Non-windows DRAC client support?

Kaj Niemi kajtzu at
Tue Oct 2 12:17:21 CDT 2007

On Oct 1, 2007, at 00:14, t m wrote:

> I read a thread here recently which implied very poor virtual console
> support for non-windows clients using the DRAC 5 web interface.
> Can anyone clarify what clients are really supported by Dell?  I've
> been trying to get the virtual console to come up from a Mac with
> Firefox with no luck.
> I'm just trying to get serial over LAN working to the BMC via the DRAC
> or IPMI interfaces, and I suspect that I need to enable this in a BIOS
> boot screen.  Anyone know how if this can be configured via the OS?
> I'm trying to avoid a trip to the data center for this.

According to our Dell technical representative the following will work:

RHEL4 WS, Firefox 1.5 (32-bit)
SUSE Linux v10, Firefox 1.5 (32-bit)

I think there's a longer list in the DRAC User/Administrator's guide.  
You can substitute RHEL4 with CentOS4 if you wish. It will work just  
as well. I have not tried a RHEL5 desktop yet.

I have a MBP as my primary computer and I, too, tried first with  
Safari and Firefox. I failed miserably. Then I tried with FC6/7/8 and  
just got firefox to segfault and didn't bother looking at it deeper  
since it is not something Dell seems to want to support for DRAC.  
Once I got the word from Dell that RHEL4 WS 32-bit works, installed a  
clean one (+ updates) the virtual console started working.

One thing to remember is that the system wide plugin directory cannot  
be written by a non-root user but the virtual media/console plugins  
are going to be installed there. Thus you have to chown/chmod them  
either before you attempt to install the virtual console/virtual  
media firefox plugin. If it fails, check the install.log which can be  
found under ~/.mozilla/firefox/something/ for the user doing the  
install. I circumvented the permissions issue by creating a vmware  
image where the plugin directories get chowned when the user logs in.  
That way the environment is "known good" easily replicated.

Also, if you upgrade your DRAC firmware and it contains a more recent  
client software package the javascript on the virtual console page (I  
think) detects that you have a older plugin version on your computer  
and will pretty much force an upgrade on you.

The FF XPI package contains a binary application (/usr/lib/firefox- 
version/plugins/videoviewer) which is Dell probably got from  
Avocent :), a XPT package and a few .so files that get installed  
into /usrlib/firefox-version/plugins/.

Once you get past all the setup problems it really works quite  
nicely. :) Serial over LAN is much harder to configure (remember to  
fix bios settings, fix grub, fix kernel boot parameters, put  
something to listen on ttyS0 or ttyS1, etc.) compared to the "real"  
virtual console. It's also not possible to get to the "real" console  
using SSH to the DRAC, the connect command there connects only to a  
serial port.


Kaj J. Niemi
<kajtzu at>
+358 45 63 12000

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