Dell DRAC QUestion

Grant Peel gpeel at
Sat Jan 28 04:21:50 PST 2006

Hi all,

    I have no problems (knock on my wooden head for saying that!), and no 
issues at the current time, but am sending this email so it will go into the 
archives and perhaps help someone (maybe me LOL) in the future. I will use 
lots of keywords below to assist in the search archive process.

Disclammer - I am not a writer. :-)

Getting Remote Console to work on DRAC cards on Dell PowerEdge servers.


1. Dell PowerEdge 750, FreeBSD 4.10 DRAC III/XT -plugged into slot 2 PCI 
2. Dell PowerEdge 750, FreeBSD 5.4 DRAC III/XT -plugged into slot 2 PCI bus.
3. Dell PoweEdge 1850, FreeBSD 6.0 DRAC 4/I -plugged into internal dedicated 
onboard DRAC slot.

No (local) keyboards plugged into the machines as they are all in cages at 
Machines have DRACs connected to a dedicated port on WAN switch. static IPs 
assigned, although they do have DHCP client abilities.

System BIOS correctly configured to allow DRAC to 'hook' into botting and 
operating states. This setup slightly different between systems, but well 
documented in the drac lit.


Server administrators should be able to connect to a dead (OS) system and 
perform maintenance over IP when the system is powered up, or at least 
plugged in.


No matter what we do it seems we can't connect to our Dell PowerEdge 
Server's DRAC (Dell Remote Access Cards).


So much simpler than I originally anticipated.

On server 1 (Listed above):

I removed the flag in the kernel that instructed freebsd to disable the the 
keyboard if there was not local one plugged in. ( it seems the DRAC (JAva) 
console is not found until it is called by the browser).

Alos, ensure the kernel has AT Keyboard driver and device installed as the 
XT (DRAC III) uses AT and not USB. The kernel conf now looks like # atkbdc0 
controls both the keyboard and the PS/2 mouse
device          atkbdc0 at isa? port IO_KBD
device          atkbd0  at atkbdc? irq 1
device          psm0    at atkbdc? irq 12

note the absence of the flag:  flags="0x1"

The fix for FreeBSD 5.x is roughly the same, but the flag may have to be 
removed from /boot/device.hints and the system rebooted.

In short, for the DRAC III need to ensure at keyboard is installed, and not 
disabled when the boots without a keyboard connected.

On server 3:

dmesg showed in the broken state, the drac was trying to connect to a ugen 
driver, it would then immediately disconnect. Someone mentioned that I 
change what device and driver it connect to and as. see below.

Ensured that the USB (v1) drivers were installed. It seems that the system 
bus supports USBII, but the card itself uses USB. So I added the options usb 
to the mix in the kernel and recompiled. Worked like a charm. Disableing the 
other USB drivers was not necessary.

Also, to ensure the console keyboard was connected to the USB keyboard on 
the DRAC when connected to, I added the "unload atkbd" flag to device hints 
(FBSD 6.0) hint.atkbd.0.flags="0x1", similoar to the flag that would be 
added to pre6.0 in kernel conf.

I can;t definitively say that an extenal local USB or atkbd keyboard will 
work since I have not had the oppertunity to test yet.

Server 2. Worked as is. not quite sure why yet. Although its config at 
install time was almost identical to server 1.

Dell DRAC Dell Remote Access Card Serial Console Remote Controll Setup 
Installation Install


P.S. Thanks Alex! 

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