As part of the recent upgrade of OMSA to version 5.3 in the Dell yum repository, we have also included a Dell-enhanced version of ipmitool.
There are a couple of very interesting things to note about this enhanced version of ipmitool. First are the new features that have been added to ipmitool by Dell developers: Dell formatted Sensor and SEL reports, LCD display control (for the Server systems front-mounted LCD information display), power monitoring functionality, and updated sysinfo. For more information on these commands, see the updated ipmitool man page, which has extensive documentation on each of these new options.
Next, the way this has been packaged is somewhat of a first for Dell-distributed system-management software. Instead of making our own "dell-ipmitool" that installs in parallel with the system ipmitool and doesn't track any OS-vendor enhancements or packaging, or even worse, packaging our own version that supersedes and overrides the normal version of ipmitool that comes with the operating system, we have chosen what we believe is the lowest-impact, and easiest way to packaging our changes. We have taken the OS-vendor distributed version of ipmitool, for example on SLES10 x86_64, "ipmitool-1.8.6-13.4.x86_64.rpm", and added our changes to produce "ipmitool-1.8.6-13.4.DELL.13.x86_64.rpm". We then used the "mock" build tool to produce native RPMs for each modified source rpm. This means that you as an end-user don't run into issues like running i386 binaries on x86_64 machines... everything is native and packaged exactly as your OS vendor intended. We have done likewise for RHEL, the rpm containing ipmitool there is called "OpenIPMI-tools".
Next, the Dell engineers working on this project are working through the final issues internally to get the source code to this published and submitted to the upstream ipmitool project. At this time, we are just tracking down some final paperwork bits, look for this to be posted to the ipmitool mailing lists sometime in the coming days. This is part of a continuing tradition of Dell working to get our software into the upstream versions as quickly as possible.
Last, note that due to space constraints, the source to our enhanced ipmitool version is not distributed on the OpenManage CD, but I have uploaded the full sources here:
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Dell actually has a couple of community-supported resources for Ubuntu folks. First of all, we have a PPA at http://ppa.launchpad.net/dell-team/ubuntu containing a few packages. We have hired noted Ubuntu contributor Mario Limonciello and are working on getting our firmware packages into an apt repo.
Next, if you look through the mailing list archives for firstname.lastname@example.org (http://lists.us.dell.com), you can find information about the SARA ports of OMSA to debian, plus user-contributed debian packages for other Dell things (OMSA livecd, and other things). Aside from the user-contributed stuff, though, we are not currently planning any official release of OMSA or any of the other Dell tools for debian/ubuntu at this time.
The Ubuntu freeze dates are coming up pretty quickly, but if the patches get reviewed and incorporated into ipmitool mainline before the freeze, we can try to get a new ipmitool built in Ubuntu Universe that includes them. This would be best for everyone all around - available by default to Ubuntu users, and reduced long term maintenance for us for having a "special build".
Have these changes been submitted upstream yet?
Yes, they were submitted upstream shortly after this blog post. It doesnt look like upstream has integrated them yet, as best as I can tell. You may want to ask on the ipmitool development mailing list what the status is, I never saw any response from upstream when i reviewed the archives.