openBMC Host Usage Basics

OpenBMC is an open software framework to build a complete Linux image for a Board Management Controller (BMC)

I expect increasing number of openPOWER based servers moving towards openBMC vs conventional and proprietary IPMI implementations.

In my effort to familiarize readers with openPOWER servers, I wanted to write about some basic commands on using openBMC, specifically on how to control host via openBMC. 

To perform host power operations  you should start via “ssh” login into openBMC Linux:

You can do this via following command:

ssh root@<bmc-ip>

Standard OpenBMC password (or contact the administrator)

To power off the host from BMC:

obmcutil poweroff

To power on the host from BMC

obmcutil poweron

To check the power state of host , or to make sure the host is powered on / powered off, run the below command

obmcutil state

To get remote host console within the BMC SSH Session


If you are debugging something on the host, I suggest you have 2 parallel ssh sessions to the BMC and use one to control power / look at logs and the other to look at host console.

To get remote host console directly without logging into the BMC:

ssh -p2200 root@<BMC IP>


Update Model /Serial number of OpenPOWER server

I’ve found the necessity of updating the Model / Serial numbers of our openPOWER servers at Rackspace. And here’s how I did it:

Using LC system VPD update tool
The VPD update tool is used to make VPD modifications to POWER Systems from the host OS of the machine.

For Ubuntu distributions:

For RHEL distributions:

  • To install, run the following:
  • apt-get install libxml2-utils
  • sudo dpkg -i <deb downloaded above>
  • If you encounter a dependency error when installing the tool, run the following to install dependencies and complete the install:
  • sudo apt-get -f install
  • To install, run the following as root:
  • yum install ./<rpm downloaded above>
  • To update the machine serial number:
  • sudo /opt/openpower/lht/bin/updateserial <0000000000000000>
  • Note: <0000000000000000> to be replaced with your Serial Number
  • To update the machine model:
  • sudo /opt/openpower/lht/bin/updatemodel <8335-GTA>
  • Note: <8335-GTA> to be replaced with your model