Using the SCO System Certification Tests (SCT)

Using the SCO System Certification Tests (SCT)

The System Certification Tests are a suite of automated tests designed to satisfy system configuration and stability requirements for the SCO Certified Hardware Program. The SCT interface controls the configuration and execution of these tests and ensures the necessary hardware configuration information is recorded. In addition, the SCT interface provides functions that collect and prepare a handoff file for delivery to SCO.

The SCT package replaces the SCO Platform Load Tests (PLT), and should be used on the following SCO Operating System releases:

The Platform Load Tests should be used for certification and testing on previous releases of SCO OpenServer and UnixWare7 releases.

About Certification

When a vendor makes a new system or configuration available, it can be certified on SCO platforms by submitting a data handoff created with the SCT package for evaluation by the SCO Hardware Certification Program.

A certification handoff requires a full definition of the machine configuration and a minimum test duration of 36 hours with all mandatory tests:

It is possible to waive tests on the floppy and/or CD/DVD drive if these devices are not installed. The tests are discussed in detail in Understanding the certification tests.

Rebranded hardware and compatible hardware programs

There are two additional programs related to hardware:

Engineering Services Rebranding Certification Program
A pass-thru handoff certifies existing OEM hardware. SCT testing is not required, but a so-called pass-thru number (a token assigned by SCO) must be entered into the machine attributes along with the normal set of machine attributes to be filled in by the vendor.

Channel Partner Computer System Listing Program
Channel Partners can also list a rebranded system in the SCO Hardware Certification Program as "Compatible."
For more information on both programs, see:


To submit test data for the SCO System Certification test program, you must perform the following tasks:

  1. Start the SCT interface.

  2. Define the test machine configuration by supplying vendor and device information for the CHWP database.

  3. Configure the device tests. Networking tests require that you supply the machine, username, and password for the ftp account. If you are using the SCT to test individual devices or drivers (instead of the comprehensive certification tests), you have the option of disabling any tests you do not wish to run.

  4. Execute the tests. The test displays the elasped time of the test run and the time remaining. When complete, a summary of the test results is displayed.

  5. Archive and hand off the test data to SCO. The results of each test run are stored by the SCT application. When the test results are satisfactory, you can choose the test results to submit and the application will archive them in a form that can be submitted to the SCO website for acceptance review.

Starting the SCT application

To use the SCT interface:

  1. Log in as root and open a command line window.

  2. Move to the SCT directory:

    cd /home/sct

  3. Start the SCT interface:


NOTE: About character mode:

The SCT interface can be operated in character mode, but the Graphics test will not run. If the character display becomes scrambled, you can redraw the screen by pressing <Ctrl>r or reset the display by entering the following:

<Ctrl>jstty sane<Ctrl>j

Defining test machine configuration

Before test data can be submitted for certification, the machine configuration information must be supplied.

To define the machine configuration, run SCT and select Edit Machine Configuration from the Edit menu. The default attributes are displayed in a collapsible list. To configure an attribute, double-click on it and select a value. (To add a new attribute/peripheral device, select Add Peripheral from the Edit menu.)

The SCT software performs basic auto-detection of the following:

The software also examines the hardware configuration and displays "hints" at the bottom of the data entry form for each attribute. After making changes, select Save Changes from the Options menu.

You can repeat the auto-detection at any time by selecting Re-Auto-Detect Hardware from the Options menu.

Configuring Device Tests

The main SCT display includes all the controls used to configure device tests.

Some device tests are required (and are highlighted), while the rest are optional. To enable a device for testing, activate the Enabled button in the "Test State" column.

If the system to be tested lacks a floppy or CD/DVD drive, you must select No CD/DVD Drive and/or No Floppy Drive. This enables you to run certification tests without these devices. However, if an external floppy or CD/DVD drive is required for initial OS installation, the same device must be included in the certification test run.

The default "Test Duration" for a certification test is 36 hours and cannot be changed unless you de-select Set for Certification Test Run.

Certification Mode versus Max Stress Mode

The default testing mode is Certification Mode, which runs the system with a consistent load. Max(imum) Stress Mode can be used to perform high-stress testing on individual devices and drivers, but is not necessary for certification. When the Set for Certification Test Run button is de-selected, you can select the Max Stress Mode button in the Test Mode column of the display.

NOTE: When the certification button is de-selected, test results are not eligible for certification.

Setting test attributes

To change the test attributes, select Network/Misc. Configuration from the Edit menu. The following are available:

Ftp Server Machine/Username/Password
the ftp account to be used for network transfer tests

Maximum errors per test
To prevent tests from continuing to run when the error message count reaches a set threshold for any one test, this value is set to 100 by default. If the value is zero (0), the test run will continue no matter how many errors a test generates.

CD Record Device (auto or N,N,N)
If auto, the system default CD/DVD recorder is used, otherwise the SCSI-style device address (also used for IDE drives) can be entered. The system default device address is found in /etc/default/cdrecord. You can also obtain a list of device addresses with the cdrecord -scanbus command.

CD Has Test Pattern
The CD/DVD drive test can use a special data disc written with a pattern, or any data disc 300MB or larger. If you have created a pattern disc using the SCT application, select the Validate CD Test Pattern button, which tells the test to verify every byte. Do not select this button if you are using a normal data disc. When Validate CD Test Pattern is not selected, the test sums each 1K block on the first pass and compares this sum on subsequent passes.

