This article was written by Kent Baxley, Field Engineer at Canonical.

Recently, Charles Rose published an article on how to set and retrieve OS information inside of the iDRAC using the latest ipmitool and recent Fedora releases. This article will describe how to do the same thing with Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS and higher.

For Ubuntu, the latest stable ipmitool release (version 1.8.13-1) is required. This version is included in the universe repository on the latest daily builds of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, which is currently in development. You can get the daily builds from this website: 

For versions 12.04 LTS through 13.10, this version is available in each releases’ backports repository.

To install ipmitool on Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS, run the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install ipmitool

If you see errors about /dev/ipmi0, simply restart the openipmi service using the command below or reboot the server:

$ sudo service openipmi restart

On Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 13.04, or 13.10, you will need to specify the backports repository in order to pull in ipmitool 1.8.13-1. Otherwise version 1.8.12 (which does not include this feature in Ubuntu) will be installed. To pull in the backported ipmitool on 12.04 LTS, for example, run:

$ sudo apt-get install ipmitool/precise-backports

If you are running Ubuntu server 13.04 or 13.10, specify “raring-backports” or “saucy-backports”, respectively. In either case, restart the openipmi daemon or reboot if you see errors about /dev/ipmi0.

Once the latest ipmitool is installed, verify that you can run the “getsysinfo” and “setsysinfo” commands. These commands will allow you to set and retrieve OS information to and from your iDRAC  

The example below will provide the options you can pass to “getsysinfo” and “setsysinfo”:

$ sudo ipmitool mc getsysinfo

Not enough parameters given.


  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

Verify that you can set the different parameters.  For example, to set the primary_os_name, run:

$ sudo ipmitool mc setsysinfo primary_os_name 'Precise'

Then retrieve it with:

$ sudo ipmitool mc getsysinfo primary_os_name

You should see 'Precise' returned on the console.

The ‘exchange-bmc-os-info’ script, which conveniently sets all of the OS parameters in the iDRAC at boot time, is also available for Ubuntu in the poweredge-tools repository on Launchpad:

To connect to the repository and install the package, run the following commands:

$ sudo apt-get install python-software-properties

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:dell-poweredge-team/poweredge-tools  (press enter to pull in the gpg key and add the repository)

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install exchange-bmc-os-info

The service should start up once the package is installed.  Verify that it is started by running the following command.  The “ok” status should be returned as in the example below:

$ sudo service exchange-bmc-os-info status

exchange-bmc-os-info: ok

You should now see that the primary_os_name, os_name, system_name, delloem_os_version, and delloem_url are automatically populated:

$ sudo ipmitool mc getsysinfo primary_os_name


$ sudo ipmitool mc getsysinfo os_name


$ sudo ipmitool mc getsysinfo system_name


$ sudo ipmitool mc getsysinfo delloem_os_version

12.04.3 LTS, Precise Pangolin kernel 3.8.0-33-generic x86_64

$ sudo ipmitool mc getsysinfo delloem_url

As Charles’s article mentions, you should also be able to view the Hostname, OS name, and version on the iDRAC’s web interface for that server.

  1. Open and login to iDRAC web console.
  2. Navigate to “System” --> “Properties”
  3. Verify that under “Server Information” you can see the following.  They should match up with the command line responses above:
    1. System Host Name
    2. Operating System
    3. Operating System Version

Further reading on how to use exchange-bmc-os-info for tasks such as accessing the iDRAC’s URL and IP address can be found here.

Note that this feature is currently unsupported by Dell and it is shared with the intent of soliciting feedback from the community. 

Please let us know your thoughts at