SunVTS 3.0 Test Reference Manual

Chapter 22 Network Hardware Test (nettest)

nettest checks all the networking hardware on the system CPU board and separate networking controllers (for example, a second SBus Ethernet controller). For this test to be meaningful, the machine under test must be attached to a network with at least one other system on the network.

Note -

This version of nettest is used for all networking devices, including Ethernet (ie and le), token ring (tr, trp), quad Ethernet (QED), fiber optic (fddi, nf, bf, pf), SPARCcluster(TM) 1 System (em), ATM (sa, ba), and 100-Mbits per second Ethernet (be,hme) devices.

The nettest mainly uses the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP), and requires at least two machines on a network--the machine under test and another machine reliable enough to be a test target. Both machines must support the transport control protocol/interface program (TCP/IP) (ICMP is part of TCP/IP). The target machine must either be configured to respond to ICMP broadcast or to RPC broadcast.

First nettest determines the target machine(s) to test against. If no targets are specified, it sends an ICMP broadcast to find them. If it fails to find all necessary targets, it tries RPC broadcast to the RPC port mapper daemon. If you specify the targets, nettest uses the specified target(s) instead.

After finding the necessary targets, nettest performs the following tests:

Note -

nettest is a scalable test. However, the maximum number of networked devices allowed on a system is 255, and the number of instances for each device is limited to 200. So, if you start the SunVTS exerciser using the -i option to specify a default number of instances for all tests, nettest cannot assign more than 200 instances per each networked device.

nettest Options

Figure 22-1 nettest Option Menu


The Configuration section specifies the host name, host ID, host address, and domain name of the system being tested.

Table 22-1 nettest Options

nettest Options


Target Host 

Specifies one or more targets to be tested against. Target host entries can be either a host name or an Internet address. When no target host is specified, the test finds necessary targets through broadcasting. The default setting leaves this field empty. 

Receive Timeout field 

The default is 120 seconds, but can be changed. Use a range between 0 - 600 seconds. 

Number of Retries field 

The default number of retries before flagging an error is three, but can be changed. Use a range between 0 to 128 retries. 

Print Warning 

Disabled by default. Click Enable to see warning errors, such as retry on timeout. 

nettest Test Modes

All three modes are supported by nettest. Different test schemes are performed on the network device based on the mode selected.

Table 22-2 nettest Test Modes

Test Mode 


Connection Test 

Checks whether the device is connected. It searches through all the network interfaces fora specified device name. If nettest does not find the device connected the test fails, otherwise it returns: device is connected.

Functional Test 

Performs all three tests (Random test, Incremental test, and Pattern test) sequentially. It allows you to specify options that will perform heavy stress testing.  

If you invoke SunVTS through SyMON, the following Functional Test description applies: Online mode, nettest is aware that the user's application may be running, it tries to minimize the influence on the application while it is testing. So the nettest uses only random test in online mode. Since the network device can be shared and the system resource is available, applications shall be affected fairly small

Functional mode through SyMON 

If you invoke SunVTS through SyMON, the following Functional test description applies: nettest is aware that the user's application may be running, it tries to minimize the influence on the application while it is testing. So nettest uses only random test in Online mode. Since the network device is shared and system resources are available, applications are minimally affected.

nettest Command Line Syntax

/opt/SUNWvts/bin/nettest standard_arguments -o target=h1+h2+..., dev=interface,test=type,packets=n,pattern=hex,delay=seconds, timeout=seconds,retry=n,warn

Table 22-3 nettest Command Line Syntax




A list of test targets by host name or Internet address. 


Network interface name. The default value is le0 for Ethernet networks.


The test type. Type Random, Increment, or Pattern for the desired test. The default value is Random+Increment+Pattern where all tests run.


Number of random/pattern packets. The default is 256.  


Specifies a data pattern, in hexadecimal form. The default is all patterns from 0 to 0xff.


Indicates the time between subtests in seconds; the default is 30 seconds.  


Indicates the number of seconds to wait before a timeout; the default is 20 seconds. 


Indicates the number of test timeout retries; the default is three retries.  


When enabled, prints warning messages.  

Note -

64-bit tests are located in the sparcv9 subdirectory: /opt/SUNWvts/bin/sparcv9/testname. If a test is not present in this directory, then it may only be available as a 32-bit test. For more information refer to "32-Bit and 64-Bit Tests".

nettest Error Messages

Table 22-4 nettest Error Messages


Error Message 

Probable Cause(s) 

Recommended Action 


RPC broadcast failure error_message




Unable to resolve host_name Ethernet address




No ICMP echo reply from host_name

System load too heavy. 

Reduce system load or increase timeout time. 

No cable connection. 

Check cable connection! 

Target machine too busy. 

Reduce target machine load. 


ICMP echo reply incorrect length from host_name, exp data obs data




ICMP echo reply length number from host_name, data mismatch at byte number, exp value obs value




Unable to find any test target




Unable to find necessary test targets for the ethernet switch




Unable to open device_name error_message




Bad ioctl name error_message




Unable to allocate number bytes of memory error_message




System call name returned value error_message




Unable to map network entry for host_name




ATM device device_name requires target specification




Failed to allocate number bytes of swap space for configuration




dl_primitive response = value




dl_ok_ack: short response




dl_phys_addr_ack: short response




Invalid Argument string




Interface device_name not configured in system