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Tuesday, 06 March 2007

iLO shenanigans

One of the many things I'm working on in my copious amounts of spare time is setting up the server that HP donated Linux Australia after I think linux.conf.au 2006.

Said server has iLO, which facilitates remote power management and remote console, both things I want to have working on this server before it goes into production.

Jon's been madly poking holes in his firewall for me so I could access the iLO stuff. I'm already liking it better than Dell's BMC, because it has things like SSH, although the whole thing hasn't been without some adventures.

I fiddled around via the web interface and added an account for myself and an SSH key. Then I tried to SSH in, and promptly got stuff like

buffer_get_ret: trying to get more bytes 4 than in buffer 0
buffer_get_int: buffer error

straight after what looked like a successful connection, and then the SSH connection got terminated.

I did a pile of Google searching, and found people had to disable environment variable sending, and agent forwarding to get this to stop happening. Interestingly, I can't find a way to disable SendEnv on a per-host basis with OpenSSH, if it's been set in /etc/ssh/ssh_config, which is kind of annoying.

So after solving the problem of gaining SSH access to the iLO, I then battled with the remote console. The host already had a throwaway Linux installation on it, but the remote console kept freaking out about the console being in graphics mode. I figured this was because it was using a frame-buffer. No problem, I just needed to boot with vga=normal.

Problem was, GRUB was configured with hiddenmenu so I had 3 seconds to hit Escape before it charged off and booted up. Not that big a deal you'd think, except to get out of the remote console and back to the iLO prompt, you have to hit Escape (, so the iLO eats Escape keys for breakfast.

After having a bit of debate with some mainly Red Hat-oriented sysadmins on #sage-au, it turned out that RHEL has a patch so that GRUB accepts any key, not just Escape to present the menu. That was no use to me, as the box wasn't running RHEL. And all I was asking for was if anyone had any iLO experience, no whether or not "any key" was the equivalent of Escape. Sheesh.

It turned out that I needed to press Escape twice in that initial 3 seconds, with probably sufficient pause between the two presses for it to register properly, in order for an Escape character to be sent to GRUB.


[21:42] [tech] [permalink]