This blog post is written by Dell Hypervisor Engg. 

This blog talk about a native utility introduced from VMware ESXi 6.7 which can be used to set the ESXi version and build details in BMC/iDRAC.

NOTE: The native utility is introduced from vSphere 6.7 onwards. Dell EMC recommends to use iDRAC Service Module (iSM) software along with iDRAC to monitor and manage Dell EMC PowerEdge servers in ESXi enviornment. iSM runs on the host OS and complements iDRAC with OS specific capabilities. iSM can populate Host OS Name and OS Version to iDRAC. iSM also provides other OS specific information such as server host IP address, Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) and network interfaces on the host OS, to iDRAC. 

Dell EMC PowerEdge iDRAC “system information” tab provides attributes such as “Operating system” and “Operating system version”. Starting from vSphere 6.7, VMware provides a capability to write the “Operating system” and the version details to iDRAC/BMC. esxcli/localcli in ESXi 6.7 provides an extension as noted below to do the same.

~] esxcli hardware ipmi bmc set –h

Error: Invalid option -h

Usage: esxcli hardware ipmi bmc set [cmd options]


set                   Set IPMI Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) properties. Changes take effect immediately.

Cmd options:

-n|--os-name=<str>   OS name that BMC will report.

-v|--os-version=<str> OS system version that BMC will report.

For example, below command writes the specific version and build details to BMC using this namespace.

~] esxcli hardware ipmi bmc set -n "VMware ESXi" -v "6.7.0 GA build-8169922"

Post executing this command, you may observe (Refer to Figure 1) that it’s displayed in iDRAC as well.

                              Figure 1 : iDRAC Page post setting the OS System & Version details


Dell EMC customized VMware ESXi images automatically set this and hence avoiding user executing the above mentioned command manually. For example, Figure 2 depicts the Operating system details set in iDRAC post installing Dell EMC customized VMware ESXi 6.7 A01 image on a Dell EMC PowerEdge server.

                   Figure 2 : Dell EMC Customized VMware ESXi 6.7 image automatically writes the details to iDRAC                     


For ESXi 6.5.x branch and older versions of ESXi, one can use ‘ipmitool’ to avail this functionality. You may download ipmitool compatible for ESXi from here. The specific Ipmitool version posted in github provides an extension “mc setsysinfo” to set the OS Name and OS Version. User can copy the binary to ESXi (OR) execute it from a remote system.

Below are some of the commands used for setting the OS Name and version in BMC/iDRAC via ipmitool executed local to ESXi. 

~#./ipmitool mc setsysinfo help


getsysinfo <argument>

   Retrieves system info from BMC for given argument

setsysinfo <argument> <string>

   Stores system info string for given argument to BMC

Valid arguments are:

   primary_os_name     Primary operating system name

   os_name             Operating system name

   system_name         System Name of server (vendor dependent)

   delloem_os_version Running version of operating system

   delloem_url         URL of BMC webserver


~#./ipmitool mc setsysinfo os_name "DellEMC VMware ESXi"                                           #This field sets "Operating System" field in BMC/iDRAC

~#./ipmitool mc setsysinfo delloem_os_version "6.5.0 Update 1 build-7967591"               # This field sets "Operating System Version" field in BMC/iDRAC 

 Figure 3  below is an example from Dell EMC PowerEdge 13G Server iDRAC "System Summary" page after setting these values using ipmitool.

                       Figure 3: iDRAC "System Summary" post execution of ipmitool


NOTE: Dell EMC recommend to use the latest iDRAC firmware to make use of this feature.