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iLO2 blues...

Occasional Visitor

iLO2 blues...

Is there an alternative method of getting a console other than iLO? *Really* sick of having to run this big bloated GUI app just so I can get a text console. Sicker yet of it crashing on me. It used to work in Chrome, but not Firefox. Now it doesn't work in either. DL580 with iLO2, FWIW.

Honored Contributor

Re: iLO2 blues...

You can set up a getty process for the iLO Virtual Serial Port, and use telnet or SSH to connect to iLO in text mode to access it. (With iLO2, the iLO Advanced license will probably be needed for SSH.)


As the iLO is not a real serial port, you can run it with a 115200 bps speed with no trouble, so it won't even slow down the output speed too much.


Too bad you did not specify the generation of your DL580. On most modern non-blade servers, the iLO virtual serial port is configured to use the standard COM2 (= /dev/ttyS1 in Linux) I/O address and IRQ by default. If that's the case, it is usually a simple matter to configure the Linux bootloader to present its boot menu to both the VSP and the regular console. Add a pair of console= boot options for the kernel, and the VSP can become the primary console for your system. Also remove the graphical boot options (splashimage, rhgb, quiet) as they just hide information and are not useful in serial port mode.


With the console= boot options, the last listed option will be the actual primary console, but any kernel messages will be output to all listed console devices, but anything that's output from the userspace to /dev/console will go to the primary console only. To set up a VSP as a primary console, I usually use "console=tty0 console=ttyS1,115200". If I want to keep the VGA console as primary, I reverse the order of the console= options.


Finally change the BIOS settings to make the BIOS message output go to the console too (the BIOS setting named "BIOS Serial Console": remember to set the 115200 bps speed, or else the boot-up messages will be hilariously slow), and then you can both see everything and do everything through the VSP.


Then memorize the key sequence needed to disconnect from the VSP mode on a telnet/SSH connection (it is "ESC )")

and you're all set.


Combine this solution with a SSH client in a smartphone, and you will have a truly portable sysadmin access for emergencies. (Don't make the iLOs directly Internet-accessible: have the external connections come in through either a VPN or a gateway system with strong authentication.)


Here is a HP document for configuring iLO 3 for Linux console use.

It is for iLO 3, but most of this can be implemented with iLO 2 too.


Some old servers have iLO2 virtual serial port in a non-standard I/O address. In that case, you may need more parameters to the console= option and the bootloader serial port settings, and the BIOS access through the virtual serial port may not be possible.

Jimmy Vance

Re: iLO2 blues...

You have a few options to access a text based console over iLO2 (assumption you are running Linux for your OS):


You can ssh into the iLO2 and run the "textcons" command to get a text based console (requires iLO advanced license) Once in "textcons" mode the key sequence ESC( returns to an iLO prompt. "textcons" requires true text mode from the OS.


You can redirect the OS console to use the serial port configured for iLO VSP (virtual serial port)


The iLO2 users guide and the iLO2 CLI and scripting guide both discuss using "textcons" and VSP







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