ipmiconsole - IPMI console utility
ipmiconsole is a Serial-over-LAN (SOL) console utility. It can be used
to establish console sessions to remote machines using the IPMI 2.0 SOL
IPMI 2.0 SOL
Ipmiconsole communicates with a remote machine’s Baseboard Management
Controller (BMC) to establish a console session. Before any SOL
communication can take place, the remote machine’s BMC must be
configured properly. Of primary importance, the IP address, MAC
address, subnet, usernames, passwords, privileges, SOL availability,
SOL privilege, and SOL user access must be configured and enabled. The
FreeIPMI tool bmc-config(1) may be used to do this configuration. A BMC
configuration tool may have also been distributed with the machine.
Often (although not always), console redirection must be also be
configured properly in the BIOS and/or operating system. Both must be
configured to redirect console traffic out the appropriate COM port.
The following options are general options for configuring IPMI
communication and executing general tool commands.
Specify the remote host to communicate with.
Specify the username to use when authenticating with the remote
host. If not specified, a null (i.e. anonymous) username is
assumed. The user must a high enough privilege to establish a
SOL session and have SOL session abilities.
Specify the password to use when authenticationg with the remote
host. If not specified, a null password is assumed. Maximum
password length is 16 for IPMI 1.5 and 20 for IPMI 2.0.
Prompt for password to avoid possibility of listing it in
Specify the K_g BMC key to use when authenticating with the
remote host for IPMI 2.0. If not specified, a null key is
assumed. To input the key in hexadecimal form, prefix the string
with ’0x’. E.g., the key ’abc’ can be entered with the either
the string ’abc’ or the string ’0x616263’
Prompt for k-g to avoid possibility of listing it in process
Specify the session timeout in milliseconds. Defaults to 60000
milliseconds (60 seconds) if not specified.
Specify the packet retransmission timeout in milliseconds.
Defaults to 500 milliseconds (0.5 seconds) if not specified.
Specify the IPMI 2.0 cipher suite ID to use. The Cipher Suite ID
identifies a set of authentication, integrity, and
confidentiality algorithms to use for IPMI 2.0 communication.
The authentication algorithm identifies the algorithm to use for
session setup, the integrity algorithm identifies the algorithm
to use for session packet signatures, and the confidentiality
algorithm identifies the algorithm to use for payload
encryption. Defaults to cipher suite ID 3 if not specified. The
user should be aware that only cipher suite ids 3, 8, and 12
encrypt console payloads. Console information will be sent in
the clear an alternate cipher suite id is selected. The
following cipher suite ids are currently supported:
0 - Authentication Algorithm = None; Integrity Algorithm = None;
Confidentiality Algorithm = None
1 - Authentication Algorithm = HMAC-SHA1; Integrity Algorithm =
None; Confidentiality Algorithm = None
2 - Authentication Algorithm = HMAC-SHA1; Integrity Algorithm =
HMAC-SHA1-96; Confidentiality Algorithm = None
3 - Authentication Algorithm = HMAC-SHA1; Integrity Algorithm =
HMAC-SHA1-96; Confidentiality Algorithm = AES-CBC-128
6 - Authentication Algorithm = HMAC-MD5; Integrity Algorithm =
None; Confidentiality Algorithm = None
7 - Authentication Algorithm = HMAC-MD5; Integrity Algorithm =
HMAC-MD5-128; Confidentiality Algorithm = None
8 - Authentication Algorithm = HMAC-MD5; Integrity Algorithm =
HMAC-MD5-128; Confidentiality Algorithm = AES-CBC-128
11 - Authentication Algorithm = HMAC-MD5; Integrity Algorithm =
MD5-128; Confidentiality Algorithm = None
12 - Authentication Algorithm = HMAC-MD5; Integrity Algorithm =
MD5-128; Confidentiality Algorithm = AES-CBC-128
Specify the privilege level to be used. The currently available
privilege levels are USER, OPERATOR, and ADMIN. Defaults to
ADMIN if not specified.
Specify an alternate configuration file.
Specify workarounds to vendor compliance issues. Multiple
workarounds can be specified separated by commas. See
WORKAROUNDS below for a list of available workarounds.
Turn on debugging.
Output a help list and exit.
Output a usage message and exit.
Output the program version and exit.
The following options are specific to Ipmiconsole.
Specify an alternate escape character (default char ’&’).
Do not steal an SOL session if one is already detected as being
in use. Under most circumstances, if SOL is detected as being in
use, ipmiconsole will attempt to steal the SOL session away from
the previous session. This default behavior exists for several
reasons, most notably that earlier SOL sessions may have not
been able to be deactivate properly.
