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Dell DRAC remote management system

News Administration of Remote Servers Recommended Links Updating the DRAC Firmware iDRAC7 goes unresponsive vFlash
iDrac Express configuration Getting console via ssh in DRAC Dell Lifecycle Controller -- a big Dell fiasco IPMI Viewing serial console over network via IPMI 2.0 Kickstart
RACADM Command Line Interface   ipmitool iDRAC Service Module Dell PowerEdge M1000e Enclosure Dell Chassis Management Controll Dell DRAC5
Lights out management Configuring Platform Events PERC controller Sysadmin Horror Stories Humor Etc

Introduction

The DRAC is a separate computer with a different chipset, RISK CPU and motherboard that is connected to the server main board but has its own network interface. It runs custom version of Linux so there are plenty of vulnerabilities to exploit by three letter agencies like NSA. As such it is a backdoor into server and connection to DRAC should be on a separate segment which needs to be controlled by a firewall. Number of security holes in DRAC is unknown but should be assumed as considerable as this is complex and versatile product that is using Linux as the base of imbedded OS.

What was needed is central media for all rack for the blade enclosure and access to it from each blade. This capabilities was not provided: you need to download idential boot images to each blade. Also exchange of data between vFlash cards within SD card of the enclosure was not provided.

It's so sad that in the rat race for additional functionality Dell engineers forgot the primary purpose of the DRAC -- to be reliable KVM. In other words Dell got into "HP trap". See iLO 3 -- HP engineering fiasco The main criteria of its usefulness -- reliability was compromised. And if DRAC hangs the situation is much worse that its complete absence (in this case you just buy a standalone KVM). Usage Java for console just adds the slat on the wound. Java is moving target and attempt to improve security lead to the a sad but common fact that you can't access remote console on old systems from your corporate desktop. Of course there are many tricks to bypass that limitation, but why this is a problem? It should not be.

Both Java and tendency of certain versions too freeze spontaneously undermine the availability of the remote management. In case of remote server this became a rather serious servers as remote servers often lag in firmware updated and something were never updated since purchase.

Usage Java instead of , say, VNC is another serious problem. It essentially forces unnecessary update of firmware of perfectly working servers and sometimes in the process you brick the server (especially if you rely of Lifecycle controller and your versions are old)

DRAC exists in two versions: Express, and Enterprise but only Enterprise version provides access to the console. So Dell repeats here HP path althoth in a less nasty level -- it provides Express edition default although additional capabilities they are tiny fraction of the cost of the server (probably less then $100) and determine attractiveness of Dell products (HP requires annual license which is a travesty). Such a mix of corporate stupidity and greed remind me IBM.

With Drac7 and Drac8 (which are very similar) Dell offers a much deeper, more powerful solution that iether HP or CISCO. It provides more capabilities for a remote sysadmin and makes Dell server preferable to competitors in such situations: DRAC is simply a better solution for managing remote servers even with all its warts and flaws.

For example, vFlash simplifies using kickstart alloing to put a boot image directly on the server. Attmepts to install a new version of RHEL over VPN without it often lead to a failure as installation simply timeout.

DRAC supports multiple users, each with unique password. That allows to configure the blade enclosure as a set of individual private user workstations that have benefits of central control and may have to small local computational cluster on other blades (say 8 blades for users, eight for HPC scheduler). This is an attractive solution for research

Since Intel IPMI 2.0 has become the current standard hardware vendors now incorporate hardware for remote management on most servers. IPMI offers a way to remotely power-cycle a machine, as well as to have remote console viewable to see the machine boot from BIOS. You can change BIOS settings, reboot the nodes, and watch them boot up and see the console screen without ever seeing the machine. But this capability are valuable only if the device that provides those services is 100% reliable and remove consolve capabilities also provided out of the box. DRAC serves as a layer above IPMI that makes it more usable.

DRAC is essentially a web interface to IPMI via a separate small bootable computer on a standard card. For most Dell PowerEdge models, the DRAC exists as an option that you can add to your server configuration. Enterprise version adds approximately $300 at the list price to your server configuration, but if your server is installed in remote location it is more then worth the cost. From the DRAC you can manage media, power, integrated system log messages, and have a remote view of the console. The latter is really important if your X11 server crashed of if X for main interface is blocked by firewall.

The DRAC is similar to the Hewlett Packard Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) but it more powerful and more flexible system. Dell implemented very slick idea of lifecycle controller which allows you to upgrade server BIOS via DRAC and do several other important for remote sysadmin things.

i-button for resetting DRAC -- well kept Dell secret

What Dell (unlike HP and CISCO) did right is that on rack servers like R620 and R720 it provides a button with the letter i on it (i-button) to reset DRAC on the front panel of the server.

On R620 this is small button located to the right of power button and it has a letter i on it. The button is very small, much smaller in diameter then the power button (which shine with solid green). On R710 it is below (shown on the picture). On R620 to the right of power button.

You need to press the button for 20 sec continuously to force the reboot. As you press it it start to shine with solid blue and then the light goes off and stays off.

To reboot the iDRAC you need to press the button for 20 sec

Paradoxically despite chronic problems with DRAC this button is well kept Dell secret and it is easy to learn about its existence by placing a support call.

Paradoxically despite chronic problems with DRAC this button is well kept Dell secret and it is easy to learn about its existence by placing a support call.

I was unable to get information about it (and does not suspect about it existence) for the first nine month of the life of my first R620 server despite opening several tickets with Dell about DRAC problems.

You can't use ipmitool to reboot Drac Enterprise

Theoretically instead of racadm you can try to reboot DRAC from the server OS using the ipmitool command from ipmitool-1.8.11-16.el6.x86_64 package. And there are several post on the Internet suggesting this command:

  ipmitool mc reset warm
It does not work with Dell DRAC Enterprise edition. Use a local installation of racadm instead. In my version of impitool even command ipmitool mc info hangs with iDrac7 Enterprise edition.

Attempt to find channel does not work either (MykoSpark blog, February 25, 2014):

for channel in {0..15}; do
ipmitool lan print ${channel} &>/dev/null
   [[ $? -eq 0 ]] && echo "${channel}"
done
IPMITool is separate non-Dell software, and it looks like Dell does not provide support for it for iDRAC7 Enterprise. IPMI is also used extensively in the BMC, which is a remote management tool with significantly reduced functionality compared to iDRAC 7 enterprise.

Looks like you cannot reset the iDRAC using ipmitool.

Browser to use

I have a feeling that DRAC is more Firefox friendly then IE (versions 9/10/11) friendly, so I recommend to use Firefox for connection to Web interface. But this is not true for the most important operation -- upgrading firmware, for which IE is preferable.

DRAC highlights

Since version 1.51.51 of DRAC 7 Dell solved the issue of two pointers, that plague ILO and other KVMs. That's an impressive achievement.

Version 1.51.51 of DRAC 7 is the first I saw that solved the issue of two pointers, that plague ILO and other KVMs. That's an impressive achievement..

Remote console has Java plug-in and active-X plugin. This Active X plug-in is not liked by Kaspersly ;-). And you better install your own certificate to work with DRAC Java console

Since DRAC 7 it supports onboard SD card called vFlash (8 or 16GB) where you can keep boot ISO (partitions are limitd to2GB) and in most case backup of server config.

Since version 7 of DRAC it includes integration with lifecycle controller which makes DRAC more useful then HP ILO. Among other things it allow application of patches:

An integral part of iDRAC, the Dell Lifecycle Controller simplifies server lifecycle management - from provisioning, deployment, patching and updating, to servicing and user customization - for servers both local and remote.

The Lifecycle Controller is a collection of out-of-band automation services, embedded pre-OS applications and remote interfaces that provide deployment, update and maintenance capabilities. Lifecycle Controller includes managed and persistent storage that combines with its systems management features to eliminate the need for traditional media-based systems management tools and utilities.

Can't connect to iDRAC situation

Unfortunately DRAC 7 on R620 (and probably on all rack servers; blades are not affected as DRAC in blades can be rebooted from the en closure controller) suffers from the same blunder as iLO 3 -- often it became irresponsive and after that you can't connect neither via Web interface, not via ssh. In this state no ports are visible. If often hands if console is opened and default timeout reached. Looks like timeout for console is not affected by setting of timeout for WEB interface (the same problem that was observed in HP). So long work with GUI console reliably locks DRAC.

Note: The default session timeout value is five minutes, you need to increase it to more reasonable value, say 10800 seconds. You can also do it from Remote Access /Configuration/Services menu via HTTP.

Note: The default session timeout value is five minutes, you need to increase it to more reasonable value, say 10800 seconds (max allowed by DRAC). You can also do it from Remote Access /Configuration/Services menu via HTTP.

But it still hands during regular operations, for example operation with vFlash. Most often after that DRAC enters "dead" state in which no ports are opened. But sometimes crash is partial and you can get to the initial screen of the WEB interface. But attempt to login producing infinite display of "Verifing credentials" message. In other words this message with rotating ring icon are running forever.

