Archive for the ‘Servers’ Category

SuperMicro ipmicfg utility on Linux

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

SuperMicro have a nice little utility called ipmicfg, which can be used to interact with the IPMI BMC from within your operating system. This can do all sorts of things with the IPMI BMC, however it’s really useful if you want to change the IP address details on the IPMI card without rebooting your system and going into the BIOS setup.

To get started, download the latest version of ipmicfg from the SuperMicro FTP site (currently it’s ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/utility/IPMICFG/ipmicfg_1.14.3_20130725.zip).

Unzip this and you will find DOS, Linux and Windows versions of the ipmicfg tool, as well as a bit of documentation. I’m only really interested in the Linux version, so lets go into that folder, where you will find 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

There are two binary files included – “ipmicfg-linux.x86_64” which is dynamically linked and “ipmicfg-linux.x86_64.static” which is statically linked. The dynamically linked version normally works fine for me.

As a quick example of how to use ipmicfg, lets change the IPMI BMC IP address from being assigned via DHCP to being statically configured to 192.168.1.2 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 and the default gateway set to 192.168.1.1:

./ipmicfg-linux.x86_64 -dhcp off
./ipmicfg-linux.x86_64 -m 192.168.1.2
./ipmicfg-linux.x86_64 -k 255.255.255.0
./ipmicfg-linux.x86_64 -g 192.168.1.1

When you run ipmicfg, you may see errors along the lines of:

[kcs] kcs_error_exit:

[kcs] kcs_error_exit:

[kcs] kcs_error:

[kcs] kcs_error_exit:

This essentially means that ipmicfg is having problems communicating with the IPMI BMC, and can normally be resolved by installing the IPMI drivers and loading into the kernel. On CentOS you can do this with the following commands:

yum -y install OpenIPMI
service ipmi start
chkconfig ipmi on

Dell DSET on CentOS

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Those of you unfortunate enough to have encountered the Dell technical suport department will know their love for the Dell diagnostic tools. Those of you who run CentOS and have been asked for a DSET report (Dell System E-Support Tool) will also know that the DSET tool refuses to run on an “unsupported” operating system.

Luckily, DSET is quite easy to trick – just add the following to the top of /etc/issue (assuming that you’re running CentOS 6):

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 6 x86_64

Now DSET will work as normal, blissfully unaware that it is running on CentOS and not RHEL. Remember to take the line back out again once you’ve finished with DSET.

Retrieve the Dell PowerEdge Service Tag remotely from Windows or Linux

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Have you ever wanted to get the Dell Service Tag from a PowerEdge machine that you don’t have physical access to? Well it’s actually quite easy as Dell make this available through the standardised Desktop Management Interface (otherwise known as DMI) framework, so you don’t even have to install any of Dell’s OpenManage tools to view it!

On a Linux system, you just need to run the following as root:

/usr/sbin/dmidecode -s system-serial-number

On a Windows box, you can accomplish the same thing from the command prompt with:

wmic bios get serialnumber

Both of these tools should be installed by default on the respective operating system. If you have some kind of super stripped down installation, then they are available from the vendor’s original media.