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Set OS information in iDRAC via IPMI

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Set OS information in iDRAC via IPMI

OS and Applications - Wiki

On Dell PowerEdge systems, in addition to providing comprehensive information about the system, the Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) provides useful information about the operating system running on the host. Of these, there are three pieces of information that is made available that might be useful in identifying the host system and the operating system running on it:

  • Host Name
  • OS Name
  • OS Version

On Linux based operating systems, this information is passed on to the iDRAC by Dell OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) which is usually installed on the OS. 

We have now added functionality to ipmitool to enable setting these pieces of information from Linux. ipmitool-1.8.12 and later support the new commands to handle these values. These examples illustrate the usage:

  • ipmitool mc setsysinfo system_name “prod1.example.com
  • ipmitool mc setsysinfo os_name “Fedora”
  • ipmitool mc setsysinfo delloem_os_version “19 (Schrödinger’s Cat) 3.11.6-200.fc19.x86_64”    

To make it easier to set these each time the OS boots up, we have put together a script, exchange-bmc-os-info, that can set up these values through IPMI commands during system start-up.

The updated ipmitool utility and the start-up script are available in Fedora 18 and later.

Here is how we can have it setup:

  1. On a system running Fedora 18 or later, ensure that the standard Fedora yum repos are configured.
  2. Install the "exchange-bmc-os-info" RPM that contains the start-up script/systemd unit. Yum will resolve dependencies and prompt to install other RPMs, notably ipmitool.

    # yum install exchange-bmc-os-info

  3. After successful install of exchange-bmc-os-info, start the service to set the OS information in the iDRAC.

    # systemctl start exchange-bmc-os-info

  4. Optionally, we can choose to update the OS hostname, name and version every time the system starts-up with this:

    # systemctl enable exchange-bmc-os-info

Once setup, we should be able to view the Hostname, OS name and version on the system's iDRAC web console.

  1. Open iDRAC web interface and login.
  2. Navigate to "System" -> "Properties"
  3. See under "Server Information" that the following fields have the information set.
  • System Host Name
  • Operating System
  • Operating System Version

We can use ipmitool mc getsysinfo ...  to get these values locally or remotely (ipmitool lan).

We hope this helps simplify how OS information is set in the iDRAC. Your feedback on how we can make this better is welcome. If you have questions/comments/feedback on this, feel free to post to https://lists.us.dell.com/mailman/listinfo/linux-poweredge.

Note that this feature is unsupported by Dell at this time and is shared here with the intent of soliciting feedback from the community.

Read the next article to see how information from iDRAC can be used on Linux OS.

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Comments
  • The OMSA requirement has been a source of great frustration in our shop. We don't want to install some big pile of RPMs on our production servers. Your ipmitool trick sounds like a good alternative.