I have a spare Dell Poweredge 2800 server that had a couple of drives crash and has been inactive. I decided to bring it to life as an Asterisk server - experimenting with Asterisk and Linux. We have very little Linux experience.

Installation went smooth with a basic CentOS disk and PBX-In-A-Flash. Asterisk is running great as a little PBX.

But the system is running really loud - which makes me think the drivers that got installed are not ideal - at least for monitoring fans, power etc.

I don't think running Asterisk in our environment will tax the drives, CPU and memory of this system - but I was thinking - what key parts of a server are worth chasing drivers for?

  • Unrelated but if you're low on linux experience in house and want to try asterisk you should consider looking at askozia. It gives you a nice interface for asterisk: askozia.com
    – sclarson
    Dec 22 '09 at 17:19

CentOS (RHEL from SRPMs) has excellent Dell support.

All hardware should be reporting in properly but, take a look at the command "dmidecode" (grep is your friend - e.g: dmidecode | grep erial will find you the service tag). I'd suggest installing OpenManage and monitoring your hardware with the built in tools.

Here is a one liner that will attach you to Dell's repo and install OpenManage 6.1

wget -q -O - http://linux.dell.com/repo/hardware/OMSA_6.1/bootstrap.cgi |/bin/bash && yum -y install srvadmin-all && srvadmin-services.sh restart

edit /etc/omarolemap to add users in.

Once installed visit your hardware monitor at: https://localhost:1311/ -or- https://yourserverip:1311/

Hope this helps... ;-)

  • FYI, in case you're not aware dmidecode has a -s option which lets you specify which string you want. e.g. dmidecode -s system-serial-number (my old boss was a process spawning/pipe avoidance nazi!)
    – Jason Tan
    Aug 1 '10 at 14:52

In my experience with Dell Servers, the fan RPMs are always controlled by the bbmc, thereby not requiring any specific drivers. In fact, upon boot, the fans initially spin up to full speed, but then will idle down to very low speed, even if you stay in the BIOS setup screen (no OS loaded at all).

You may be able to poke at the bbmc using ipmitool - it should be able to give you readouts of the system board temperature sensors and fan speeds.

Edit - another thing to check is to make sure that the chassis is closed securely and that the bbmc isn't reporting any faults. Oftentimes if the bbmc sees any faults, it'll spin up the fans.


It won't be hard to find all of the available drivers on the Dell site, they may be infact be in one big, easy to install, package. I'd certainly go out of my way to make sure I'd installed as many vendor-specific drivers as possible.

  • 1
    Yes, and Dell systems have a service tag number that you can enter at their support site, and it will take you to the correct downloads for your system. The service tag is usually on the rear of the server. Dec 22 '09 at 17:50
  • 1
    Good call, I forgot about those (not a Dell buyer), thanks.
    – Chopper3
    Dec 22 '09 at 18:33

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