This is so similar to ILO 3 behavior that I suspect that both Dell and HP licensed the codebase from the same source.

Recent version are better but still hands during regular operations, for example if you perform some operations with vFlash. This vFlash GUI is definitely semi-debugged.

Most often after that DRAC enters "dead" state in which no ports are opened. But sometimes crash is partial and you can get to the initial screen of the WEB interface. But attempt to login producing infinite display of "Verifing credentials" message. In other words this message with rotating ring icon are running forever.

This is so similar to ILO 3 behavior that I suspect that both Dell and HP licensed the codebase from the same source.

For rack or standalone server you need to shutdown the server, disconnect cables and reconnect them and reboot the server just to make DRAC working again.

NOTE:

After you re-connect the power cables DRAC access is not instant. Booting DRAC is a long process that last probably a 3-5 min. Please be patient, and do not attempt disconnecting and reconnecting the server before, say, five minute period. If in five minute DRAC is still dead then another attempt is warranted.

That means the for remote rack servers instead of providing remote administration services DRAC became a nuisance. This is a huge SNAFU for DELL. That make the DRAC (or the whole server if you wish) a lemon. Again This problem exists only for standalone servers as for blades there is a way to reset the DRAC within CMC console.

Often DRAC became irresponsive and after that you can't connect neither via Web interface, not via ssh. In this state no ports are visible. So you need to shutdown the standalone or rack server, disconnect cables and reconnect them and reboot the server just to make DRAC usable. That make the DRAC (or the whole server if you wish) a lemon.

Random hangings of iDRAC7 on R620 when you can't connect to it remotely either via ssh or HTTPS proved to be so frequent that I just stopped using DRAC.

See detailed description at Can't connect to iDRAC7

Symptoms

Here is what we observed:

Use VNC instead of DRAC GUI console during OS installation

As installation of OS requires more time that extended timeout of console that supposedly cause hanging of DRAC this problem is more severe when there is no OS installed on the server.

Three things to do to minimize this horrible effect are:

One way to avoid this during the installation of OS is to use build in Linux installer (such as anaconda) ability to switch to VNC.

If you have KVM on site, such as Avocent, you also can try to use to use temporary Avocent connection to solve the problem of abrupt loss of console during OS installation.

Using anaconda ability to switch to VNC or Avocent KVM connection can help to solve the problem of abrupt loss of console during OS installation

Available solutions

For rack servers currently the only solution is to power the rack server down, disconnect cables, and the power it back. It goes without saying that this defeats the idea of remote administration. So Dell got in the same SNAFU as HP with ILO 3.

And like is the case with HP that makes Dell rack servers much less desirable in remote installation/ isolated datacenters. No question about it.

The severity of this problem can easily be diminished if Dell provide a reboot button for DRAC. This capability is present for blades, but for obvious reasons it is useful for standalone and rack servers too.

In this case shutting down the server and disconnecting the power cables is not necessary for "reviving" of hanged DRAC. But this their infinite wisdom Dell, like HP, chose to ignore this simple solution.

The severity of this problem can easily be diminished if Dell provide a reboot button for DRAC. In this case shutting down the rack server and disconnecting the power cables is not necessary for "reviving" of hanged DRAC.

Conclusions

This is a serious SNAFU for Dell which essentially makes the server a lemon if remote management is important. In other words Dell got into "HP trap". See iLO 3 -- HP engineering fiasco

In case you don't have personnel on a remote site this is a disaster. In the rat race for additional functionality they forgot the primary purpose of the DRAC -- to be reliable KVM -- and the main criteria of its usefulness -- reliability.

Notes on DRAC operations and maintenance

While documentation to DRAC does exists it's not very good. Hopefully the notes below might help to clarify some points with which I experienced difficulties initially. See also vFlash for DRAC

The initial configuration

Initial configuration of DRAC is performed during server boot process as hotkey to direct configuration screen is accessible for a short period of time during system initialization. Pressing Ctrl-D during server bootup will take you into the DRAC board setup where you can make basic settings changes.

DRAC card can use either DHCP or static address.

Only root account can be setup initially. All other accounts should be set up via Web interface

I recommend

Increase /iDRAC Settings/Network/Services/Web server timeout to 10800 sec which is 180 min or 3 hours.

Setting user accounts and Configuring DRAC

Access to DRAC user accounts is protected by passwords and/or ssh certificates. Default account and password is provided by Dell. You should change it to avoid a trivial backdoor to the server. When the DRAC initializes, you can enter into a configuration screen to get the basic IP address and credentials set for root user. Once this user is set, you can access the system through the web-based interface and add other users (up to fours simultaneous connections to DRAC is support on recent models).

Note: The default session timeout value is five minutes, you need to increase it to more reasonable value, say 1920 seconds. You can also do it from Remote Access /Configuration/Services menu via HTTP.

DRAC media management

Probably the strongest feature of the DRAC is the media redirection capability. From the web interface, you can redirect the server's CD-ROM and floppy media to that of your web client or an image file. The best application for this is for a brand new server and no operating system is installed. With DRAC media redirection, a CD-ROM .ISO image of an operating system can be configured to be the CD-ROM and the installation can proceed from the virtual CD-ROM without physical media being inserted into the server.

This is workable, tested solution for server installation in remote datacenters without boots on the ground.

The one caveat to watch for is the boot order in the BIOS. Frequently, the default configuration will have the DRAC's redirected CD-ROM as a bootable device - but, if it's below the physical CD-ROM it may not boot correctly. In the BIOS, it is listed as "Virtual CD-ROM" and the equivalent for the floppy drive.

Remote Power Control and Console

The DRAC provides the ability to remotely power off, power on, reset, and power cycle the system, regardless of the state of the operating system. This is especially handy in situations such as the blue screen of death or otherwise failed system that no native interaction can resolve. Be especially careful with the use of the remote power controls since this is one feature that always does as it is told. The security models in place can allow you to prohibit the power controls, called "server control commands."

The DRAC console is a KVM that provides a redirection of the video display regardless of the operating system state. So, you could connect and see the blue screen of death, jump into the server's BIOS to configure the boot order, install an operating system, or view the console of the operating system as it's running. There are wo sessions to the console permitted in most configurations. Note that these two sessions may be in addition to an operating system method, a physical console session, and any additional hardware - such as a keyboard, video, mouse controller or software such as PC Anywhere.

Firmware updates and other housekeeping

The DRAC has a firmware that's separate from the computer's firmware. From support.dell.com, you can download the appropriate firmware for the DRAC model in your system. The DRAC can also provide you the service tag, making the retrieval easier. I recommend that you keep this firmware up to date as inevitably some piece of functionality may not work correctly on the firmware you currently have on the unit. This is where, in my experience, the iLO has been a better remote management device. The DRAC firmware should be updated, whereas you didn't used to have to worry about the iLO firmware.

Be sure to note that within the DRAC you have access to the integrated system logs. This would include notes such as power supply failed, chassis opened, or a memory module failure. The DRAC can even provide running temperatures on the system board. This can be especially beneficial in remote, harsh environment situations where unexpected results are occurring and thermal data would identify an issue. The DRAC also allows for Active Directory integration, certificate management, SNMP traps, and basic email alerting for the status of the device.


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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Apr 27, 2021] How to install the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 21.04 - LinuxConfig.org

Apr 27, 2021 | linuxconfig.org

Manual Install using the Official Nvidia.com driver step by step instructions

  1. identify your NVIDIA VGA card.

    The below commands will allow you to identify your Nvidia card model:

    $  lshw -numeric -C display
    or
    $ lspci -vnn | grep VGA
    or
    $ ubuntu-drivers devices
    
  2. Download the Official Nvidia Driver.

    Using your web browser navigate to the official Nvidia website and download an appropriate driver for your Nvidia graphic card.

    Alternatively, if you know what you are doing you can download the driver directly from the Nvidia Linux driver list . Once ready you should end up with a file similar to the one shown below:

    $ ls
    NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-460.67.run
    
  3. Install Prerequisites

    The following prerequisites are required to compile and install Nvidia driver:

    $ sudo apt install build-essential libglvnd-dev pkg-config
    

    me title=


  4. Disable Nouveau Nvidia driver.

    Next step is to disable the default nouveau Nvidia driver. Follow this guide on how to disable the default Nouveau Nvidia driver .

    WARNING
    Depending on your Nvidia VGA model your system might misbehave. At this stage be ready to get your hands dirty. After the reboot you may end up without GUI at all. Be sure that you have the SSH enabled on your system to be able login remotely or use CTRL+ALT+F2 to switch TTY console and continue with the installation.
    Make sure you reboot your system before you proceed to the next step.
  5. Stop Desktop Manager.