USB Memory Device (auto or /dev/...)
If auto, the default device is used, or you can enter the actual device name.

Understanding the certification tests

The Certification Tests are listed below; those marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory. For more information on the test patterns used for disk writes (whether local or over the network), see About the test pattern used for storage devices.

Test Description
CPU* Generates a CPU load by running both integer and floating point operations. When run alone, the test produces statistics of CPU throughput. In Certification Mode, systems with more than one CPU are exercised with one test per CPU up to the total number of CPUs minus one. In Maximum Stress Mode, one test is run for every CPU.
Disk* Reads and writes large files with a test pattern. If Certification Mode is selected (default), a single file is used. In Maximum Stress Mode, four files are used simultaneously.
Network* Continuously executes ftp commands to transmit a test pattern back and forth. In Certification Mode, a single ftp process is run continuously. Time for a send and receive cycle is timed for minute. If Maximum Stress Mode is selected, four ftp commands are run with a cycle of one minute.
Memory* Creates a very large working set of memory pages and randomly accesses them. These tests autoscale to handle large and small memory configurations appropriately.
Floppy* Reads and writes the floppy drive with a test pattern.
Graphics The system cycles through forty standard x11perf tests to exercise the graphics system. Certification Mode is identical to Maximum Stress Mode for this test.
USB Flash Mem
For these tests, appropriate data media must be inserted for read testing. For USB drives, there must be at least 300MB of data present. For CD-ROM and DVD-ROM tests, the installation CD for your SCO operating system is ideal for testing. If the media inserted is inappropriate for testing (such as a music CD), you are prompted to insert another disc. The mode does not affect these tests.

Running the tests

To run the configured tests, select Run Test from the Options menu. The test display is dynamic and shows the progress and any errors as they occur. You can make menu selections or view log files from the SCT interface without disturbing a test in progress.

You can stop or abort testing at any time by selecting Stop All Tests Now from the Options menu. (Selecting Exit from the Options menu also stops all tests.)

About the test display

When you start a test, the main SCT screen switches to display test status and is refreshed every ten seconds. A green light indicates a test is running. A test flagged with a red exclamation point (!) indicates one or more errors have occurred. The number of test iterations is also displayed along with the number of errors for each test.

Viewing test results

To view test results, select Handoff/View Test Results from the Handoff/View menu. A list of test sessions is displayed along with a summary of the results. In this example, a session named "run1" was run with all required tests, encountered 124 errors and was aborted by the operator:

! run1 36hr missing:0 abnormal_stop errors:124 tests:6 NOTOK

To display the details of a given test session, double-click the entry. The test list resembles the main SCT display, with the addition of the number of errors and whether the tests ran to completion.

Double-click on an individual device test for a given session to display the log file contents. The individual test logs are located in the /home/sct/logs directory.

Tests are marked whether they conform to the certification handoff requirements:

In addition, the machine configuration must include all items marked as required with an asterisk (*). The handoff process displays a warning if any of these requirements is not complete.

Preparing test media

A data disc of at least 300MB is required for testing CD and DVD drives. (music discs are not suitable). The installation media for your SCO operating system is ideal for testing. If you need to generate a suitable test disc and you have a writable drive installed, insert blank media into the drive and select Burn a CD with a Test Pattern or Burn a DVD with a Test Pattern from the Options menu.

For USB flash media (an optional test), insert the drive in a recognized USB port and select Format USB Flash Device from the Options menu.

Handing off test data

Handing off test data for certification consists of sending an archive of the test data to SCO for evaluation. To do this:

  1. Select Create Handoff File from the Handoff/View menu.

  2. Highlight the desired test results from the displayed list.

  3. Select Create Handoff File From Certification Test Run from the Options menu. If you are a vendor authorized for Pass-Thru Certification, select Create Handoff File For Pass Thru Certification from the Options menu. The data file is stored in /home/sct/handoffs/runxxx.tar.Z.

  4. Log on to the SCO Hardware Certification site and follow the instructions for submitting your test results.

About the test pattern used for storage devices

The file tests produce a test pattern that can be examined by a sophisticated user for troubleshooting test runs.

The filename for the network tests (as placed on the ftp server) is located in the root directory and named as follows:


where pid is the process ID number of the the sct invocation. This ftp file has a maximum size of 1GB.

The disk test also produces a file called disk.file in the /home/sct directory. (If Max Stress Mode is used the filename is disk.n, where n is 0-3.) Each test run creates a new directory in /home/sct/logs/runNN. The disk files have a maximum size of 1 GB each.

The test pattern consists of text lines of 16 bytes each, with 64 lines making up a 1024 byte block. Lines are of the form:


000 is the sequence number and is always zero (the test pattern was borrowed from other tests where the number could vary). BBBBBBB is a decimal zero-padded (no blanks) block number. XXX is the offset (hexadecimal). It increases by 16 for each line (hex 10) and the hex letters are in caps.

Some example lines follow:

The purpose of the test pattern is to allow every block to be identified uniquely, and to allow the test pattern itself to identify which block it came from. Thus we have a human readable format that allows relatively easy tracking down of various kinds of data errors.

© 2005 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.