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memtester Utility to test for faulty memory subsystem. by Charles Cazabon <email@example.com> Copyright 1999 Simon Kirby. Version 2 Copyright 1999 Charles Cazabon. Version 3 not publicly released. Version 4 rewrite: Copyright 2004-2012 Charles Cazabon. Licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 (only). See the file COPYING for details. About memtester memtester is a utility for testing the memory subsystem in a computer to determine if it is faulty. The original source was by Simon Kirby <firstname.lastname@example.org>. I have by this time completely rewritten the original source, and added many additional tests to help catch borderline memory. I also rewrote the original tests (which catch mainly memory bits which are stuck permanently high or low) so that they run approximately an order of magnitude faster. The version 4 rewrite was mainly to accomplish three things: (1) the previous code was basically a hack, and was ugly. (2) to make the code more portable. The previous version required some hackery to compile on some systems. (3) to make the code fully 64-bit aware. The previous version worked on 64-bit systems, but did not fully stress the memory subsystems on them -- this version should be better at stress-testing 64-bit systems. Building memtester memtester is currently only distributed in source-code form. Building it, however, is simple -- just type `make`. There's no `configure` script or anything like that. If you have a really strange system/toolchain, you might need to edit the conf-cc or conf-ld files, but try to build it without changes first. For example, if you want to cross-compile with `armgcc`, you would edit conf-cc and conf-ld to use `armgcc` instead of `cc`. You can also change the contents of these files for other reasons; for example, if your compiler isn't in your PATH, you could change it to use `/path/to/cc` or similar. You can run the resulting binary from anywhere, but if you want to install it and the manpage to /usr/local/, `make install` will do that. Edit INSTALLPATH in the makefile if you prefer a different location. I've successfully built and run memtester 4 on the following systems: HP Tru64 Unix 4.0g (Alpha) HP Tru64 Unix 5.1b (Alpha) HP-UX 11i 11.11 (PA-RISC) HP-UX 11i 11.23 (64-bit Itanium) Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (various) other 32-bit Linux (RedHat, SuSE, Ubuntu, etc) (various) RedHat Enterprise Linux/CentOS (64-bit AMD Opteron) FreeBSD 4.9 (32-bit Intel) FreeBSD 5.1 (64-bit Alpha) NetBSD 1.6 (32-bit Intel) Darwin (OS X) 7.5.0 (32-bit PowerPC) OS X Leopard/Panther/whatever -- 32- or 64-bit, PPC or x86 It should, however, work on other Unix-like systems -- I simply don't have access to systems running Solaris, AIX, etc. at the moment. If you have trouble building memtester on your system, please report it to me so I can fix this. Using memtester Usage is simple for the basic case. As root, run the resulting memtester binary with the following commandline: memtester <memory> [runs] where <memory> is the amount of memory to test, in megabytes by default. You can optionally include a suffix of B, K, M, or G (for bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes respectively). [runs] is an optional limit to the number of runs through all tests. An optional "-p physaddr" argument available to cause memtester to test memory starting at a specific physical memory address (by mmap(2)ing a device file representing physical memory (/dev/mem by default, but can be specified with the "-d device" option) starting at an offset of `physaddr`, which is given in hex). Note: the memory specified will be overwritten during testing; you therefore *cannot* specify a region belonging to the kernel or other applications without causing the other process or entire system to crash). If you use this option, it is up to you to ensure the specified memory is safe to overwrite. That makes this option mostly of use for testing memory-mapped I/O devices and similar. Thanks to Allon Stern for the idea behind this feature. For example, if you want to test a bank of RAM or device which is 64kbytes in size and starts at physical address 0x0C0000 through the normal /dev/mem, you would run memtester as follows: memtester -p 0x0c0000 64k [runs] If instead that device presented its memory as /dev/foodev at offset 0, you would run memtester instead as follows: memtester -p 0 -d /dev/foodev 64k [runs] Note that the "-d" option can only be specified in combination with "-p". memtester must run as user root so that it can lock its pages into memory. If memtester fails to lock its pages, it will issue a warning and continue regardless. Testing without the memory being locked is generally very slow and not particularly accurate, as you'll end up testing the same memory over and over as the system swaps the larger region. Current Version The current version of memtester should be available at http://pyropus.ca/software/memtester/ Questions, comments, and feature requests should be directed to me at <email@example.com>. Read BUGS to report bugs found in memtester.