    In order to install new Nvidia driver we need to stop the current display server. The easiest way to do this is to change into runlevel 3 using the telinit command. After executing the following linux command the display server will stop, therefore make sure you save all your current work ( if any ) before you proceed:

    $ sudo telinit 3
    
    Hit CTRL+ALT+F1 and login with your username and password to open a new TTY1 session or login via SSH.
  6. Install Nvidia Driver.

    To start installation of Nvidia driver execute the following linux command and follow the wizard:

    $ sudo bash NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-460.67.run
    OR
    $ sudo bash NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-*.run
    
  7. The Nvidia driver is now installed.

    Reboot your system:

    $ sudo reboot
    
  8. Configure NVIDIA X Server Settings.

    After reboot your should be able to start NVIDIA X Server Settings app from the Activities menu.

[Apr 19, 2021] How to update BIOS and firmware using Dell Lifecycle Controller and what to do when it doesn t work

Jan 29, 2020 | youtube.com

In this video, I'm going to show you how to use the Dell Lifecycle Controller to update the BIOS and firmware of a 12th gen Dell PowerEdge server.

This should normally be a straight-forward process, but unfortunately it doesn't always work as expected. So, I'm going to show you some of the issues you might encounter and how to workaround them. Regarding the missing NIC in the LCC: so, after i made this video, after unplugging the power to the server and then powering it up again, the NIC became available again in the LCC.

Looks like the NICs went away after the NIC firmware update and it seems to require a cold power cycle.

If you'd like to support this channel, consider shopping at my eBay store: https://ebay.to/36O0WiN ​ eBay Partner Affiliate disclosure: The eBay links in this video description are eBay partner affiliate links. By using these links to shop on eBay, you support my channel, at no additional cost to you. Even if you do not buy from the ART OF SERVER eBay store, any purchases you make on eBay via these links, will help support my channel. Please consider using them for your eBay shopping. Thank you for all your support! :-)


M Wolff , 4 months ago

Good stuff - helped me out! Thank you!

OpVallend , 1 year ago

Make a video how to setup the network settings and Idrac 7 via the lifecycle controller

Ravi Nair , 3 months ago

Thank you very much for making this video, and for the efforts. Well described.

[Mar 28, 2021] dell r630 upgrade iDRAC cause boot hangup

Mar 28, 2021 | www.dell.com

akka9

‎11-13-2018 06:35 PM dell r630 upgrade idrac cause boot hangup

Jump to solution

R630 with IDRAC 2.30.30.30, bios 2.0.1, upgrade firmware to 2.60.60.60, then reboot hangup when "Loading BIOS Drivers...", and try many times with the same error.

downgrade IDRAC to 2.30.30.30, still hangup.

try to reset idrac , still the same.

hangup

akka9, 11-16-2018 02:23 AM
Re: dell r630 upgrade idrac cause boot hangup

Remove and reapply server input power , then everything is ok, Thanks very much.

DELL-Chris H

MOD

‎11-14-2018 07:10 AM Re: dell r630 upgrade idrac cause boot hangup

Akka9,

Likely the issue is being caused by improperly updating the system. In regards to updating the server you would need to start with updating the BIOS, then idrac, and so forth. Now with the BIOS being 9 updates behind you can't simply run the latest version of the update, as that can cause permanent damage to the motherboard. You will need to walk the BIOS and Idrac up to current together. I would try updating with the following pattern;

BIOS 2.1.6

iDrac 2.41.40.40

BIOS 2.4.3

iDrac 2.52.52.52

BIOS 2.7.1

Then try running the latest iDrac version you had already downloaded (2.60.60.60)

Let me know what you see.

Chris Hawk


Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise

href="http://twitter.com/DellCaresPRO"> Get Support on Twitter @DellCaresPro
Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! ( iOS , Android , Windows )

akka9

2 Bronze

‎11-15-2018 02:08 AM

Re: dell r630 upgrade idrac cause boot hangup

Chris, Thanks very much.

idrac rollback to 2.30.30.30, and reset/reboot idrac through idrac web ui, succeed .

i can reboot idrac remote via command "racadm racreset soft"

firmware version info:

below not working:

1. server boot stop when screen show "Loading BIOS Drivers..."

2. because of boot freeze, upgrade bios job process 0%.

server boot hang with the same.

then, try to upgrade bios 2.1.6 via idrac webui, and reboot, still boot hang, job queue status:

JOB ID: JID_422976564635
JOB NAME:Firmware Update: BIOS Scheduled 
JOB STATUS:(0%)

Start Time: Next Reboot
Expiration Time: Not Applicable
Message: JCP001: Task successfully scheduled.

server boot stop when screen show "Loading BIOS Drivers...", i try reboot again and again, warn or cold, with the same result.

akka9, ‎11-15-2018 05:28 AM Re: dell r630 upgrade idrac cause boot hangup

Thanks Chris,

i can rollback idrac to 2.30.30.30, then i can reboot idrac via webui or racadmin.

but server boot screen still hang when "Loading BIOS Drivers...".

when i try to upgrade bios to 2.1.6 via idrac webui, server boot screen hang, and the job queue status always is Scheduled(0%),Start Time: Next Reboot , try to reboot again and again, still boot hang. so cannot upgrading bios.

Post Code : 0x58

Description: Preparing to Boot.

I found this Lifecycle Log:

PST0208: System BIOS has halted.
 2018-11-12T14:51:13-0600
Log Sequence Number: 2203
Detailed Description:
System BIOS has halted and is unable to continue.
Recommended Action:
Do one of the following: 
1) If new hardware has been added, remove the new hardware and restart the server, 
2) Turn server off and back on using the power button, or 
3) Remove and reapply server input power. If the problem persists, 
   contact your service provider. Refer to the product documentation to choose a convenient contact method.
Comment: root

UEFI0001: CPU Exception Type 0x03: Breakpoint (Software).
 2018-11-12T14:51:12-0600
Log Sequence Number: 2202
Detailed Description:
A CPU software breakpoint exception (type 0x03) occurred in the pre-boot UEFI 
environment. The software used it for debugging purposes.
Recommended Action:
Recently installed hardware or updated software may cause this exception. 
Update or remove the hardware or software.
Comment: root

akka9, 11-16-2018 02:23 AM
Re: dell r630 upgrade idrac cause boot hangup

Remove and reapply server input power , then everything is ok, Thanks very much.

View solution in original post

[Mar 28, 2021] Updating Dell PowerEdge Servers the Easy Way

Dell EMC Repository Manager software can create ISO from which you can perform the upgrades.
Mar 28, 2021 | www.youtube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki78B4A_XkI

2,744 views • May 10, 2020 98 1 Share Save Allen Sampsell 2.09K subscribers In this video I describe how to use the Dell EMC Repository Manager software to create a bootable Linux ISO file that updates your PowerEdge servers. This can be created for any device in the inventory including the no longer supported Generation of servers. R710 updates page: https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-... ​ Dell EMC Repository Manager: https://www.dell.com/support/driver/e... ​ Rufus Software: https://rufus.ie/ 85 Comments Add a public comment...

Szymon L , 3 months ago

Great info, didn't know about this option to update. Thanks

Daniel Scroggins , 3 months ago

Thank you sir for this tutorial! I was struggling with figuring out an efficient way to update my R710 and T710. This is the way :D .

Pivert , 3 months ago

Thanks a lot! Now I don't have to manually download the files, boot on a USB live CentOS and follow everything by hand. This is great and it worked fine on my R710!

missyd0g2 , 2 months ago

I just purchased a R710 server for my first home lab. Great video.

Trader Tet , 2 months ago

Dude you are a legend, i have been trying for months to update my r710 from 1.3.3 bios thank you for taking the time to compile a really usefull video. Very clear and easy to understand

strategischen , 3 weeks ago

Hey great video. However I can't find anymore the December Catalog. The latest one is for February 20 which doesn't include G11 servers like the T610. Would you know how to load this manually?

Maria's Electronics , 9 months ago

THANK YOU!!!! I got the software on my Windows PC ... Just need to reboot my R710 and see if there are any updates!

fbi fido , 6 months ago

Thanks

Yggdrasil , 4 months ago

Yeah!!!! best Help ever!!!! Thanks a lot !!

Bronson Baker , 4 months ago

We'll done, just what I was looking for 👍💯

K Branch jr , 4 months ago

Hi Allen , How do u upload ISO more then 1.90 GiB , did I miss something I'm Running v6.2-4

K Branch jr , 4 months ago (edited)

question should I use the Raid in the R 710 or software raid (ZFS DISK pool) in Proxmox

Bruce Tarleton , 4 months ago

I dont have the older catalogs to get the R710. How do you add those?

