OpenSuSE 10.1 and ipmitools on Dell PowerEdge 830

With a little help from Nicholas from the Linux-PowerEdge mailing list, I was able to get ipmitools working on my new Dell PowerEdge 830 thats running OpenSuSE 10.1. I was really making it harder than it needed to be, as most of the stuff I had found online was related to significantly older kernels. Nicholas was running some flavor of Ubuntu, so I have a feeling these are very general instructions that should work for any flavor of Linux running a 2.6.16 kernel. To check your kernel version, type

uname -r

at any command line.

Ok, it’s actually really simple:

  1. Download/Install ipmitools. Go to the SourceForge site and download ipmitools and then install them. There’s an RPM that worked for me, but if you have trouble, grab the source and follow the included instructions.
  2. Edit the boot loader configuration. If you’re running SuSE/OpenSuSE like I am, I suggest using YaST go to “System->Boot Loader.” Once there, make sure your default kernel is selected and choose the Edit option. Then in the box labeled Other Kernel Parameters, just add

    and then click OK and then Finish. For the non-SuSE users, you can edit /etc/lilo.conf or the corresonding grub file manually and then run whatever necessary tool to parse your new conf file (Example:


    for LILO users).

  3. Load the kernel modules. You have two options here: a) load them manually using modprobe, or b) make the necessary modifications to have them loaded automaticaly at boot. I prefer to have the necessary modules load at boot time so that I don’t have to worry about it ever again. In SuSE, open YaST and go to “System->/etc/sysconfig Editor” and in the left-hand pane, choose “System->Kernel->MODULES_LOADED_ON_BOOT.” Now, in the box provided on the right side, add this:
    ipmi_si ipmi_devintf

    and then click Finish and OK. Exit YaST. If you want to do this the manual way, simply type

    modprobe ipmi_si

    and then

    modprobe ipmi_devintf

    on a command line.

And that’s it! You may need to reboot after changing the kernel boot parameters and before loading the ipmi modules. For SuSE and OpenSuSE users though, you can make both those changes within YaST and then reboot. Upon reboot, you should be able to use

ipmitools sel list

to view a list of errors from your sensors,

ipmitools sel clear

to clear the logs as well as all other standard ipmitools commands. To see the full list, just type

ipmitools --help