Serial over lan

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Serial over lan allows you to access the serial console via a network connection using the IPMI tool. This article describes how to do it with Dell servers using a Dell Remote Access Card.



  • Make sure your Dell Remote Access Card has an IP address. In this example, we use (written italic so you know you may want to replace it by your setting).
  • Boot your server
  • enter the system BIOS using F2
    • Set serial port redirection to "On with console redirection to COM2". COM2 is connected to the BMC controller.
  • enter the DRAC configuration with CTRL_E
    • set IPMI over LAN to On
    • set NIC selection to shared
  • connect via ipmitool
ipmitool -I lanplus -U root -P calvin -H sol activate

An ipmitool window opens. When you reboot you see the BIOS messages in this screen, you can enter the BIOS and do settings there.

Still there can be issues with the operating system. If you want to see the boot loader's menu in your IPMI console, you will have to modify your boot loader configuration (e.g. /boot/grub/menu.lst) to contain a line with the correct baud number like this:

serial --unit=0 --speed=115200

You can find out the fitting baud number, in this case 115200 from the "F2" BIOS -> Serial Communication -> Failsafe Baud rate.

If you want to see the kernel messages during startup, your boot entry in the boot loader will also need a baud-number like this:

kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-194.11.1.el5 ro root=LABEL=/ console=tty0 console=ttyS1,115200 sysrq=1 panic=30

In order to see the console prompt from your system, you will have to make sure your settings in /etc/inittab are correct. The respective lines will look like this:

# Run gettys in standard runlevels
co:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty ttyS1 115200 vt100-nav

See also

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