Topics: Hardware, Red Hat / Linux

Common items to install under Red Hat on Dell hardware

There are a few items that can be very useful to install within Red Hat, if used on Dell hardware. These are the OpenManage System Administrator tools that will provide you more information on the Dell hardware, Dell System Updater or DSU, that can be used to update firmware and BIOS on Dell hardware, and the Dell iDRAC Service Module that allows the iDRAC to exchange information with the Operating System.

First, set up the Dell Linux repository:

# curl -s | bash
Next, install OpenManage System Administrator, or OMSA, and make sure to start it, and enable it at boot time:
# yum -y install srvadmin-all
# /opt/dell/srvadmin/sbin/ start
# /opt/dell/srvadmin/sbin/ enable
With OMSA installed, you can, for example, now retrieve information about the physical disks in the system, and also the virtual disks (or RAID arrays) configured on these physical disks. Here's how you can use the command line interface tools to look up this information:

List the controllers available in the system:
# /opt/dell/srvadmin/bin/omreport storage controller
Now, list the physical disks (or pdisks) for each controller, for example for the controller with ID 0:
# /opt/dell/srvadmin/bin/omreport storage pdisk controller=0
And you can list the virtual disks (or pdisks) for each controller, for example for the controller with ID 0:
# /opt/dell/srvadmin/bin/omreport storage vdisk controller=X
A lot more is possible with OMSA, but that's outside the scope of this article. Instead, let's move on with the items to install.

Install Dell System Update (or DSU):
# yum -y install dell-system-update
To update firmware, you can now run:
# dsu
Usually it's just fine to select all firmware items to update (by pressing "a") and have it updated (by pressing "c"). This may take a while, and may require a reboot of the system. Upon reboot, the system may also take a while to complete the firmware and/or BIOS updates.

Finally, the Dell iDRAC service module. The latest version (at time of writing this article) can be found here: Copy the download link on this page of the GNU ZIP file.

The Dell Service Module requires the usbutils package to be installed:
# yum -y install usbutils
Now you can download and install the Dell iDRAC Service Module:
# mkdir /tmp/dsm
# cd /tmp/dsm
# wget
# gzip -d *z
# tar xf *tar
# ./
Here it's best to select all features and hit "i" to install. Keep everything at default settings and answer "yes" to any other questions. After installation is completed, you can log in to the iDRAC of the system, and view Operating System information there. This information has been communicated from the OS to the iDRAC by the Dell iDRAC Service Module.

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