Cloud Infra, SysAdmin, Uncategorized


Have you ever been in a situation where you had to go down to your home lab datacenter to reset a stubborn system? I bet you did and that’s not cool (at all). Luckily, many servers have a way to help you out with this. For me, salvation came in the form and shape of the Intel RMM (Remote Management Module) board.

According to Intel here are the key features:

  • Full remote access keyboard, video and mouse (KVM)
  • USB media redirection
  • Remote power actions
  • Proactive system health monitoring
  • Secure, embedded web server
  • Dedicated network connection

Which translates into pretty much the same experience as one would have by sitting in front of the machine (BIOS access and such). This also means that one could install an operating system remotely and even reboot/shutdown/poweron a server (again, remotely).

The access to this board is usually done through ssh. After you login you will be prompted into some form of shell (a bit more crude), specified by the Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware Command-Line Protocol (aka SMASH CLP), specified bt the DTMF.

According to the DTMF:

    SMASH provides the ability to remotely manage a platform independent of machine state, operating system state, server system topology or access method – interoperable management is possible before the OS is operational, when the OS is hung, or while the OS is up.

That being said, here are some SMASH-CLP Basics

Reset the machine reset /system1
Connect to the console (SOL) start /system1/sol1

You can also use the ipmitool (Intelligent Platform Management Interface):

provo-yellow:~ # ipmitool -U root -P passwd -H power status
Chassis Power is on
provo-yellow:~ #

Let’s look at this command up close.

-U user used to connect to the RMM
-P password
-H IP address of the RMM
power status remote command. More on this below

What are the other remote commands? In a nutshell: status, on, off, cycle, reset, diag, soft. Finally, here are some details from the impitool(1) man page:


Performs a chassis control command to view and change the power


Show current chassis power status.


Power up chassis.


Power down chassis into soft off (S4/S5 state). WARNING:
This command does not initiate a clean shutdown of the oper-
ating system prior to powering down the system.


Provides a power off interval of at least 1 second. No
action should occur if chassis power is in S4/S5 state, but
it is recommended to check power state first and only issue a
power cycle command if the system power is on or in lower
sleep state than S4/S5.


This command will perform a hard reset.


Pulse a diagnostic interrupt (NMI) directly to the proces-


Initiate a soft-shutdown of OS via ACPI. This can be done in
a number of ways, commonly by simulating an overtemperture or
by simulating a power button press. It is necessary for
there to be Operating System support for ACPI and some sort
of daemon watching for events for this soft power to work.

I hope this information comes handy to you when you have to reset that stubborn server in the home lab datacenter.


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