IPMI on SuperMicro PDSMi+ Motherboard

Philipp Wuensche cryx-freebsd at h3q.com
Sat Dec 2 16:32:24 PST 2006

Philipp Wuensche wrote:
> Hi,
> I lately aquired an SuperMicro PDSMi+ motherboard and the IPMI
> AOC-IPMI20-E daughterboard. I can report that the ipmi driver in 6.2 is
> working just fine and I can use ipmitool to access the module from the
> hostsystem. The only problem is that the IPMI module loses its network
> connection and is not reachable via IP some times, this espacially
> happens after a SOL session.
> If the server is up I can issue a cold reset for the module and I can
> reach it again, I'm not sure if this has anything todo with freebsd and
> problems with the em driver or if it is just the firmware of the module
> but if anyone has experience with this stuff maybe he can give me a hint
> what could causing this problems at all.
> Currently it is configured with a different MAC and a different IP than
> the host system, haven't tried same MAC and IP yet. Shouldn't make a
> difference, should it?

It makes a difference! If I use the same MAC as the hostsystem, access
to the IPMI module is unavailable when booting single-user or until the
first ifconfig em0 up, this could be either be a problem with the em
driver or maybe the eeprom issue Jack Vogel described on freebsd-stable,
but I haven't had the chance yet to test the update tool he mentions.
Using the same IP as the hostsystem makes no difference of course.

I now have it mostly running okay but again running with a different MAC
and IP as the system. I now did _not_ use the MAC address from the
sticker on the IPMI socket and instead just took one random. This is of
course not good and one should use the MAC address from the IPMI socket,
maybe I will give it another try.

Just to document my findings so other don't have to get to the same pain
again, some of my experience:

1. There are basically three modes of MAC/IP configuration for IPMI

1.1 same MAC and same IP as hostsystem

1.2 same MAC as hostsystem but different IP

1.3 different MAC and different IP as hostsystem

2. Get console access working

2.1 The IPMI module connects to the onboard com2 port via a straigt
cable with 10pin connectors on both sides. You have to enable
bios-redirection in the BIOS and use port B.

2.2 To make the second serial port the console port (default is the
first), you have to set hint.sio.1.flags="0x10" in "/boot/device.hints",
maybe setting "BOOT_COMCONSOLE_PORT=0x2f8" in /etc/make.conf and
rebuilding/installing the boot-loader will do the same.

2.3 To change the speed of the serial port you have to set
"BOOT_COMCONSOLE_SPEED=115200" in /etc/make.conf and rebuild/install
your boot-loader.

One advise if you want to use a different baudrate for the serial
console than 19200.. stay away from the IPMIView tool, it resets the
baudrate of the IPMI module back to the default 19200 every time you try
to establish a SOL session. Use the ipmitool from the ports. (has some
issues too but works for access from the hostsystem and most of the
remote stuff.)

3. Local IPMI access via OpenIPMI (needs FreeBSD 6.2)

3.1 To get access to the IPMI module via the hostsystem you need "device
ipmi" in your kernel configuration.

3.2 Accessing the IPMI module is done by using "ipmitool -I open", you
have to compile ipmitool from ports on at least FreeBSD 6.2 (needs some
headerfiles to enable OpenIPMI support)

Maybe a section in the Handbook would be helpful, should write that up
once I get it working reliable.


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