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AIX Version 4.3 Understanding the Diagnostic Subsystem for AIX

Chapter 2. Operating Environments

This chapter contains the following topics:

The AIX Diagnostics operating environment consists of online and standalone diagnostics. The two environments differ in the way they are packaged, installed, and executed. AIX Diagnostics is a collection of applications, the majority of which are device specific. These applications are packaged as filesets, with each fileset associated with a device.

Online diagnostics is commonly referred to as running diagnostics from an installed hardfile. This implies that the AIX operating system, and the various device related packages have been installed.

Standalone diagnostics are packaged on removable media. The removable media contains the AIX operating system, and all device related applications, device drivers, ODM stanzas, etc. supported at a particular AIX release level. Third party devices and other devices not available for inclusion on the removable media at release time are supported by Diagnostic Supplemental Media.

Hardware Diagnostics can also be performed on NIM clients using a diagnostic boot image from a NIM server, rather than booting from removable media or hardfile. Not only does this eliminate the need for diagnostic boot media, it eliminates the need to have diagnostics installed on the local hardfiles of the client machines.

Diagnostics are a secure application. The user must know the appropriate password to run diagnostics. Diagnostics are inherently destructive, but this destructiveness is managed. The run-time status of each device identifies the level of diagnostics that can be safely executed. In addition, the testing has been structured so that some tests can only be executed in standalone mode.

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