Dec 31 2009

Linux Remote Console from HP iLO Interface

Published by at 2:46 pm under Linux,SSH

iLO is a management interface supporting SSH, available on HP Proliant servers. It provides interesting features such as remotely powering the server on and off.
But it is also possible to access Linux iLO remote console and reboot in single mode from a remote network. How handy is that!?

Enable Serial Console in BIOS

While booting up, press F9 to go in the BIOS Setup
Go in ‘BIOS Serial Console & EMS’ menu
Set ‘BIOS Serial Console Port’ to COM2
Set ‘BIOS Serial Console Baud Rate’ to 115200
Press ESC then F10 to save
Selecting COM1 only redirects the output on to the screen in the slow serial mode fashion.

Configure iLO

Right after BIOS messages have disappeared, press F8 to configure iLO.
Set the iLO parameters that suit your network and fill in user details.

Linux Boot loader

We now need to send kernel messages to the serial interface in Grub, the boot loader. Once Linux installed, edit /boot/grub/menu.lst or /boot/grub/grub.conf
And add the following lines:

# Setup serial (COM2) with baudrate 115200
# Use --unit=0 for COM1
serial --unit=1 --speed=115200
terminal --timeout=5 console serial

And add console=tty0 (screen) console=ttyS1 (ttyS0 for COM1) to the kernel line.
Here is my grub.conf file for instance:

serial --unit=1 --speed=115200
terminal --timeout=5 console serial
title Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server (2.6.18-164.el5PAE)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-164.el5PAE ro root=/dev/system/root
        console=tty0 console=ttyS1
        initrd /initrd-2.6.18-164.el5PAE.img

Init Files

This is normally it. On some systems, you may have to add the following line to /etc/inittab to get the login prompt on the console:

s0:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -L 115200 ttyS1 vt100

Also check ttyS1 is listed in /etc/securetty if you want to log in as root.
Now you should have access to your Linux server through iLO remote console.


F9 or F8 keys have to be switched with ESC+9 and ESC+8. They will lead you to the CLI mode, a command-prompted interface that provides equivalent functionality to the menu-based mode. Check HP for the RBSU user guide.
Now, SSH to your iLO IP address, log in and type ‘power on’ to boot the server.
Type in ‘vsp’ to open the virtual console and you’ll get BIOS messages, Grub menu, Linux boot messages including services, and the login prompt on the display!

You can also configure HP iLo console on Windows.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Linux Remote Console from HP iLO Interface”

  1. c0m0on 24 Jul 2012 at 10:35 pm

    what happeng if i need boot my server in single user mode?

    if think this it\’s wrong
    s0:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -L 115200 ttyS1 vt100
    should be
    s0:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -L 115200 ttyS1 vt100

  2. daveon 25 Jul 2012 at 10:54 am

    Well spotted, it’s been corrected

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