HOWTO: Install DELL OpenManage System Administrator on exotic Linux distributions

If you happen to have to manage some Dell server running some exotic-not-supported-at-all distribution like, for example, Slackware or Gentoo, there’s a trick you can use that can saves you a lot of PITA. It envolves using debootstrap and some well known unofficial Debian Dell repository. Here we go:

  1. First of all, check your kernel has IPMI support. If it doesn’t, rebuild it to have IPMI enabled (Device Drivers -> Character Devices -> IPMI). Build every module you find here.
  2. Load the just built modules:
    modprobe ipmi_msghandler
    modprobe ipmi_si
    modprobe ipmi_devintf
  3. Install debootstrap. With Gentoo, it’s a simple emerge debootstrap
  4. mkdir -p /var/debian
  5. debootstrap --arch amd64 etch /var/debian
    You can obviously change the –arch parameter with the one that better fits your needs, say i386
  6. Now, let’s wait while debootstrap does all the dirty work :)
  7. mount -o bind /dev /var/debian/dev
  8. mount -t proc none /var/debian/proc
  9. mount -o bind /sys /var/debian/sys
  10. cp /etc/resolv.conf /var/debian/etc
  11. chroot /var/debian/ /bin/bash
  12. Now we are in our new Debian-lite environment.
  13. edit /etc/apt/sources.list to look like this, for example:

    deb etch main non-free contrib
    deb-src etch main non-free contribdeb etch/updates main contrib non-free
    deb-src etch/updates main contrib non-free

    deb dell sara
    deb etch dell-software

  14. apt-get update
  15. apt-get install dellomsa
  16. And we are done! If all went well, you should now be able to run tools like “omreport” to inspect your hardware status and “omconfig” to change BIOS settings and much more!

On a side note, after a reboot you have to repeat steps 7,8 and 10 and once in the chroot, issue a /etc/init.d/dataeng start


10 thoughts on “HOWTO: Install DELL OpenManage System Administrator on exotic Linux distributions

  1. “repeat steps 6,7 and 8”

    not really needed you can use /etc/fstab

    this is from my /etc/fstab

    ##32bit chroot
    #/home /i386-32bit/home none bind 0 0
    #/tmp /i386-32bit/tmp none bind 0 0
    #proc /i386-32bit/proc proc defaults 0 0

    to mount /dev you would add

    /dev /i386-32bit/dev none bind 0 0

    for you example you would use
    /dev /var/debian/dev none bind 0 0
    proc /var/debian/proc none bind 0 0

    and simlink some stuff – I think it was /etc/resolv.conf and user/password stuff

  2. Nice point the fstab one. The symlinks although are not strictly necessary, at least if you don’t want to keep always sync’ed these files.
    Speaking of repeating step 10, one can add a init script in the original installation which executes something like

    chroot /var/debian “/etc/init.d/dataeng start”

  3. This article is great. It really helped me setup OpenManage on Gentoo.
    However I had a few problems with the setup.
    #1) I tried the OpenManage web interface but I could not login. I have set the root password in the chroot but it didn’t work.
    #2) omreport would not detect the storage controller. I managed to fix this by mounting sysfs
    mount -o bind /sys /var/debian/sys
    It seems like /proc and /dev were not enough

  4. Great help thanks – I’m almost there, I’m unable to login I’ve tried the default admin admin but it doesn’t work

    any thoughts

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