It has been a while since I have worked with hardware and I am in the process of a scratch install of OpenSuSE 11.3. Before installing the OS, I want to make my server as headless as possible. My goal is to be able to use a Serial Console in the event my OS gets hosed and I need to reinstall and forgo the need of KVM. Since my mini-ATX case does not have any space for me to correctly install a physical Serial port I'm trying to see if it is possible to implement SOL.

Currently I have the cover off of my machine and found an old serial connector and I am able to successfully push the BIOS over serial via null modem. I have seen GRUB messages from the install disk after POST so it seems that so far with a physical serial everything is on track (I have yet to get a full install to see if it works on an OS level, but that is a different matter altogether).

In my research I've seen a lot of mention made to IPMI, however all of the examples I've seen are for Enterprise grade servers like DRAC for Dell and ILO for HP. Given that I can actually redirect my BIOS via Serial it would seem that my server has similar functionality.

I was looking a the following article: http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/using-intel-amt-serial-over-lan-to-the-fullest/

And am trying to determine if my hardware has AMT (Nothing in the BIOS states AMT, but it seems the server has all much of the functionality). I don't know if AMT is even required for SOL.

In short I'm really not sure what I need to implement SOL, or if its even possible. I'd appreciate any help in determining:

  • If my hardware can support it
  • Best way to implement it so I can utilize the console from power on all the way up to and including logging on to the OS.

Mobo linkage: http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Products/Networking/Products_Spec.aspx?ProductID=2788

*Note: Im getting IIS errors when searching for BIOS updates for this MOBO, still searching for information about the board.

Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-6KIEH-RH

Processor Supported

* Intel® Penryn/Merom/Celeron M500 series processor
* Socket P with 533/667/800MHz 

Chipset Description

* Intel® GME965
* Intel® ICH8M  System BIOS 

* PhoenixBIOS on 8Mb flash ROM 

Integrated Super I/O Controller

* ITE IT8718F Super I/O 

Processor - Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU 2000 MHz

Console Redirection:

* Baud Rate                    [38.4k]
* Console type                 [VT100]
* Flow Control                 [CTS/RTS]
* Console Connection           [Via modem]
* Continiue C.R. after POST:   [On]

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