iPad and IPMI Serial-Over-LAN (SOL)

IPMI is great to manage servers remotely. A web interface offers full manageability, including power on/off and reset. It also comes with a remote console feature using HTML5 (or Adobe Flash), but that’s where I got stuck using just my iPad Pro: it doesn’t work. But there is also an option to use Serial-Over-LAN (SOL) and here I found a solution that actually works on my iPad.

Using the excellent Linux Shell on iOS App, I installed ipmitool via apk:

iPadmw:~# apk add ipmiutil
(1/1) Installing ipmiutil (3.1.2-r3)
Executing busybox-1.29.3-r10.trigger
OK: 471 MiB in 139 packages
iPadmw:~# apk add ipmiutil-doc
OK: 471 MiB in 139 packages

Start a serial-over-lan connection to the remote server, hit enter to get the login prompt of the server:

iPadmw:~# ipmitool -I lanplus -H -U ADMIN -P ADMIN sol activate 
[SOL Session operational. Use ~? for help]

SOL Session operational. Use ~? for help] Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS jcrpd ttyS1 jcrpd login:

Now for some fun, I issue a hard reset via the IPMI Web UI and watch the initialization sequence via SOL and watch the server restart:

iPad split screen with Safari and iSH

Soon followed by the linux console output and login prompt:

Linux console

Prepare Linux for IPMI SOL

To enable the serial console on Supermicro (via /dev/ttyS1), I’ve changed the following lines in /etc/default/grub:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="console=tty1 console=ttyS1,115200"
GRUB_TERMINAL="console serial"
GRUB_SERIAL_COMMAND="serial --speed=115200 --unit=0 --word=8 --parity=no --stop=1"

Don’t forget to activate the changes via

mwiget@jcrpd:~/setup$ sudo update-grub
[sudo] password for mwiget:
Sourcing file `/etc/default/grub'
Generating grub configuration file …
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-4.15.0-88-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-88-generic

All set!

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