Pivotal Knowledge Base


How to work on IPMI and IPMITOOL


  • Data Computing Appliance (DCA) 1 and 2
  • Pivotal Greenplum Database (GPDB) all versions


The Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) is a standardized computer system interface used by System Administrators for out-of-band management of computer systems and monitoring of their operation. Out-of-band is also referred to the LOM (Lights-Out Management) involves the use of a dedicated management channel for device maintenance.

A number of options are available to manage the device remotely. There are vendor-specific server management technologies available. HP’s Integrated Lights-out or iLO, Dell’s Dell Remote Access Controller or DRAC and IBM’s Remote Supervisor Adapter (RSA) are a few to list. The above-listed modules are vendor specific and proprietary. IPMI whereas is vendor-neutral and cross-platform. It is available on Linux distros. The functionality of IPMI can be accessed via IPMItool. IPMItool is a command prompt, which is used to manage IPMI-enabled devices. IPMItool helps in managing the system hardware components, monitoring the system health independent of the operating system.


You can install IPMI and IPMItool via yum using the following command:

[root@anm ~]# yum install OpenIPMI OpenIPMI-tools

Ensure that the server is set to start during startup and start the IPMI service.

[root@anm ~]# chkconfig ipmi on 
[root@anm ~]# service ipmi start

We have some IPMItool commands, which can be used in day-to-day operations.

1. Man and help info for IPMItool

ipmitool help 
man ipmitool

2. Check the firmware version

ipmitool mc info

3. Reset the management controller

ipmitool mc reset [ warm | cold ]

4. Show field-replaceable-unit details

ipmitool fru print

5. Show sensor output

ipmitool sdr list 
ipmitool sdr type list
ipmitool sdr type Temperature
ipmitool sdr type Fan
ipmitool sdr type ‘Power Supply’

6. Chassis commands

ipmitool chassis status ipmitool chassis identify [] # turn on front panel identify light (default 15s) 
ipmitool [chassis] power soft # initiate a soft-shutdown via acpi
ipmitool [chassis] power cycle # issue a hard power off, wait 1s, power on
ipmitool [chassis] power off # issue a hard power off
ipmitool [chassis] power on # issue a hard power on
ipmitool [chassis] power reset # issue a hard reset

7. Modify boot device for next reboot

ipmitool chassis bootdev pxe 
ipmitool chassis bootdev cdrom
ipmitool chassis bootdev bios

8. Logging

ipmitool sel info 
ipmitool sel list
ipmitool sel elist # extended list (see manpage)
ipmitool sel clear

9. For remote access, you need to setup user and network settings, either at boot time on the iLO or on the DRAC card itself, or from the OS via IPMI tool:

Display/reset password for default root user (userid ’2′)

ipmitool user list 1 
ipmitool user set password 2

10. Display/configure lan settings

ipmitool lan print 1
ipmitool lan set 1 ipsrc [ static | dhcp ] 
ipmitool lan set 1 ipaddr {YOUR DESIRED IP}
ipmitool lan set 1 netmask {YOUR NETMASK}
ipmitool lan set 1 defgw ipaddr

After configuring the lan settings you should be able to connect remotely using the ‘lan’ interface of IPMItool.

The following is an example:

[root@anm ~]# ipmitool -I lan -U root -H {YOUR DESIRED IP} chassis status

11. Hanging BMC

ipmitool bmc reset cold

12. Change system state

ipmitool -H <ip> -U <user> chassis power <status|on|off|cycle|reset>

13. Get debug info

ipmitool lan print
ipmitool -H <ip> -U <user> shell # get ipmitool shell, type 'help'
ipmitool -H <ip> -U <user> sel list # Show system event log
ipmitool -H <ip> -U <user> sdr # List sensor data

14. Get SOL console

modprobe lanplus # If not yet loaded
ipmitool -H <IP> -U <user> -I lanplus sol activate


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