ChadAmI , 2 months ago

Thank you soooo much for this. I was 75% there before I found your video. You helped me to get the correct catalog selected for my R210 II server. Much appreciated Allen! Subscribing right now!!! I spent all Sunday trying to update the devices and BIOS. I kept searching for "how to update r210 ii bios 2020" but never got anything. I finally search for "dell r710 boot from usb" and changed the search filter on YouTube to pull results from This Year. Your video ended up being the 13th one done and I took a chance on it. Seriously, I spent all day looking for how to do this and I swear I tried every combination of search keys related to updating the bios on a Dell PowerEdge R210 II server and I couldn't find anything that was current. Just a suggestion, but maybe update the title of your video to mention "Update Dell Powered Server BIOS and more in 2020 the Easy Way" Thanks again.

K Branch jr , 4 months ago

Hi Allen , Thank you some much for taking the time and explaining this process so well , I will be mirroring your procedures , My goal is to set up a home Lab to learn, serve and help other find the value in there personal data( in other words,. "Getting my paperwork in order"), as well as passing it on to my children and the Next generation. Thanks again for your help bother " Iron sharpens Iron" .

Michael Kalsina , 9 months ago

Hi Allen Great video I have an R210ii and was wondering do I have to load a flavor of Linux onto the server before booting off the USB in the front panel or could I just do it with nothing on the internal drive

Marcin Mendlik , 1 month ago

The 19.12.02 repository is no longer available. Is there any other method to automatically update the firmware of all R510 components?

Monde Tuba , 2 weeks ago

Hi Allen, Thank you for the video. Well done. Question: if we have a 12th generation or newer server and don't have a need to create a "trimmed" repository, would the DELL EMC Server Update Utility be just as viable, especially for those who simply wish to use a one-size-fits-all approach? Even though it's approx. 9GB in size, it seems to have everything embedded to do the job for anything you throw at it (as long as it is 12th Gen on up). Your thoughts or experience?

pieroog , 2 months ago

Hi, there is no 2019 GZ index stated anymore. Any tips?

Christian Roman , 1 month ago

Any way to get old catalogs? The oldest ones are now feb 2020 20.02.00 now.

Fearedbynone , 1 month ago (edited)

i tried this today and the oldest catalog is now from feb 2020. i had to download the suu file from dell add that as a catalog by choosing use a file. when i added a new repository. poweredge R410 and R610 servers

Locutus , 5 months ago

I just got a T320 Poweredge server with Enterprise iDRAC7 that has not had any updates to BIOS, LCC or iDRAC since 2013. Do you know if it will cause a problem to install the latest ones? I have read they have to be stepped up and it does not go past Nov 2019. I'd hate to brick this server since I am new to this iDRAC and LCC environment.

[Mar 28, 2021] Updating Bios from DELL IDRAC

Mar 28, 2021 | www.youtube.com

73K views 4 years ago Adel Mohammad Updating Bios from DELL IDRAC easy fastest and secure way to update Bios from Dell Idrac full procedure and steps below login ...

[Mar 28, 2021] How to fix Java for iDRAC6 virtual console PART 2 - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxOk-AbIk9Y

Sep 23, 2019 | www.youtube.com
146 0 Share Save Art of Server 10.2K subscribers This is a follow up video to my previous video of similar title where I showed how to fix Java to allow the iDRAC6 virtual console app to work. However, I found that there were still some other cases where additional changes are required to get the virtual console app to work.

This follow up video explains those additional requirements. If you haven't seen the 1st video, please check that out first, and then come back to this one. https://youtu.be/drhSo9Xl9M0

Checkout my eBay store for your server needs: https://ebay.to/36O0WiN

eBay Partner Affiliate disclosure: The eBay links in this video description are eBay partner affiliate links. By using these links to shop on eBay, you support my channel, at no additional cost to you. Even if you do not buy from the ART OF SERVER eBay store, any purchases you make on eBay via these links, will help support my channel. Please consider using them for your eBay shopping. Thank you for all your support! :-) 46 Comments Add a public comment...

The Gorn , 1 year ago

Java is the devil. The only fix is to soak your idrac card and port in holy water and yell "The Power of Christ compels you! Be gone - nasty Java Satan spawn BE GONE!"

[Feb 23, 2021] Solved- IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect

Java is a real problem for older Dell DRACs.
Feb 23, 2021 | www.dell.com

We're having an issue with connecting to the virtual console for our PowerEdge hosts.

When launching the virtual console I get the following message:

"
The viewer has terminated.
Reason: The network connection has been dropped.
"

I'm running:
Java version jre1.8.0_261
BIOS: 2.11.0
Firmware: 2.70.70.70

Trying to connect with the latest version of Chrome, Firefox and Edge has the same result.

Anyone have any suggestions? I've tried modifying the java.security file but nothing I've tried works. Our server is out of warranty so there's no support there. Any other information that can be helpful here to provide please let me know.

DELL-Shine K
DellEMC
‎10-22-2020 09:13 PM
Re: IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect
You can try below steps also. It might not be a JRE issue as it is not working with HTML5 plugin also.

Connect a monitor to the server video port and check whether display is working on the server.

Reflash iDRAC and BIOS FW again and check
Below link have list of supported browsers and configuration required for virtual console.
https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/en-tw/idrac8-lifecycle-controller-v2.75.75.75/idrac8_2.75.75.75...

https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/en-tw/idrac8-lifecycle-controller-v2.75.75.75/idrac8_2.75.75.75...

Can we try to access iDRAC virtual console from a client in same network/subnet and see whether it is working
Can you try to access iDRAC using iDRAC Direct USB and see whether it is working. Below link have details on this feature. Can you let me know which server you have so that we can check whether this feature is supported on the server you have.
https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/en-tw/idrac8-lifecycle-controller-v2.75.75.75/idrac8_2.75.75.75...

Thanks
Shine
#IWork4Dell
View solution in original post

Solved- DRAC5 remote console not working after Java Update 51 - Dell Community

[Feb 23, 2021] Solved- IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect - Dell Community

Feb 23, 2021 | www.dell.com
Browse Community Language Sign In Help ShaynG ShaynG 2 Bronze ‎10-19-2020 01:39 PM IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect Jump to solution

We're having an issue with connecting to the virtual console for our PowerEdge hosts.

When launching the virtual console I get the following message:
"
The viewer has terminated.
Reason: The network connection has been dropped.
"

I'm running:
Java version jre1.8.0_261
BIOS: 2.11.0
Firmware: 2.70.70.70

Trying to connect with the latest version of Chrome, Firefox and Edge has the same result.

Anyone have any suggestions? I've tried modifying the java.security file but nothing I've tried works. Our server is out of warranty so there's no support there. Any other information that can be helpful here to provide please let me know.

Solved! Go to Solution. 0 Kudos Reply

1 Solution DELL-Shine K DELL-Shine K DellEMC ‎10-22-2020 09:13 PM Re: IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect

You can try below steps also. It might not be a JRE issue as it is not working with HTML5 plugin also.

https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/en-tw/idrac8-lifecycle-controller-v2.75.75.75/idrac8_2.75.75.75...

https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/en-tw/idrac8-lifecycle-controller-v2.75.75.75/idrac8_2.75.75.75...

https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/en-tw/idrac8-lifecycle-controller-v2.75.75.75/idrac8_2.75.75.75...

Thanks
Shine
#IWork4Dell

View solution in original post 1 Kudo Reply 13 Replies DellEMCSupport Moderator DellEMCSupport Moderator ‎10-19-2020 06:35 PM Re: IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect

Hi,

  1. Reset drac
  2. Revert to an older Java version
  1. Prior to uninstall your current version, turn off Auto Java updates .
  2. Then, open the Control Panel .
  3. When the Control Panel appears, select Apps from the Windows Settings screen .
  4. Select Java from the Apps and Features screen .
  5. Click the Uninstall button .
  6. If an older version of Java is shown, do not uninstall it.
  7. If not, go to https://dell.to/2HhGiiz next.
  8. Click the Download button .
  9. Then, click the Other Versions link on the left-hand menu.

As a workaround, you need to run an older browser and Java. Rolling back your Java to a later version might be a tad inconvenient, but do take into consideration that there are plenty of other applications that don't work with the latest major releases of Java.

That should be enough to allow you to launch the Dell virtual console again. If you are still having problems, then it's worth cycling the DRAC Plug-in Type between Java and Native or disabling Encrypted Video on the DRAC. 1 Kudo Reply ShaynG ShaynG 2 Bronze ‎10-20-2020 12:19 PM Re: IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect

Thank you for your reply @DellEMCSupport ,

I've already tried uninstalling my current version of Java and installing older versions. Older versions of Java I have tried are:

jre-8u162-windows-x64
jre-8u171-windows-x64
jre-8u172-windows-x64

Do you know which version of Java works with IDRAC 8 and the latest version of Chrome? There are literally hundreds of old versions of Java, I can't try them all and hope one works.

I have tried your suggestion of cycling the DRAC Plug-in Type between Java and Native or disabling Encrypted Video on the DRAC but the same error persists.