Deactivate a SOL session if one is detected as being in use and
Lock sensitive information (such as usernames and passwords) in
The following escape sequences are supported. The default supported
escape character is ’&’, but can be changed with the -e option.
&? Display a list of currently available escape sequences.
&. Terminate the connection.
&B Send a "serial-break" to the remote console.
&D Send a DEL character.
&& Send a single escape character.
Most often, IPMI over LAN problems involve a misconfiguration of the
remote machine’s BMC. Double check to make sure the following are
configured properly in the remote machine’s BMC: IP address, MAC
address, subnet mask, username, user enablement, user privilege,
password, LAN privilege, LAN enablement, and allowed authentication
type(s). For IPMI 2.0 connections, double check to make sure the cipher
suite privilege(s) and K_g key are configured properly. The bmc-
config(8) tool can be used to check and/or change these configuration
The following are common issues for given error messages:
"username invalid" - The username entered (or a NULL username if none
was entered) is not available on the remote machine. It may also be
possible the remote BMC’s username configuration is incorrect.
"password invalid" - The password entered (or a NULL password if none
was entered) is not correct. It may also be possible the password for
the user is not correctly configured on the remote BMC.
"password verification timeout" - Password verification has timed out.
A "password invalid" error (described above) or a generic "session
timeout" (described below) occurred. During this point in the protocol
it cannot be differentiated which occurred.
"k_g invalid" - The K_g key entered (or a NULL K_g key if none was
entered) is not correct. It may also be possible the K_g key is not
correctly configured on the remote BMC.
"privilege level insufficient" - An IPMI command requires a higher user
privilege than the one authenticated with. Please try to authenticate
with a higher privilege. This may require authenticating to a different
user which has a higher maximum privilege.
"privilege level cannot be obtained for this user" - The privilege
level you are attempting to authenticate with is higher than the
maximum allowed for this user. Please try again with a lower privilege.
It may also be possible the maximum privilege level allowed for a user
is not configured properly on the remote BMC.
"authentication type unavailable for attempted privilege level" - The
authentication type you wish to authenticate with is not available for
this privilege level. Please try again with an alternate authentication
type or alternate privilege level. It may also be possible the
available authentication types you can authenticate with are not
correctly configured on the remote BMC.
"cipher suite id unavailable" - The cipher suite id you wish to
authenticate with is not available on the remote BMC. Please try again
with an alternate cipher suite id. It may also be possible the
available cipher suite ids are not correctly configured on the remote
"ipmi 2.0 unavailable" - IPMI 2.0 was not discovered on the remote
machine. Please try to use IPMI 1.5 instead.
"connection timeout" - Initial IPMI communication failed. A number of
potential errors are possible, including an invalid hostname specified,
an IPMI IP address cannot be resolved, IPMI is not enabled on the
remote server, the network connection is bad, etc. Please verify
configuration and connectivity.
"session timeout" - The IPMI session has timed out. Please reconnect.
If IPMI over LAN continually times out, you may wish to increase the
retransmission timeout. Some remote BMCs are considerably slower than
Please see WORKAROUNDS below to also if there are any vendor specific
bugs that have been discovered and worked around.
The following are common issues for given error messages specifically
"SOL unavailable" - SOL is not configured for use on the remote BMC.
It may be not configured in general or for the specific user specified.
Authenticating with a different user may be sufficient, however the
IPMI protocol does not reveal detail on what is not configured on the
"SOL in use" - SOL is already in use on the remote BMC. If you do not
specify the --dont-steal option, ipmiconsole will attempt to steal the
SOL session away from the other session.
"SOL session stolen" - Your SOL session has been stolen by another
session. You may wish to try and steal the session back by
"SOL requires encryption" - SOL requires a cipher suite id that
includes encryption. Please try to use cipher suite id 3, 8, or 12. It
may also be possible the encryption requirements are not configured
correctly on the remote BMC.
"SOL requires no encryption" - SOL requires a cipher suite id that does
not use encryption. Please try to use cipher suite id 0, 1, 2, 6, 7, or
11. It may also be possible the encryption requirements are not
configured correctly on the remote BMC.
"BMC Implementation" - The BMC on the remote machine has a severe
problem in its implementation. Please see the WORKAROUNDS section below
for possible workarounds. If additional vendor workarounds are
required, please contact the authors.
"excess retransmissions sent" - An excessive number of retransmissions
of SOL packets has occurred and ipmiconsole has given up. This may be
due to network issues or SOL issues. Some of the same issues involved
with "connection timeout" or "session timeout" errors may be involved.
Please try to reconnect.
"excess errors received" - An excessive number of SOL packet errors has
occurred and ipmiconsole has given up. This may be due to network
issues or SOL issues. Please try to reconnect.
