Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a server I'd like to appliance-ize. It is running CentOS linux and I'd like to make it so when logging onto the system via the console (In this case, using iLO's remote console) they are given a different custom made menu instead of the standard linux login/shell. How do I do this?

(My limited google-fu leads me to the inittab, but this ventures well beyond my comfort level with linux. So I'm not sure if this is the right path.)

share|improve this question

My friend, I think that you are thinking iLO does something other than what it does.

iLO is an interface to a virtual display. Other than a rough VNC session to the video I/O stream (not even X:0; more like the display adapter itself) and Keyboard & Mouse inpute, you can't interact with the system. iLO is for out-of-band management. It's better than hooking up a crash cart (especially if your server is in another country, state, datacenter, room, or laziness range), but the interaction could be said to be screen-based.

What you see is what you get.

This makes it extremely useful and resilient. This is what allows you to see the machine from power-application (before power is on!) to watch and interact with the BIOS, RAID, and netboot, or select booting to other media.

share|improve this answer
What are are saying isn't quite right. With the iLo advanced pack you can redirect the mouse and keyboard (ps2) ports and VGA adapter through the iLo. – Mark Wagner Sep 22 '10 at 22:24
With the regular iLo you have a VSP that presents a serial port to the OS. – Mark Wagner Sep 22 '10 at 22:48
@embobo, I'll cede that you're right; I typically do install the advanced license, so I don't remember what isn't available without the license... – gWaldo Sep 23 '10 at 12:39

Sounds like you're trying to replace the Login Shell with something that isn't as interactive. I've worked with appliances similar to the one you want to deploy. In general, you want to set the login shell to something that isn't /bin/bash, but is something with very few inputs. There are a few 'menu shell' replacements out there, but I honestly can't recommend any.

The shell is set in /etc/passwd.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.