Any other suggestions? 0 Kudos Reply DellEMCSupport Moderator DellEMCSupport Moderator ‎10-20-2020 10:27 PM Re: IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect

Hi, would this be helpful for the recovery?


https://dell.to/35gJ2VP 0 Kudos Reply ShaynG ShaynG 2 Bronze ‎10-21-2020 07:53 AM Re: IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect

@DellEMCSupport ,

That article does not help as it does not pertain to my issue. 0 Kudos Reply DELL-Shine K DELL-Shine K DellEMC ‎10-19-2020 07:05 PM Re: IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect

Virtual console use port 5900. We seen " The network connection has been dropped" message when port 5900 is not allowed by firewall. Can you check whether port 5900 is allowed in your network. You can also change the plugin to HTML5 (Overview -> Server -> Virtual Console) and see whether virtual console is working.

Thanks
Shine
#IWork4Dell 1 Kudo Reply ShaynG ShaynG 2 Bronze ‎10-20-2020 12:22 PM Re: IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect

Thank you for your reply @DELL-Shine K .

The firewall is open as this has worked in the past, I confirmed the network team hasn't made any modifications.

I also tried changing the plug-in type to HTML5 but am unable to connect there as well.

Any other suggestions? 0 Kudos Reply DELL-Shine K DELL-Shine K DellEMC ‎10-20-2020 08:07 PM Re: IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect

Can you reboot iDRAC and check the same? You can also update iDRAC and BIOS to latest (if not latest) and try.

Thanks
Shine
#IWork4Dell 0 Kudos Reply ShaynG ShaynG 2 Bronze ‎10-21-2020 07:54 AM Re: IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect

@DELL-Shine K ,

I've already attempted to reset the IDRAC & reboot the host, none of that has fixed my console access issue. 0 Kudos Reply ShaynG ShaynG 2 Bronze ‎10-22-2020 12:54 PM Re: IDRAC 8 Virtual Console Fail To Connect

@DELL-Shine K @DellEMCSupport ,

Any other suggestions here? I'm unable to log into any of our machines via IDRAC, this is a big problem.

[Feb 19, 2021] Reset Dell R630 iDRAC Password - Dell Community

Feb 19, 2021 | www.dell.com

Reset Dell R630 iDRAC Password

Hi all,

I need to reset the password for the above server, as was installed by someone else and they have forgotten it.

I will go to the customer site if required and I have found some detail in the guide below.

http://cdn.cnetcontent.com/aa/c2/aac2c68e-737e-4bd9-9a1f-877e702da670.pdf

Any help would be appreciated.

Regards,

Daniel 0 Kudos Reply

3 Replies DELL-Robert Odongo Moderator DELL-Robert Odongo Moderator ‎08-25-2016 09:45 AM RE: Reset Dell R630 iDRAC Password

Hello.

Boot into the system BIOS setup using F2 key during POST and go to iDRAC settings. There should be an option to change the root password. Alternatively, you may choose to reset the iDAC to factory settings using racadm racreset command. See pages 40-41 of iDRAC8 Users Guide: http://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/idrac8-with-lc-v2.05.05.05_User's%20Guide_en-us.pdf or Video link:

http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/555/videos~en/documents~esupport-connect-to-idrac-8-video-en.aspx

If you have OMSA installed, run racadm set idrac.users.2.password <New Password> command

Robert Alakara

Dell EMC | Enterprise Services

[Feb 19, 2021] iDRAC - Remote keyboard not working - IT Droplets

Feb 19, 2021 | www.itdroplets.com

By simone.corbisiero 14th September 2016 0

There was an issue whilst trying to install a new VMware ESXi host on a DELL PowerEdge R630 remotely (from iDRAC): The remote keyboard was not working from iDrac after booting into the ESXi installation but it did work correctly in the BIOS.
Basically the installation was waiting for somebody to press Enter to continue which didn't work.

A few steps were tried to resolve the issue but in this specific case the problem was finally solved once USB 3.0 was disabled from the Bios! Specifically to this server's bios version it's in System Bios > Integrated devices > USB 3.0 Settings > Disabled .

The other options that were tried with no luck were:

[Feb 19, 2021] Solved- iDRAC7 Upgrade Path - Dell Community

Feb 19, 2021 | www.dell.com

Alternatively, if you don't want to go through the dance of step updating the iDRAC/LCC a bunch of times, my quicker and easier solution is to:

Download the LCC update image, either the windows .exe or linux .bin, doesn't matter. currently "iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller v. 2.63.60.62". Don't run the exe, but open it with an archive manager like WinZip, as it is a self extracting archive. Inside you should find a "payload" directory, containing "firmimg.d7".

Extract this file. Access the iDRAC Web UI, and use the update/rollback, "local file" "single update" etc procedure (may be different depending on your currently installed firmware), but load in the .d7 file as the update file.

The iDRAC will receive this, reflash itself to upgrade, the iDRAC will restart, and after you login you should have HTTPS support, at which point you can either use the LCC or via the iDRAC do the updates, using https://downloads.dell.com as the update server, and you should know be able to install all the updates.

Loading the .d7 file directly bypasses the issue that the bin file is signed using a hash algorithm that old LCC versions are unable to handle, causing it to reject the update, as it cannot verify it is authentic.

10-08-2019 06:39 AM Re: iDRAC7 Upgrade Path

Rcorralhit,

The server is really out of date, so trying to update either the BIOS or iDrac to current from where they are can cause issues.

You will need to walk the BIOS and iDrac up together in steps.

BIOS 2.0.21

iDrac 1.57.57

BIOS 2.1.3

iDrac w/ Lifecycle Controller 2.21.21 (the updates merged after this point)

BIOS 2.4.2

iDrac w/ LCC 2.40.40

BIOS 2.5.1

iDrac w. LCC 2.63.60.62 . (latest)

BIOS 2.6.0 (latest)

Hope this helps, let me know how it goes.

Chris Hawk


Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise

[Nov 02, 2019] Dell iDRAC racadm Commands and Scripts

Apr 16, 2014 | thornelabs.net

Dell iDRAC racadm Commands and Scripts

Published April 16, 2014 • Updated March 17, 2019


The Dell iDRAC web interface has always been cumbersome to deal with. However, you can log in via SSH to a Dell iDRAC and use the racadm command to perform actions against the physical server. Because of SSH, it is possible to automate actions that would otherwise take a long time to do via the web interface.

This post will be an ever growing list of Dell iDRAC racadm commands, scripts, and ways to automate repetitive tasks.

Set Server to Boot from Virtual CD/DVD Once and Power Cycle

Log in via SSH to the Dell iDRAC:

ssh root@IP_ADDRESS

Configure the server to boot from Virtual CD/DVD once and reboot immediately:

racadm config -g cfgServerInfo -o cfgServerBootOnce 1
racadm config -g cfgServerInfo -o cfgServerFirstBootDevice VCD-DVD
racadm serveraction powercycle
Set Server to PXE Boot Once and Power Cycle

Log in via SSH to the Dell iDRAC:

ssh root@IP_ADDRESS

Configure the server to PXE boot once and reboot immediately:

racadm config -g cfgServerInfo -o cfgServerBootOnce 1
racadm config -g cfgServerInfo -o cfgServerFirstBootDevice PXE
racadm serveraction powercycle
Set Persistent Boot Device

Log in via SSH to the Dell iDRAC:

ssh root@IP_ADDRESS

Configure the server to boot to the local hard drive every time:

racadm config -g cfgServerInfo -o cfgServerBootOnce 0
racadm config -g cfgServerInfo -o cfgServerFirstBootDevice HDD
Change the Dell iDRAC7 System Host Name

If you need to change the Host Name field as reported by command racadm getsysinfo and the System Host Name field as shown in the Dell iDRAC7 web GUI in the following screenshot, you must install Dell OpenManage on the particular server:

Dell iDrac7 web GUI screenshot

The attribute that contains this value in the Dell iDRAC7 is read only and cannot be changed by the user as shown with the following command:

/admin1-> racadm config -g ifcRacManagedNodeOs -o ifcRacMnOsHostname build01
ERROR: The specified object is READ ONLY and cannot be modified.

You can install Dell OpenManage on CentOS and RHEL by following the instructions here and on Ubuntu by following the instructions here .

Reset Dell iDRAC

If you ever run into the following error when trying to log in to the Dell iDRAC via the web interface:

Dell DRAC: RAC0218: The maximum number of user sessions is reached

Log in via SSH to the Dell iDRAC:

ssh root@IP_ADDRESS

And reset the Dell iDRAC (it may take a few minutes to come back online):

racadm racreset

After a few minutes you should be able to log in to the web interface again.

