Using the IPMI with Dedicated Servers

With the IPMI, you can log in to your server without having to use any external software.

Last updated 18th March 2021

Objective

With the IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) console, you can access your Dedicated Server directly, without needing to use any external software (e.g. a terminal or PuTTY). This guide will explain how to boot this console.

Please note that you may also see the term KVM (Keyboard Video and Mouse) used for this solution, particularly for VPS products.

Requirements

Instructions

You can access the IPMI using several different methods, the Java applet (recommended), the KVM tool from a web browser (recommended but only available for the latest servers) or the browser (Serial over LAN).

To enable one of these methods, log in to your OVHcloud Control Panel. In the Bare Metal Cloud section, click on Dedicated Servers in the left-hand menu, select your server and click the IPMI tab.

Access via the Java applet

You will need to ensure that Java is installed on your desktop for the Java applet to work. If you do not have Java installed, go to the official page to do so.

In the IPMI section of the OVHcloud Control Panel, click on From a Java applet (KVM):

IPMI Java initiated

Download the file kvm.jnlp when you are prompted to do so, and run it:

IPMI Java opening

You will then land on the login page, where you will be prompted to enter your root credentials, as you would need to when logging in via a terminal or external software application:

IPMI Java login

You can now manage your server.

Access via the KVM tool from a web browser (only for the latest servers)

In the IPMI section of the OVHcloud Control Panel, click on Via your web browser (KVM):

IPMI browser

Activation takes a few seconds. You will receive a message confirming that the IPMI connection is available.

IPMI browser

Then click on Access the console (KVM) to open the console in your web browser.

IPMI browser

Access via your browser, using Serial over LAN (SoL)

Although we would recommend that you log in via the Java applet, you can also access the IPMI using Serial over LAN. To do so, click on From your browser in the IPMI section of the OVHcloud Control Panel:

IPMI SoL activation

It may take several minutes to access the IPMI using SoL, which is why we would recommend using the applet instead.

Test and reboot the IPMI

Your IPMI may stop responding. If you cannot access it, you can test it first by clicking on Test the IPMI, and checking the result of the diagnostic:

IPMI test

If everything appears to be normal, as per our example, you may be experiencing a local technical issue (internet connection, local desktop). If the IPMI encounters any issues, you can reboot it by clicking Reboot the IPMI.

IPMI test

It will take several minutes for the IPMI to reboot.

Installing an OS using IPMI v1

OVHcloud does not guarantee the functionality of any operating systems installed via IPMI. This route should only be taken by an experienced server administrator.

To begin, open IPMI in a Java applet from the OVHcloud Control Panel. Then, click Device from the menu bar and select Redirect ISO from the drop-down menu.

Redirect_ISO

Next, select the ISO you wish to use from your local computer's file system. Once you have selected your ISO, press the Ctrl Alt Del button in the top-right corner of the screen to reboot the server. Press the appropriate F key to access the boot options.

You may need to use the soft keyboard for inputs to register in IPMI. To access this, click the Keyboard option from the menu bar at the top of the window. Then, select Soft Keyboard from the dropdown menu and click Show.

Select the UEFI Virtual CDROM 1.00 option from the boot menu to start the server from the ISO attached previously.

UEFI_Virt

Complete the steps required to install the operating system. Do not forget to remove the ISO from the "Redirect ISO" option.

Installing an OS Utilizing IPMI v2

OVHcloud does not guarantee the functionality of any operating systems installed via IPMI. This route should only be taken by an experienced server administrator.

To begin, open IPMI in a Java applet from the OVHcloud Control Panel. Then, click Virtual Media and select Virtual Storage.

Virtual_Storage

From the new screen, select ISO File from the "Logical Drive Type" drop-down menu. Next, click Open Image and navigate to your ISO file. Finally, click Plug-in and OK to finish.

ISO_file

In order to be able to boot from our ISO file, we need to access the BIOS and switch our boot options. To do so, select Power Control and click Set Power Reset.

Power_Reserver

You may need to use the soft keyboard for inputs to register in IPMI. To access this, click the Virtual Media option from the menu bar at the top of the window. Then, select Virtual Keyboard from the drop-down menu.

During the bootup process, press the DEL key when prompted to access the BIOS. You may also press the F11 key and navigate to the BIOS by selecting the option Enter Setup.

Boot_Menu

In the BIOS navigate to the Boot tab and change the UEFI Boot Order #1 to UEFI USB CD/DVD:UEFI: CDROM virtual ATEN YSOJ.

Bios

Lastly, press the F4 key to save your changes and restart the server.

Conclusion

IPMI is an important tool for an experienced server administrator. If you need to access the BIOS, install a custom OS, or just access your server directly from the OVHcloud Control Panel, IPMI will allow you to accomplish your most important tasks.

Go further

Join our community of users on https://community.ovh.com/en/.


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