mtx(8) System Manager's Manual mtx(8)
mtx - generic magtape exerciser
/usr/field/mtx [ options ] -adev
/usr/field/mtx [ options ] -sdev
/usr/field/mtx [ options ] -ldev
/usr/field/mtx [ options ] -vdev
The exerciser will write, read, and validate random data on the specified magnetic tape device from beginning of tape (BOT) to end of tape
(EOT). There are four record length modes in which to run the exerciser. The modes are short (512 bytes), long (10240 bytes), variable
(512-20480 bytes), and all of these three in sequence.
The exerciser will run until or a kill -15 pid is sent to the process.
A logfile is made in for you to examine and then remove. If there are errors in the logfile, check the file, where the driver and kernel
error messages are saved.
An enhanced tape exerciser called provides more comprehensive tape testing than this exerciser. Refer to for a complete description.
The mtx options are:
-h Print help message for the command.
-ofile Save diagnostic output in file.
-ti Run time in minutes (i). The default is to run until the process receives a or kill -15 pid.
-rj Record length for long-record test. May range from 1 - 20480; the default is 10240 bytes.
-fk Size of file in records. The default is -1, go to end-of-tape.
You must specify one of the following function flags and its argument to the exerciser.
-adev Perform short, long, and variable-length record tests on the dev, a raw device name and unit number. For example, -armt0h.
-sdev Perform short (512-byte) record length test. The dev argument is a raw device name and unit number. For example, -srmt0h.
-ldev Perform long (10240-byte) record length test. The dev argument is a raw device name and unit number. For example -lrmt0h.
-vdev Perform variable record length test (records vary from 512 bytes to 20480 bytes). The dev argument is a raw device name and unit
number. For example, -vrmt0h.
If there is a need to run a system exerciser over an NFS link or on a diskless system there are some restrictions. For exercisers that
need to write into a file system, such as the target file system must be writable by root. Also the directory, in which any of the exer-
cisers are executed, must be writable by root because temporary files are written into the current directory. These latter restrictions
are sometimes difficult to overcome because often NFS file systems are mounted in a way that prevents root from writing into them. Some of
the restrictions may be overcome by copying the exerciser to another directory and then executing it.
The following restrictions apply to the SCSI tape drives. The Magnetic Tape Exerciser (MTX) runs the tape in start/stop mode; that is, the
tape does not stream. Therefore, MTX should not run for extended periods of time (two hours maximum run time). In addition, MTX does not
handle the end of tape properly.
This example runs short, long, and variable-length tests on rmt0h until the process receives a or kill -15 pid:
% /usr/field/mtx -armt0h
The following example runs a long-record length test on rmt0h for 240 minutes in the background:
% /usr/field/mtx -lrmt0h -t240 &
Guide to System Exercisers