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Does someone know a way of showing custom text there?

Using the omconfig script from Dell does not work for me for some reason, but I don't want to install 80MB of Java and webserver and whatever anyway. Ideally some small tool should be able to do this.

Did anybody reverse engineer anything yet?

I'm currently trying to solve this on a R410 server

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've gotten this working before on various dells using IPMI. Here is a post on the matter, http://www.mail-archive.com/ipmitool-devel@lists.sourceforge.net/msg00352.html

You didn't say which machine it was so your mileage may vary, but IPMI does work and its nice in that you can keep the stack entirely open source and with standard linux software without relying on omconfig or any dell supplied utilities. Also check out ipmitool, which should be sufficient to do what you need if IPMI is compiled in the kernel or supplied as a module in whatever distro you are using.

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Thanks a lot! I use R410. The commands from that posting don't work. This link is a good start: en.community.dell.com/blogs/direct2dell/archive/2008/03/03/… Too bad it was not merged upstream yet, I'm currently trying to build it. I wonder were Dell did store recent updated source code files –  Christian Nov 3 '09 at 17:05
    
The only thing you really need to know is what resource to access via ipmi, Dell published a list of their ipmi accessible resources although I don't have a link Dell support can set you straight probably. Once you have that it should be relatively easy to manipulate the lcd via ipmi locally or remotely. –  MattyB Nov 3 '09 at 18:01

I use something like this on a variety of PowerEdge R<something> systems:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
#
# Jesper Nyerup <nyerup@one.com>

my $ipmitool = '/usr/bin/ipmitool';

my @chararray = split(//, join(' ', @ARGV));
usage() if (@chararray == 0 or @chararray > 14);

system("$ipmitool raw 0x6 0x58 193 0x0 0x0 ".
    sprintf('0x%x ', scalar(@chararray)).
    join(' ', map { sprintf('0x%x', ord($_)) } @chararray));
system("$ipmitool raw 0x6 0x58 0xc2 0x0 0x0 ".
    "0x0 0x0 0x0 0x0 0x0 0x0 0x0 0x0 0x0 0x0");

sub usage {
    print <<EOF;

  Usage: $0 <string>
         Max. 14 characters

EOF
    exit 1
}

I haven't found a complete reference of Dell's proprietary IPMI commands, but according to the documentation I found here, the first invocation of ipmitool puts the supplied string into one of the display's registers, and the second one flips the display buffer to actually show this.

EDIT: I put this snippet on Github, for future reference.

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Our 1900 lets you enter static text- like the server name or ip address- into a field under the BIOS setup

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Mine not. But I really don't want to ENTER some custom text, I need to display important messages from my system! That means scripted! –  Christian Nov 3 '09 at 23:52

Dell support can provide you with small text mode programs to set the server name and other information that will be shown on the LCD. There are different utilities for the different PowerEdge generations.

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Do you know the name of the tool so that I can google it or refer to something? I have a Poweredge R410 –  Christian Nov 3 '09 at 16:44

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