I've never seen a Linux server I admin. How can I find out if it has IPMI of some sort installed?

I tried answering my own question by installing ipmitool:

Setting up ipmitool (1.8.9-2) ...
Starting IPMI event daemon ipmievdipmievd: using pidfile /var/run/ipmievd.pid0
Could not open device at /dev/ipmi0 or /dev/ipmi/0 or /dev/ipmidev/0: No such  file or directory
Unable to open interface
invoke-rc.d: initscript ipmievd, action "start" failed.

was the answer. Can I find out what the ISP uses to remote-control the server or how the ISP probably hooked it into their remote-management HTML panel?

  • If it's a VPC there's no way you're getting IPMI access (unless there's a hypervisor system out there that integrates). If it's a dedicated server they're still going to be very reluctant to give you that level of access.
    – Chris S
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 20:38
  • 1
    It's a dedicated Debian box.
    – isync
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 20:41

2 Answers 2


If it's Red Hat, just do rpm -qa|grep ipmi. OpenIPMI would be the most likely install, or one of the proprietary ones (like hpIPMI). There should be an equivalent command on .deb systems and Solaris boxes as well.

  • 1
    It's Debian: dpkg -l | grep ipmi \n rc ipmitool 1.8.9-2 utility for IPMI control with kernel driver \n ii libopenipmi0 2.0.14-1 Intelligent Platform Management Interface -
    – isync
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 20:43
  • I wish i could help more, i'm a red hat guy. I see the OpenIPMI library is there, but not the explicit package. See if apt-get install openipmi works (the package name may not be correct). Its possible they're not using IPMI if the HTML management utility is just reporting stuff from MIB-II and the host mib in SNMP. If you're trying to figure out how they're monitoring your box SNMP may be a good place to look.
    – Matthew
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 20:49
  • Although "apt-get install openipmi" did work, I now have it on the system and it doesn't do much. I think the libopeipmi lib was just left-over from the ipmitool install done earlier... When my ISP uses SNMP, is it save for me to poke around in it? Is there a save snmp command I can shoot at the server's localhost while being SSH'd into it?
    – isync
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 21:12
  • You can install snmp-utils (again, check the package name), and then walk the available snmp information by using the snmpwalk command.
    – Matthew
    Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 18:05
  • 8
    This answer is just incorrect. Question is how to tell whether the server physically has an IPMI system, not whether your O/S has an IPMI package installed. Commented May 20, 2014 at 12:43

From FreeIPMI's FAQ section: 7. Does my system support IPMI?.

Does my system support IPMI?

Unfortunately, there are no universally defined mechanisms for determining if a system supports IPMI via Inband communication. Assuming IPMI is set up correctly for over LAN communication, a fairly reliable mechanism exists out-of-band. Here are some suggestions.

  1. FreeIPMI’s ipmi-locate can be used to determine if IPMI can be found on your system. Users are cautioned though, the failure to discover IPMI via ipmi-locate is not sufficient to disprove that IPMI exists on your system. Your system may not publish such information or may expect clients to communicate at default locations.

  2. dmidecode may be similarly used to probe for devices that support IPMI on your system. You may grep for IPMI or specify the IPMI DMI type on the command line.

     # > dmidecode --type 38
     # dmidecode 2.10 SMBIOS 2.5 present.
     Handle 0x0049, DMI type 38, 18 bytes IPMI Device Information
             Interface Type: KCS (Keyboard Control Style)
             Specification Version: 2.0
             I2C Slave Address: 0x10
             NV Storage Device: Not Present
             Base Address: 0x0000000000000CA2 (I/O)
             Register Spacing: Successive Byte Boundaries
  3. FreeIPMI’s ipmi-ping can be used to see if a machine has an IPMI service at a specific host/IP address. For more wide scale IPMI discovery, the ipmi-detectd daemon and ipmi-detect tool can be used.

Again, the failure to find an IPMI supported device is not sufficient to show lack of IPMI support.

Ultimately, some amount of information from product documents or trial and error may be necessary to determine if IPMI is supported on your system.

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