Reconfigure a Dell RAID (PERC) Controller through the Dell iDRAC Using racadm

If you have a lot of servers that need their RAID (PERC) Controllers reconfigured quickly, you can reconfigure a Dell iDRAC using racadm .

racadm Scripts Set Many Servers to PXE Boot Once and Power Cycle

If you have a handful of servers that you need to set to PXE boot once and then power cycle the server, you can do so with the following script. Be sure to input the correct password, otherwise you will be locked out of the Dell iDRAC via SSH for about 5 minutes. In addition, whatever server you run the script from, the sshpass program will need to be installed for this to work.

#!/bin/bash
echo -n "Enter iDRAC root password (password will not be displayed): "
read -s DRACPASS
echo

for IP in IP_ADDRESS_1 IP_ADDRESS_2 IP_ADDRESS_3 IP_ADDRESS_N
do
echo "Setting $IP to boot once"
sshpass -p "$DRACPASS" ssh root@$IP racadm config -g cfgServerInfo -o cfgServerBootOnce 1
echo "Setting $IP boot device to PXE"
sshpass -p "$DRACPASS" ssh root@$IP racadm config -g cfgServerInfo -o cfgServerFirstBootDevice PXE
echo "Power cycling $IP now"
sshpass -p "$DRACPASS" ssh root@$IP racadm serveraction powercycle
done

[Oct 02, 2019] How to configure a Dell iDRAC card using the Racadm command line tool

Oct 02, 2019 | www.aftershox.com

Having recently taken over an existing site, we're in the process of conducting various house cleaning efforts. We came across a server that had a mis-configured iDRAC card which prevented managing it remotely or to run hardware diagnostics.

One option is to reboot the server, boot into BIOS, and configure the iDRAC while in front of the machine. However this would require a drive out the data center, and the additional maintenance window outage.

We did find a solution to all of this with the installation of Dell DRAC Tools which includes a command line tool called Racadm. When installed on the machine you want to configure, Racadm allows a Systems Administrator to modify the iDRAC settings from a command-line without requiring a reboot.

Here are the commands:

?
1 2 racadm getniccfg racadm setniccfg –s 172.17.2.124 255.255.252.0 172.17.0.5


-OR-

?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 racadm getconfig -g cfgLanNetworking racadm config -g cfgLanNetworking -o cfgNicIpAddress 172.17.2.124 racadm config -g cfgLanNetworking -o cfgNicNetmask 255.255.252.0 racadm config -g cfgLanNetworking -o cfgNicGateway 172.17.0.7 racadm config -g cfgLanNetworking -o cfgDNSServer1 172.17.0.6 racadm config -g cfgLanNetworking -o cfgDNSServer2 172.17.0.5 racadm config -g cfgLanNetworking -o cfgDNSRacName ServerName-DRAC racadm config -g cfgLanNetworking -o cfgDNSDomainName corp.company.com

[Oct 02, 2019] PowerEdge - How to generate servers logs with the iDRAC Dell US

Oct 02, 2019 | www.dell.com

Table of Contents:

  1. System Event Log
  2. Lifecycle Controller Log
  3. SupportAssist Collection and RAID Controller Log

1. System Event Log

When a system event occurs on a managed system, it is recorded in the System Event Log (SEL). The SEL page displays a system health indicator, a time stamp, and a description for each event logged. The same SEL entry is also available in the Lifecycle Controller (LC) log.

Follow these steps to view, export and clear the SEL, in iDRAC Web interface:

  1. Enter the iDRAC web interface
  2. Go to Overview > Server > Logs
  3. The first page shown is the Server Event Log (SEL)
  4. Click Save As on the bottom of the list to save the SEL to a location of your choice
  5. To clear the logs, click Clear Log on the bottom of the list (this option only appears if you have the permission)

2. Lifecycle Controller Log

Lifecycle Controller logs provide the history of changes related to components installed on a managed system. It provides logs about events related to:

You can export the entire Lifecycle Controller log (active and archived entries) in a single zipped XML file to a network share or to the local system. The zipped XML file extension is .xml.gz . The file entries are ordered sequentially based on their sequence numbers, ordered from the lowest sequence number to the highest.

Follow these steps to export the Lifecycle Controller log:

  1. Enter the iDRAC web interface
  2. Go to Overview > Server > Logs
  3. Click on the Lifecycle Log tab
  4. In the Lifecycle Log page, click Export
  5. Select any of the following options:
    • Network -- Export the Lifecycle Controller logs to a shared location on the network
    • Local -- Export the Lifecycle Controller logs to a location on the local system
Note: While specifying the network share settings, it is recommended to avoid special characters for user name and password or percent encode the special characters.
  1. Click Export to export the log to the specified location

3. SupportAssist Collection and RAID Controller Log

SupportAssist Collection (formely known as Tech Support Report / TSR) and the RAID Controller log provide detailed information about the status of system, firmware and storage. Especially the RAID log is the most requested report by Dell support for troubleshooting storage issues.

For exporting the SupportAssist Collection and the RAID log, follow the steps described in this article (incl. video).

[Oct 02, 2019] Interesting Dell iDRAC Tricks

Aug 13, 2015 | lonesysadmin.net

Interesting Dell iDRAC Tricks Bob Plankers August 13, 2015

System Administration Deploying a bunch of machines all at once? Know your way around for loops in shell scripts, or Excel enough to do some basic text functions & autofill? You, too, can set up a few hundred servers in one shot. Here's some interesting things I've done in the recent past using the Dell iDRAC out-of-band hardware management controllers.

You need to install the racadm utility on your Windows or Linux host. I'll leave this up to you, but you probably want to look in the Dell Downloads for your server, under "Systems Management." I recently found it as "Dell OpenManage DRAC Tools, includes Racadm" in 32- and 64-bit flavors.

Basic Command

The basic racadm command I'll represent with $racadm from now on is:

racadm -r hostname.or.ip.com -u iDRACuser -p password

Set a New Root Password

I don't know how many times I see people with iDRACs on a network and the root password is still 'calvin.' If you do nothing else change that crap right away:

$racadm set iDRAC.Users.2.Password newpassword

The number '2' indicates the user ID on the iDRAC. The root user is 2 by default.

If you have special characters in your password, and you should, you may need to escape them or put them in single quotes. You will want to test this on an iDRAC that has another admin user on it, or where you have console access or access through a blade chassis, for when you screw up the root password and lock yourself out. Not that I've ever done this, not even in the course of writing this post. Nope, not admitting anything.

Dump & Restore Machine Configurations

Once upon a time I embarked on a quest to configure a server solely with racadm 'set' commands. Want to know a secret? That was a complete waste of a few hours of my life. What I do now is take one server and run through all the BIOS, PERC, and iDRAC settings via the console and/or the web interface, then dump the configuration with a command:

$racadm get -t xml -f idrac-r730xd.xml

That'll generate an XML file of all the settings, which you can then load back into the other servers with:

$racadm set -t xml -f idrac-r730xd.xml -b graceful -w 600

This tells it to gracefully shut the OS down, if there is one, before rebooting to reload the configurations. It also says to wait 600 seconds for the job to complete. The default is 300 seconds but with an OS shutdown, long reboot, memory check, etc. it gets tight. There are other reboot options, check out the help via:

$racadm help set

You can also edit the XML file to remove parts that you don't want, such as when you want to preconfigure a new model of server with common iDRAC settings but do the BIOS & RAID configs on your own. That XML file will also give you clues to all the relevant configuration options, too, which you can then use via the normal iDRAC 'get' and 'set' methods.

Upload New SSL Certificates

I like knowing that the SSL certificates on my equipment aren't the defaults (and I get tired of all the warnings). With access to a certificate authority you can issue some valid certs for your infrastructure. However, I don't want to manage SSL certificates for hundreds of servers. Where I can I'll get a wildcard certificate, or if that's expensive or difficult I'll abuse the Subject Alternate Name (SAN) features of SSL certificates to generate one with all my iDRAC names in it. Then I can upload new keys and certificates, and reset the iDRAC to make it effective:

$racadm sslkeyupload -t 1 -f idrac.key
$racadm sslcertupload –t 1 -f idrac.cer
$racadm racreset

Ta-dum, green valid certificates for a few years with only a bit of work. If you don't have your own CA it's probably worth creating one. You can load the CA certificate as a trusted root into your desktop OS and make the warnings go away, and you know that your SSL certs aren't the vendor defaults. What's the point of crypto when everybody has the same key as you?

There are lots of cool things you can do with the iDRAC, so if you're doing something manually via the console or iDRAC web interface you might think about looking it up in the Dell iDRAC RACADM Command Line Reference first.

[Aug 08, 2017] Unattended Installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Operating System on Dell PowerEdge Servers Using iDRAC With Lifecycle Controller

The OS Deployment feature available in Lifecycle Controller enables you to deploy standard and custom operating systems on the managed system. You can also configure RAID before installing the operating system if it is not already configured. You can deploy the operating system using any of the following methods:

The unattended installation feature requires an OS configuration or answer file. During unattended installation, the answer file is provided to the OS loader. This activity requires minimal or no user intervention. Currently, the unattended installation feature is supported only for Microsoft Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating systems from Lifecycle Controller.

