openBMC 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. 

Once you ssh into openBMC Linux:

To power off the host from BMC:

obmcutil poweroff


To power on the host from BMC

obmcutil poweron


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