I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs that I would give information on to see boot messages using IPMI and SOL.  These are the steps I would normally use.  I’m using a Dell R610 server with a DRAC 5 Enterprise card installed.  All the newer Dell servers have DRAC Express which this works the same way with Enterprise vs Express.

I’ll give you all the steps which I had setup in order to get both Kernel and Xen debug logs when setting up a SolusVM server.

First start out by booting your server and going into the configuration management using F2,

F2 = System Setup

Then select Serial Communication

  1. Set Serial Communication to On with Console Redirection via COM2
  2. Set Serial Port Address to Serial Device1=COM1,Serial Device2=COM2
  3. The rest should be default

Now exit and save settings.

Serial port 1 is onboard and serial port 2 is going to be your DRAC card for SOL.

Next reboot one more time and go into the DRAC configuration.

During the boot you’ll see something that looks like this for setting up Dell Remote Access Controller (DRAC).

      IPv6 Settings
 IPv6 Stack      : Enabled
 Address 1       : ::
 Default Gateway : ::
      IPv4 Settings
 IPv4 Stack      : Enabled
 IP Address      :
 Subnet mask     : 255.255.255. 0
Press <Ctrl-E> for Remote Access Setup within 5 sec....

Press hit Control-e at this point, and we’re going to set the IP, user and password.

  1. Make sure iDRAC6 LAN is set to On
  2. Make sure IPMI Over LAND is set to On
  3. Go into Lan Paramters
    1. Make sure IPv4 is Enabled
    2. Set your IPv4 Address, Subnet Mask, and Default Gateway
    3. Set IPv6 to Enabled if you want that also
    4. Then escape to got back on screen.
  4. Edit LAN User Configuration
    1. Default for Dell DRAC is root and calvin, so you want to change.
    2. Enter Account User Name
    3. Enter Password
    4. Escape to to go back again
  5. Then escape to exit and save

Now we need to make some kernel parameter and xen settings.  For more information see by Xen Boot Messages blog.

You’ll need to edit file /etc/default/grub

vi /etc/default/grub

The default for GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX and GRUB_CMDLINE_XEN_DEFAULT  looks like this for me:

GRUB_CMDLINE_XEN_DEFAULT="dom0_mem=2048M,max:4096M dom0_max_vcpus=4 dom0_vcpus_pin cpuinfo com2=115200,8n1 console=com2,tty,vga loglvl=all guest_loglvl=all"

Note the parameters are updated based on my previous blog for fixing Xen boot messages.  specially you want to make sure you’re using com2 which I mentioned earlier outputs to the DRACs SOL.

Before rebooting you server don’t forget to run


Now we should be ready to connect using ipmitool and sol from another server.  So login to another machine which you’re going to use to monitor boot messages.

Make sure you’ve got ipmitool installed

yum -y install ipmitool

Next connect using ipmitool sol

ipmitool -I lanplus -H -U root sol activate

To exit quickly type


tilde then period on a blank line.

If you want to output to a file

ipmitool -I lanplus -H -U root sol activate | tee boot.txt

No go ahead and reboot your server that you updated the bios and kernel settings and you should see all your boot messages starting from the bios, to xen and kernel.