examined. Sends output to the specified filename.
The default is to not create an output file and
send output to the terminal. Runs both the record
and file positioning tests. (See the -R and -F
options.) Command timeout test. This test verifies
that the driver allows enough time for completion
of long operations. The test consists of
writing files to fill up the tape. Next a rewind
is performed followed by a forward skip out to the
last file. The test is successful if the forward
skip operation completes without error. Recordsize
test. A number of records are written to the
tape and then verified. This process is repeated
over a range of record sizes. Record-positioning
test. First, records are written to the tape and
verified. Next, every other record on the tape is
read. Then, the other records are read by traversing
the tape backwards. Finally, random numbers
are generated; the tape is positioned to those
locations, and the data is verified. Record-size
behavior test. Verifies that a record read will
return at most one record or the read size,
whichever is less. Single record size test. This
option modifies the record-size test (-r option).
Copies output to standard output. This option is
useful if you want to log output to a file with the
-o option and also have the output displayed on
standard output. This option must be specified
after the -o option in the command line. Verbose
mode. This option causes more detailed terminal
output of what the tape exerciser is doing. For
example, it lists operations the exerciser is performing,
such as record counts, and more detailed
error information. Very verbose mode. This option
causes more output to be generated than either the
default mode or the -v option. The output consists
of additional status information on exerciser operation.
Opens the tape as read-only. This mode is
only useful for tests that do not write to the
media. For example, it allows the -m test to be
run on a write-protected media. Initializes read
buffer to the nonzero value 0130. This may be useful
for debugging purposes. If the -Z option is
not specified, all elements of the read buffer will
be initialized to 0. Many of the tests first initialize
their read buffer and then perform the read
operation. After reading a record from the tape,
some tests validate that the unused portions of the
read buffer remain at the value to which they were
initialized. As a debugging tool, it may in some
cases be useful to have this initialized value set
to be nonzero. In those cases, the arbitrary character
0130 can be used.
The following parameters modify the actions of the
You can change the default test parameters either by using
the -i option described previously or by specifying the
parameters in the command line. This section describes the
parameters you can set in the command line, listed with
the associated test.
To specify a value, type the parameter name followed by a
space and then the number. For example -min_rs 512 specifies
a minimum record size of 512 blocks. The following
scaling factors are allowed: for kilobyte (1024 * n) for
block (512 * n) for megabyte (1024 * 1024 * n)
For example, 10K would specify 10240 bytes.
These parameters are associated with the option -a: The
number of records to write and read. The size of records.
These parameters are associated with the option -d: Prevents
the append to media test from being performed on
tape devices that do not support this test. Usually, you
use this parameter with the -E option. The number of
additional and appended records. The record size for all
records written in this test.
These parameters are associated with the option -e.
Note that specifying too much data to be written past EOM
could cause a reel-to-reel tape to go off the end. The
number or records written past EOM. The record size.
These parameters are associated with the option -F: The
number of files. The number of random repositions. The
record size. The number of records per file.
This parameter is associated with the option -g: The number
of records to write and read.
These parameters are associated with the options -j and
-k: The number of files to write or read. The number of
records contained in each file. The size of each record.
These parameters are associated with the option -L: The
number of cartridges the tape loader magazine can hold.
The maximum number of minutes to wait for a media load to
succeed. The default is 3 minutes. Increase this time if
the loader requires it.
These parameters are associated with the option -R: The
number of records. The number of random repositions. The
These parameters are associated with the options -r and
-S: The record increment factor. The maximum record size.
The minimum record size. The number of records. Sets a
time limit in minutes on how long to run the record-size
test (-r option). The default is to run the test to completion.
These parameters are associated with the option -s: The
number of records. The record size.
These parameters are associated with all tests: The
threshold on error printouts. Specifies a fixed block
device. Record sizes for most devices will default to
multiples of the blocking factor of the fixed block device
as specified by the bs argument.
The tapex program tests tape driver functionality. Functions
that are tested include: Writing records onto a tape
and verifying the records Using records in a range of
sizes Record-length testing Random record-size testing
Positioning tests for records and files Writing and reading
past the end of media End-of-file testing Tape-transportability
testing Bandwidth performance analysis Media
loader testing Reporting of tape contents
When tapex is run, a writable tape must be loaded in the
drive being tested, and the drive must be online.
This example runs a series of tests on tape device
/dev/tape/tape1_d0 and sends all output to a file called
tapex.out. tapex -f /dev/tape/tape1_d0 -E -o tapex.out
This example runs the end-of-media test on tape device
tape1_d0. Verbose mode is specified, which causes additional
output. By default, output is directed to the terminal.
tapex -f /dev/tape/tape1_d0 -v -e This example
performs read/write record testing. By default, this test
runs on the default tape device /dev/tape/tape0_d0 and
output is sent to the terminal. tapex -r This example
performs read/write record testing using record sizes in
the range 10k to a maximum record size of 20k. By default,
this test runs on the default tape device
/dev/tape/tape0_d0 and output is sent to the terminal.
tapex -r -min_rs 10k -max_rs 20k This example performs a
series of tests on tape device /dev/tape/tape1_d2, which
is treated as fixed block device in which record sizes for
tests are multiples of the blocking factor 512 kilobytes.
The append to media test is not performed. tapex -f
/dev/tape/tape1_d2 -fixed 512 -no_overwrite
Commands: cmx(8), fsx(8), shmx(8), memx(8), diskx(8)
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