amptest - Qualcomm Atheros PLC Test Applet Loader



amptest - Qualcomm Atheros PLC Test Applet Loader


amptest [options] [file] [file] [...]


Download and execute one or more test applets on the local Qualcomm Atheros PLC device. An applet is a small firmware image that can be started by the bootloader and that returns to the bootloader when done. This program is an alternative to program int6ktest but has been replaced by program plctest.

A Qualcomm Atheros firmware image file may contain one or more applets. Each applet is preceded by a header that specifies the image size, load address and start address. Program amptest sequentially downloads and executes each applet found in each image file specified on the command line. It waits for each applet to complete before downloading and executing the next one. The program terminates once all applets in all files have been executed or some applet fails to complete within 60 seconds.

Most applets return to the Bootloader on successful completion so that another applet can be downloaded and executed. This allows applet chains to be executed using one command. A chain may consist of one file containing multiple applets or multiple files each containing one applet or any combination of single and multiple applet files. The chain will break, after a timeout, if any applet in the chain fails to return to the Bootloader in time. Failure to return in time may be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on applet design.

This program is part of the Qualcomm Atheros Powerline Toolkit. See the APT man page for an overview and installation instructions.


The Qualcomm Atheros Powerline Toolkit contains a set of legacy applets in folder applets. These were designed for use with program int6ktest and most will not display console messages properly using this program. A new series of compatible applets are under development and should be available through Atheros Field Application Engineering.

Assuming a good set of applets are available, this program is ideal for testing reference designs for performance and production units for defects. Applets may become available for testing onboard connections, memory integrity and noise immunity. Consult with Atheros Field Application Engineering for applet availability.



Redirects stderr messages to stdout. By convention status and error messages are printed on stderr while primary program output is printed on stdout. This option prints all output on stdout in cases where this is desired.

-i interface

Select the host Ethernet interface. All requests are sent via this host interface and only reponses received via this host interface are recognized. The default interface is eth1 because most people use eth0 as their principle network connection; however, if environment string "PLC" is defined then it takes precedence over the default interface. This option then takes precedence over either default.


Sequentially execute and re-execute all applets in all files on the command line until the program is terminated with ˆC.


Suppresses normal progress and status messages.

-t milliseconds

Read timeout in milliseconds. Values range from 0 through UINT_MAX. This is the maximum time allowed for a response. The default is shown in brackets on the program menu.


Print additional information on stdout. Specifically, this option prints incoming and outgoing frames in hexadecimal format on stdout. Output can be directed to a text file for analysis.

-w seconds

Application timeout in seconds. This application will wait this long for an applet to terminate and return to the bootloader before reporting an error and proceeding to the next applet.


Cause the program to exit on the first error instead of moving on to the next applet. Error exits return a non-zero value to the shell.

-?, --help

Print program help summary on stdout. This option takes precedence over other options on the command line.

-!, --version

Print program version information on stdout. This option takes precedence over other options on the command line. Use this option when sending screen dumps to Atheros Technical Support so that they know exactly which version of the Linux Toolkit you are using.



The name of an Atheros image file. The image file may contain one or more images. Each image will be downloaded and executed in turn until all images are executed or an image fails to return to the Bootloader within 1 minute for some reason.


The following example sequentially downloads then executes each image in file abc.nvm in turn. Each image must complete and return to the bootloader before the next one downloads. Observe that no device address is needed because Atheros powerline devices use address 00:b0:52:00:00:01 when in bootloader mode.

# amptest abc.nvm

The following example will sequentially download and execute the images in each file abc.nvm, def.nvm and ghi.nvm in turn.

# amptest abc.nvm def.nvm ghi.nvm


Atheros image file structure and content is proprietary to Qualcomm Atheros, Ocala FL USA. Consequently, public information is not available. Qualcomm Atheros reserves the right to change file structure or content in future firmware releases without any obligation to notify or compensate users of this program. This program is reserved for use by Atheros Field Engineers. Use of this program may void some contractual obligations made by Atheros.


APT(1), chknvm(1), chknvm2(1), int6ktest(1), nvmsplit(1), nvmmerge(1), plctest(1), setnvm(1)


Charles Maier

Updated 2024-01-29 - |