Results from the Ariel 5 sky survey instrument relating to the properties and the spatial distribution of extragalactic X-ray sources are discussed. The lgN-lgS relation for sources in the 2A catalogue is consistent with a uniform distribution of sources in Euclidean space. In addition, measurements of fluctuations in the X-ray background suggest that the Euclidean form of the source counts can be extrapolated to flux levels at least an order of magnitude fainter than the 2A catalogue limit. Information is also available from the optical identification of 2A sources which, through redshift measurements, enables the X-ray luminosity functions of the two main classes of source, namely clusters of galaxies and active galaxies, to be determined. The luminosity functions can be used to calculate the contribution of clusters of galaxies and active galaxies to the diffuse X-ray background in the 2-10 keV range. It is found that cosmological evolution of one or both populations is required to account for the diffuse X-ray background entirely in terms of the integrated emission from these sources.