BMC (Baseboard Management Controller) – what can I do with it

BMC is present in almost every Dell enterprise server product line. With BMC you can remotely:

  • Power on the server
  • Power off the server
  • Read and collect hardware SEL
  • Change BIOS, PERC, other SAS controller settings
  • Collect information about hardware installed
  • Change BMC settings
  • Add/remove BMC users

BMC – how to use it

First set up the host. Upon boot press ctrl-e when prompted and set up IP address, netmask and gateway for BMC.

Then reboot and go to BIOS settings. IN F2 utility

“ Serial Communication -> Serial Communication = On with Console Redirection ”

“ Serial Communication -> Serial Port Address = COM2 ”

Com2 is a virtual device that enables us Serial Over LAN capabilities. We save the settings and reboot the system. From now on the system is set up for remote management.

Now we need a tool that can communicate with BMC via IPMI protocol. Dell supplies two of such tools:

  • IPMItool
  • IPMIsh

I will focus on IPMItool. We can download it from the link below

After its installed you will find the tool in:

C:\Program Files\Dell\SysMgt\bmc\ipmitool


“C:\Program Files\Dell\SysMgt\bmc\ipmitool”  –I lan –H host_IP_or_NAME –U username –P password ipmi_commands

Default user: root

Default password: calvin (for PowerEdge) root (for CloudEdge)



List sel

“C:\Program Files\Dell\SysMgt\bmc\ipmitool”  –I lan –H –U root –P calvin sel list

Clear sel

“C:\Program Files\Dell\SysMgt\bmc\ipmitool”  –I lan –H –U root –P calvin sel clear

Power on

“C:\Program Files\Dell\SysMgt\bmc\ipmitool”  –I lan –H –U root –P calvin power on

Reset BMC

“C:\Program Files\Dell\SysMgt\bmc\ipmitool”  –I lan –H –U root –P calvin bmc reset cold


To start console redirection it is required to use lanplus port:

“C:\Program Files\Dell\SysMgt\bmc\ipmitool”  –I lan –H –I lanplus –U root –P calvin sol activate

Note: F-keys are not available – to use them it is required to use Esc-2 (for example to enter BIOS setup).


iDRAC express

It is also possible to use IPMItool with iDRAC express (to have SOL functionality).  In that situation it is required to activate IPMI over LAN in iDRAC net settings (from WebGUI)

configuring SOL with iDRAC 6

Manual created by Karol Szlachta Dell Enterprise Technical Mentor