SunFire X2100 and SMDC card install/config

This blog entry provides the basic steps I had to complete to get the sever setup to use the SMDC card. This will enable the server to be managed remotely for such items as: Powering OFF/ON and access via the console. There are many other features, however I won't discuss them at this time. These steps also assume that you are working with a system installing Solaris 10 update 3 from scratch. Also, these are the steps that worked for me. I'm sure that I missed a few minor things, as I've documented this after I've completed the entire process. If you see any issues, please provide me feedback and I'll try to make corrections to this entry.

Step 1 – Installing the SMDC Card

Upon receiving the SMDC (also known as the IPMI 1.5 Service Processor), I followed the installation instructions in the SunFire X2100 Server User Guide, section 4.5.2.

Step 2 – Updating the System BIOS

After installing, I upgraded the system BIOS using the latest SunFire X2100 Supplemental 1.5 CD. Just follow the instructions to update the BIOS to version 1.5.

Step 3 – Updating the SMDC Firmware and Setting up SMDC

Using the same supplimental CD, update the SMDC Firmware using the supplied instruction release notes. In addition, you will need to setup the network and user/password information on the SMDC card to access it from IPMItool later on.

Step 4 – Redirecting the console to the SMDC card

This is done via the BIOS screens:

Advanced BIOS Features --> Console Redirection --> Enabled over SMDC

Step 5 – Download the IPMItool

In order to access the SMDC interface, an IPMI application must be used (I don't know enough about IPMI to go into detail). Following the release notes, you can get a recent version at

This tool will be used to power on/off the server as well as get console access. For my purposes, I installed this tool onto another Solaris box that I had. I believe you can also get this tool for Linux.

Step 6 – Use IPMItool to verify SMDC console access

Verify that you can access the SMDC by using sample commands like:

$ ipmitool {ipmi options} chassis status

Note: You will need to provide the proper IPMItool options like IP address of the SMDC network interface and User/Password.

Step 7 – Startup and IPMI console session

Run a command similar to:

$ ipmitool {ipmi options} tsol

This will connect you to the ttya port of the server (i.e. console)

Step 8 – Begin Solaris Install

Place the Solaris 10 update 3 DVD into the DVD drive and reboot the server. Be sure to choose the install options over ttya and an Interactive Text (console session) for the Solaris 10 install. Proceed with a typical Solaris 10 install.

Step 9 – Reboot Solaris and verify SMDC access

After the install, you can either use ipmitool to reboot the server with a command like:

$ ipmitool {ipmi options} power cycle

As the release notes indicate, console into the server and run the command “eeprom console=ttya” to verify that the console is set to ttya. After that, you should be complete. There are more steps in the release notes, however I didn't need to complete them as Solaris 10 update 3 seemed to function just fine.


Be happy that you have a CD ROM drive. If you don't have one, you are out of luck, and the management card is unusable. The instructions about netbooting the supplementary CD are RH Linux only, and wrong anyway (editing directories with vi, tsk tsk). IMHO the X2100 is a piece of <...> and should be discontinued immediately. The X2100 M2 costs only a few $ more and is MUCH better, even if it still uses that quirky variant of embedded LOM. Why, oh why couldn't it be made identical to the X4x00 LOM? Sigh...

Posted by Volker A. Brandt on January 03, 2007 at 02:50 AM CST #

Thanks alot for the info there. Even after all this time it's still extremely hard to follow the instructions to get the SMDC card working.

I don't agree with the previous comment however. My x2100 doesn't have a CD/DVD drive and I've managed to get the Supplementary CD not only booting off the network, but also jumpstarting for any x2100 that needs it.
Also, it wasn't specific to RH Linux at all. In fact, it even specifies a kernel that's completely
Was definately a learning experience but extremely satisfying now that it's done!
Thanks again, this has been extremely helpful!

Posted by Julian S on November 04, 2008 at 03:35 PM CST #

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