"BMC Error" - This error usually means a vendor SOL implementation
requires a combination of authentication, encryption, privilege, etc.
that have not been met by the user’s choices. Please try a combination
of different cipher suites, privileges, etc. to resolve the problem.
With so many different vendors implementing their own IPMI solutions,
different vendors may implement their IPMI protocols incorrectly. The
following lists the handful of compliance issues discovered and the
workarounds currently supported.
When possible, workarounds have been implemented so they will be
transparent to the user. However, some will require the user to specify
a workaround be used via the -W option.
The hardware listed below may only indicate the hardware that a problem
was discovered on. Newer versions of hardware may fix the problems
indicated below. Similar machines from vendors may or may not exhibit
the same problems.
Asus P5M2/P5MT-R/RS162-E4/RX4: The motherboard does not properly report
username capabilities and/or K_g status. This will likely cause
"username invalid" or "k_g invalid" errors to occur. In order to work
around this issue, the "authcap" workaround must be specified.
Intel SR1520ML/X38ML: The motherboard does not properly report username
capabilities and/or K_g status. This will likely cause "username
invalid" or "k_g invalid" errors to occur. In order to work around this
issue, the "authcap" workaround must be specified.
Intel SE7520AF2 with Intel Server Management Module (Professional
Edition): There are a number of Intel IPMI 2.0 authentcation and SOL
connection bugs. These problems may cause "username invalid", "password
invalid", "k_g invalid", or "BMC Error" errors to occur. They can be
worked around by specifying the "intel20" workaround. The workarounds
include padding of usernames, automatic acceptance of a RAKP 4 response
integrity check when using the integrity algorithm MD5-128, password
truncation if the authentication algorithm is HMAC-MD5-128, and
specifying Intel IPMI 2.0 specific SOL connection parameters.
Supermicro H8QME with SIMSO daughter card: There are several Supermicro
IPMI 2.0 bugs on early firmware revisions which can be worked around
using the "supermicro20" workaround. These problems may cause "password
invalid" errors to occur. These compliance bugs are confirmed to be
fixed on newer firmware.
Sun Fire 4100/4200/4500 with ILOM: There are several Sun IPMI 2.0 bugs.
These problems may cause "password invalid" or "bmc error" errors to
occur. They can be worked around by specifying the "sun20" workaround.
The workarounds include handling invalid lengthed hash keys, improperly
hashed keys, and invalid cipher suite records.
Inventec 5441, Supermicro X8DTH: The privilege level sent during the
Open Session stage of an IPMI 2.0 connection is used for hashing keys
instead of the privilege level sent during the RAKP1 connection stage.
This may cause "password invalid" or "BMC Error" errors to occur. It
can be worked around by specifying the "opensesspriv" workaround.
Asus P5M2/RS162-E4/RX4, Intel SR1520ML/X38ML, Inventec 5441, Sun x4100,
Supermicro X8DTH: Incorrect IPMI 2.0 SOL payload sizes are reported by
motherboard SOL packet responses. This will likely cause "BMC
Implementation" errors to occur. In order to work around this issue,
the "solpayloadsize" workaround must be specified.
Asus P5MT-R, Supermicro X8DTH-iF: An invalid IPMI 2.0 SOL port is
reported by the motherboard. This may cause "connection timeout" errors
to occur. In order to work around this issue, the "solport" workaround
must be specified.
Supermicro X8SIL-F: The Get Payload Activation Status command isn’t
supported. This may cause "BMC Error" errors to occur. In order to work
around this issue, the "solstatus" workaround must be specified.
SPECIFIC HARDWARE NOTES
Intel SR1520ML/X38ML: After a reboot, the SOL session appears to
"disconnect" from the motherboard but stay alive. Character data input
from the ipmiconsole client is accepted by the remote machine, but no
character data or console data is ever sent back from the remote
machine. The SOL session is subsequently useless. There is currently no
workaround in place to handle this. The session must be closed and
# ipmiconsole -h ahost -u myusername -p mypassword
Establish a console sesssion with a remote host.
On older operating systems, if you input your username, password, and
other potentially security relevant information on the command line,
this information may be discovered by other users when using tools like
the ps(1) command or looking in the /proc file system. It is generally
more secure to input password information with options like the -P or
-K options. Configuring security relevant information in the FreeIPMI
configuration file would also be an appropriate way to hide this
In order to prevent brute force attacks, some BMCs will temporarily
"lock up" after a number of remote authentication errors. You may need
to wait awhile in order to this temporary "lock up" to pass before you
may authenticate again.
Report bugs to <firstname.lastname@example.org> or <email@example.com>.
Copyright (C) 2007-2008 Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC.
Copyright (C) 2006-2007 The Regents of the University of California.
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your
option) any later version.
freeipmi.conf(5), freeipmi(7), bmc-config(8)