Note: This paper only covers unattended installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating system from Lifecycle Controller. For more information about unattended installation of Microsoft Windows operating systems, see the "Unattended Installation of Windows Operating Systems

[May 31, 2014] iDRAC7 1.57.57 Release

(Download)
UPDATE - iDRAC7 firmware version 1.57.57 is now an URGENT update for all rack and tower-model server customers with redundant power supply units (PSUs)

This build includes:

note: this release also contains cumulative enhancements and updates from prior releases, including a fix for issues causing sluggish iDRAC7 response after a prolonged period of uptime (approx 45-100 days, depending on the usage). In some cases, if the iDRAC is not reset, it could become unresponsive and require a server power-off/on reset. This issue exists on firmware releases 1.50.50 through those prior to 1.56.55).

Dell iDRAC Service Module

The integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) Service Module is an optional, lightweight software application that can be installed on Dell 12th Generation Servers with iDRAC7 to provide additional systems management information. This lightweight agent runs in the host operating system and provides monitoring functionality similar to OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA). This new offering bridges the gap between iDRAC's monitoring coverage and that which the full OMSA agent provides today. Some of the key features include:

n.b. the memory footprint of the iSM is 3-5MB. For comparison, OMSA occupies 100+ MB.

Download version 1.0 (includes release notes and Windows and Linux versions)

The new iSM page in the iDRAC GUI can be used to select the monitoring functions required. For more installation information, please review the Dell iDRAC Service Module 1.0 Installation Guide. You can also take a look at this blog post about installing and configuring iSM.

iDRAC7 Manuals (high level)
User Guide iDRAC7 Manuals [1.0.0, 1.06.06, 1.10.10, 1.20.20, 1.23.23, 1.30.30, 1.40.40, 1.50.50)
RACADM Reference RACADM Command Line Reference Guide (1.0.0, 1.06.06, 1.10.10, 1.20.20, 1.23.23, 1.30.30, 1.40.40, 1.50.50)

[Feb 23, 2014] WSman versus RACADM by Peter Tsai

Sep 26, 2013

In this chat we reviewed questions such as what is WSMAN and what are RACADM, how are WSMAN and RACADM different, and what are they useful for?

Click here to download the WSMAN vs RACADM PowerPoint presentation used in this chat.

Hello everyone, welcome to the Dell iDRAC Remote Scripting - RACADM vs WSMAN chat Dell TechCenter

who do we have with us today?

Scott Tracy...

[Jan 30, 2014] idrac7 goes unresponsive

Feb 14, 2013 | Dell Community

nadogmoney

We have a random issue with idrac7 (R620s) where the idrac becomes almost totally unresponsive but magically seems to fix itself within 24 hours.

Here is what we have observed:

Has anyone else seen this?

I dont have an SR open but have been in contact with Dell IPS.

nadogmoney

I think my issue is fixed with idrac7 FW 1.37.35. There was a memory leak which was fixed. I ran "racadm racdump" and looked for memory usage deltas.

Dell-Chris H

Nadogmoney,

Is the server currently up to date? Also, to clarify, you said that you were running local racadm commands, but also say you tried linux and windows to connect, was this remotely?
What is the racadm command you are trying to run?
Lastly, have you tried uninstalling Rac Tools and reinstalling.
Let me know what you find.

nadogmoney

Chris H,
We are two revs back on production systems:
PowerEdge R620
Bios Version = 1.2.6
iDRAC Version = 1.23.23
USC Version = 1.0.8.42

Racadm commands were run locally on Windows and Linux. Remote racadm was not tried.
Any local racadm command gets "ERROR: Unable to perform requested operation"
We have not uninstalled rac tools and reinstalling. The issue has persisted from OMSA 7.1 to 7.2 so we may have covered this testing when running 7.2. Also, not being able to ssh and use the web gui point to the cause not being rac tools related.

[Linux-PowerEdge] Internet Explorer 9 vs iDRAC7 remote console

John Lloyd jal at mdacorporation.com
Mon Apr 29 11:42:31 CDT 2013
We've been seeing intermittent issues with this -- the remote console fails to start, or once started then stops with "session disconnect" in the bottom left-land-corner of the screen.  Sometimes it just hangs (for hours -- I have a lot of patience).  Restarting IE seems to resolve this, but then I only start IE just to connect to the iDRAC so it seems wrong.  Resetting the iDRAC also helps often.

IE 8 seems not so bad.

We've updated to latest 1.37.35 firmware.  We use native access (activeX not java).  These are Enterprise iDRAC with their own Ethernet interface, we have 6 on various models (r620 r720), all seem to show similar symptoms.

Is there any magic to getting remote console to reliably work?


--John

[Mar 07, 2012] Advanced Configuration of the DRAC Dell Remote Access Controller 5 Firmware Version 1.40 User's Guide

Logging In

You can log in either as a DRAC user or as a Microsoft® Active Directory® user. The default user name and password are root and calvin, respectively.

Before you log in to the DRAC, verify that you have Log In to DRAC permission. Speak to your organization's DRAC or network administrator to confirm your access privileges.

To log in:

  1. In the User Name field, type one of the following:
    • Your DRAC user name. For example, <username> The DRAC user name for local users is case sensitive
  1. In the Password field, type your DRAC user password or Active Directory user password. This field is case sensitive.
  1. Click OK or press <Enter>.

Logging Out

  1. In the upper-right corner of the DRAC Web-based interface window, click Log Out to close the session.
  2. Close the browser window.
NOTE: The Log Out button does not appear until you log in.
NOTE: Closing the browser without gracefully logging out causes the session to remain open until it times out. It is strongly recommended that you click the logout button to end the session; otherwise, the session remains active until the session timeout is reached.
NOTE: Closing the DRAC Web-based interface within Microsoft Internet Explorer using the close button ("x") at the top right corner of the window may generate an application error. To fix this issue, download the latest Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer from the Microsoft Support website, at support.microsoft.com.

Enabling and Configuring the Managed System to Use a Serial or Telnet Console

The following subsections provide information about how to enable and configure a serial/telnet/ssh console on the managed system.

Using the connect com2 Serial Command

When using the connect com2 serial command, ensure that the following are configured properly:

When a telnet session is established to the DRAC and these settings are incorrect, connect com2 may display a blank screen.

Configuring the BIOS Setup Program for a Serial Connection on the Managed System

Perform the following steps to configure your BIOS Setup program to redirect output to a serial port.

NOTE: You must configure the System Setup program in conjunction with the connect com2 command.
  1. Turn on or restart your system.
  2. Press <F2> immediately after you see the following message: <F2> = System SetupScroll down and select Serial Communication by pressing <Enter>.
  3. Set the Serial Communication screen as follows: External Serial Connector - Remote Access Device. Redirection After Boot - Disabled
  4. Press <Esc> to exit the System Setup program to complete the System Setup program configuration.

Using the Remote Access Serial Interface

When establishing a serial connection to the RAC device, the following interfaces are available:

RAC Serial Interface

RAC also supports a serial console interface (or RAC Serial Console) that provides a RAC CLI, which is not defined by IPMI. If your system includes a RAC card with Serial Console enabled, the RAC card will override the IPMI serial settings and display the RAC CLI serial interface.

To enable the RAC serial terminal interface, set the cfgSerialConsoleEnable property to 1 (TRUE).

For example:

racadm config -g cfgSerial -o cfgSerialConsoleEnable 1

See "cfgSerialConsoleEnable (Read/Write)" for more information.

Table 4-1 provides the serial interface settings.

Table 4-1. Serial Interface Settings

IPMI Mode RAC Serial Console Interface
Basic Disabled Basic Mode
Basic Enabled RAC CLI
Terminal Disabled IPMI Terminal Mode
Terminal Enabled RAC CLI


	

Configuring Linux for Serial Console Redirection During Boot

The following steps are specific to the Linux GRand Unified Bootloader (GRUB). Similar changes would be necessary if you use a different boot loader.

NOTE: When you configure the client VT100 emulation window, set the window or application that is displaying the redirected console to 25 rows x 80 columns to ensure proper text display; otherwise, some text screens may be garbled.

Edit the /etc/grub.conf file as follows:

  1. Locate the General Setting sections in the file and add the following two new lines:

    serial --unit=1 --speed=57600
    terminal --timeout=10 serial

  2. Append two options to the kernel line:

    kernel ............. console=ttyS1,57600

  3. If the /etc/grub.conf contains a splashimage directive, comment it out.

Table 4-2 provides a sample /etc/grub.conf file that shows the changes described in this procedure.

