ipmi chassis power on does not work

Alexander Dupuy alex.dupuy at mac.com
Tue Feb 10 11:41:22 CST 2009

Stefan Pommere(?) writes:
> we have a series of PowerEdge 2850, BIOS version A04, BMC version
> 1.07. They run the same Linux kernel version, and IPMI is configured
> to work on these machines.
> Most machines exhibit the problem that a 'power on' and 'power status'
> after a 'power off' is not possible.
> # /usr/bin/ipmitool -H staiw04-vip -U user -P pwd chassis power off
> Chassis Power Control: Down/Off
> ...
> ...
> # /usr/bin/ipmitool -H staiw04-vip -U user -P pwd chassis power status
> Error: Unable to establish LAN session
> ipmi_lan_send_cmd failed to open intf
> Unable to get Chassis Power Status
> Only a few machines don't show this problem, and between a 'power off'
> and 'power on', all 'power status' commands succeed.
> It appears that the 'power off' also cuts power to the BMC;
> interestingly, access to the DRAC of the problematic node is fine.
> We'd appreciate any information on what could be causing this problem,
> how to resolve it, or at least what other diagnostics are required to
> identify the problem.

I'm not sure that this will help, but it is worth considering that 
perhaps the power has not been cut to the BMC, but rather that the 
network interface (which is shared with the host, unlike the DRAC, which 
has a dedicated network interface) has been disabled.  I know that with 
a running Linux system (PE1950), if you ifconfig down eth0, the BMC will 
not be able to access the network, even though it is still running (and 
may be accessible via the serial port, or via the local kernel IPMI driver).

It seems to me that it is possible, depending on the various BMC and 
BIOS configuration settings, that the chassis power off command is 
starting an operating system soft shutdown (this is the part I'm least 
sure about - it may be that the BMC power off functionality is always a 
hard power cut) and that on some of your systems, the shutdown 
procedures are explicitly deconfiguring the network interfaces, 
disconnecting the BMC from the network, and making it seem like there 
has been a power cut.  If you have a physical serial interface that you 
can connect (and set the BIOS and BMC settings so that you can access 
the BMC via that serial port) you could see if there is any response on 
the serial port of the system after a chassis power off.  (I don't know 
if the DRAC would provide any such capability through its own serial 
interface, if any).

If the BMC is indeed still powered, but just disconnected, you could 
compare the system shutdown scripts and BIOS power button settings on 
the different machines to understand what might be causing the different 


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