Table 4-2. Sample File: /etc/grub.conf

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
#
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes
# to this file
# NOTICE: You do not have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /, e.g.
# root (hd0,0)
# kernel /boot/vmlinuz-version ro root= /dev/sdal
# initrd /boot/initrd-version.img
#
#boot=/dev/sda
default=0
timeout=10
#splashimage=(hd0,2)/grub/splash.xpm.gz

serial --unit=1 --speed=57600
terminal --timeout=10 serial

title Red Hat Linux Advanced Server (2.4.9-e.3smp)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.9-e.3smp ro root= /dev/sda1 hda=ide-scsi console=ttyS0 console= ttyS1,57600
initrd /boot/initrd-2.4.9-e.3smp.img
title Red Hat Linux Advanced Server-up (2.4.9-e.3)
root (hd0,00)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.9-e.3 ro root=/dev/sda1 s
initrd /boot/initrd-2.4.9-e.3.im

When you edit the /etc/grub.conf file, use the following guidelines:

  1. Disable GRUB's graphical interface and use the text-based interface; otherwise, the GRUB screen will not be displayed in RAC console redirection. To disable the graphical interface, comment out the line starting with splashimage.

  2. To enable multiple GRUB options to start console sessions through the RAC serial connection, add the following line to all options:

console=ttyS1,57600

Table 4-2 shows console=ttyS1,57600 added to only the first option.

Enabling Login to the Console After Boot

Edit the file /etc/inittab as follows:

Add a new line to configure agetty on the COM2 serial port:

co:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -h -L 57600 ttyS1 ansi

Table 4-3 shows a sample file with the new line.

Table 4-3. Sample File: /etc/innitab

#
# inittab This file describes how the INIT process should set up
# the system in a certain run-level.
#
# Author: Miquel van Smoorenburg
# Modified for RHS Linux by Marc Ewing and Donnie Barnes
#
# Default runlevel. The runlevels used by RHS are:
# 0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
# 1 - Single user mode
# 2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have
# networking)
# 3 - Full multiuser mode
# 4 - unused
# 5 - X11
# 6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
#
id:3:initdefault:

# System initialization.
si::sysinit:/etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit


l0:0:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 0
l1:1:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 1
l2:2:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 2
l3:3:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 3
l4:4:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 4
l5:5:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 5
l6:6:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 6

# Things to run in every runlevel.
ud::once:/sbin/update

# Trap CTRL-ALT-DELETE
ca::ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -t3 -r now

# When our UPS tells us power has failed, assume we have a few
# minutes of power left. Schedule a shutdown for 2 minutes from now.
# This does, of course, assume you have power installed and your
# UPS is connected and working correctly.
pf::powerfail:/sbin/shutdown -f -h +2 "Power Failure; System Shutting Down"
# If power was restored before the shutdown kicked in, cancel it.
pr:12345:powerokwait:/sbin/shutdown -c "Power Restored; Shutdown Cancelled"


# Run gettys in standard runlevels
co:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -h -L 57600 ttyS1 ansi
1:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty1
2:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty2
3:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty3
4:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty4
5:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty5
6:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty6

# Run xdm in runlevel 5
# xdm is now a separate service
x:5:respawn:/etc/X11/prefdm -nodaemon

Edit the file /etc/securetty as follows:

Add a new line with the name of the serial tty for COM2:

ttyS1

Table 4-4 shows a sample file with the new line.

Table 4-4. Sample File: /etc/securetty

vc/1
vc/2
vc/3
vc/4
vc/5
vc/6
vc/7
vc/8
vc/9
vc/10
vc/11
tty1
tty2
tty3
tty4
tty5
tty6
tty7
tty8
tty9
tty10
tty11
ttyS1

Enabling the DRAC Serial/Telnet/SSH Console

The serial/telnet/ssh console can be enabled locally or remotely.

Enabling the Serial/Telnet/SSH Console Locally
NOTE: You (the current user) must have Configure DRAC permission in order to perform the steps in this section.

To enable the serial/telnet/ssh console from the managed system, type the following local RACADM commands from a command prompt:

racadm config -g cfgSerial -o cfgSerialConsoleEnable 1

racadm config -g cfgSerial -o cfgSerialTelnetEnable 1

racadm config -g cfgSerial -o cfgSerialSshEnable 1

Enabling the Serial/Telnet/SSH Console Remotely

To enable the serial/telnet/ssh console remotely, type the following remote RACADM commands from a command prompt:

racadm -u <username> -p <password> -r <DRAC IP address> config -g cfgSerial -o cfgSerialConsoleEnable 1

racadm -u <username> -p <password> -r <DRAC IP address> config -g cfgSerial -o cfgSerialTelnetEnable 1

racadm -u <username> -p <password> -r <DRAC IP address> config -g cfgSerial -o cfgSerialSshEnable 1

NOTE: When you use Internet Explorer version 6 SP2 or version 7 to log into a managed system on a private network, but without access to the Internet, you may experience a delay of up to 30 seconds while using remote RACADM commands.

[Dec 29, 2011] losalamos.redhawk.org

Oct 10, 2007 losalamos.redhawk.org

The setup for ssh concole access on the DELL DRAC.

This setup shows using DHCP for the DRAC ip address, but it can be hard set as well.

    * Enter setup F2
         1. Cursor down to Serial Communications.
         2. Set the other fields to the following.
                o Serial Communication : On with console Redirection via COM2
                o External Serial Connector : Remote Access Device
                o Failsafe Baud Rate : 57600
                o Remote Terminal Type : VT100/VT200
                o Redirection After Boot: Enabled

         3. Save and exit.

    * Enter the RAC configuration when prompted CTRL-E

          o Set the ip address to DHCP
          o Set the LAN User password to the current console password.
          o Write down the DRAC MAC address.

          o Save and Exit
Enter the MAC address in dhcp on your dhcp server dhcpd.conf in the appropriate section.
Restart DHCP

Now we should be able to ssh to the console.

 ssh vt-11-c -l root

 root@vt-11-c's password:
 Warning: No xauth data; using fake authentication data for X11 forwarding.

 Dell Remote Access Controller 5 (DRAC)
 Firmware Version 1.20 (Build 07.03.02) 
To get to the console type:
 connect com2
This message flashes...
 Connected to com2. To end type: '^\'                                                                                                                                  
Then you should have the console login.
 Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS release 4 (Nahant Update 5)
 Kernel 2.6.9-55.ELsmp on an x86_64

 vt-11 login:
To escape type 'CTRL' + '\'
 $ 
To change root password on a DRAC from ssh shell
 $ racadm config -g cfgUserAdmin -o cfgUserAdminPassword -i 2 NewPasswordHere
Now to do power tasks on the dell type smclp.
 $ smclp
 DRAC5 SM-CLP System Management Shell, version 1.0
 Copyright (c) 2004-2007 Dell, Inc.
 All Rights Reserved

cd system1

/system1

show

/system1:

  Targets:
    logs1

  Properties:
    CreationClassName       = CIM_ComputerSystem
    Name                    = 7B0CZC1
    NameFormat              = other
    Dedicated               = 0
    ResetCapability         = 4
    EnabledState            = 2
    RequestedState          = 12
    EnabledDefault          = 2
    HealthState             = 5
    OperationalStatus       = 2
    Description             = PowerEdge 2970

  Verbs:
    cd
    exit
    help
    reset
    show
    start
    stop
    version

    * To reboot the system type "reset"
    * To power off "stop"
    * To power on "start"

[Apr 06, 2010] Dell's DRAC card sucks

Contrary to the opinion below I have mostly positive experience with DRAC. They work reliably both locally and for remote datacenters. Split cursor is the only unpleasant problem I used to encountered.
October 30, 2008 | Standalone Sysadmin

John:

I was just at our colo replacing a dead fan on one of our servers and the data-center guy was talking about how they call DRAC "drag" because it's so slow. I mean… not that funny I guess…

Alex:

We have DRAC cards in about 100 Dell 2950 systems and IMHO they work great.

Very fast and useful even for remote server installs, by mounting the media.

DRAC 4 cards Dell 2850 are useful as well but with a lot of bugs, some of them work like a charm, some cannot be accessed despite all the software reinstalls and firmware upgrades

DRAC 3 cards: USELESS and slow to extreme. GUI next to imposible to use, telnet is OK

DRAC/MC in 1855 blades, very slow as well, Https will time out half times.

Just our experience,

Alex

Recovering and Troubleshooting the Managed System

Dell Remote Access Controller 5 Firmware Version 1.30 User's Guide

Dell - Support

Why do I receive an "Out of Scan Range," "Synch out of Range," or "No Sync Input" message when I power my system off?

When the system is powered off, it stops sending a signal to the monitor. These messages indicate that the monitor is no longer receiving a signal from the computer.

Out of Scan Range, Synch out of Range, or No Sync Input Message When the System is Powered Off.

When you shut down your system, one of the following messages may appear on the monitor screen:

Out of Scan Range
Synch Out of Range
No Sync Input

These messages may flash by quickly or may stay until the monitor is powered off.

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