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Installing Dell OpenManage Server Administrator on Ubuntu

Dell's OpenManage Server Administrator is a powerful tool for keeping track of your server's health and making sure everything is running as it should. Unfortunately, Dell only released packages for RedHat and SuSE, so installing the software on Ubuntu can be tricky, at best.

There is some information on the Internet about getting the package to install on exotic distributions, but I never found anything definitive. This tutorial will guide you through installing the software and getting the web access up and running. 

My setup is: Dell 2950 with 1 Intel 2.2GHz Processor, 2GB RAM, PERC 5/i SCSI Raid Controller with 2 73GB 15K RPM SAS disks running Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS 64-bit.

1. Install the kernel modules

The first step is installing the needed kernel modules to support IPMI:

sudo modprobe ipmi_msghandler
sudo modprobe ipmi_devintf
sudo modprobe ipmi_s

Next,you will want to add those modules to the end of the /etc/modules file. This will allow them to be loaded at boot time.

2. Setup Apt to get the OMSA package

As stated before, Dell only released the OpenManage Server Administrator for RedHat and SuSE. However, someone was kind enough to create an installable Debian based package for us. In order to get access to that package, you will need to add the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb ftp://ftp.sara.nl/pub/sara-omsa dell sara

Then, you will need to install the Pulic Key for that repository. To do that, create a temporary directory in your home folder and run the following commands from that folder:
wget http://ftp.sara.nl/debian_sara.asc
sudo apt-key add debian_sara.asc

3. Install the needed packages

Now it's time to install all the packages that will be needed:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install snmp snmpd
sudo apt-get install openipmi
sudo apt-get install ipmitool
sudo apt-get install –f lib32ncurses5
sudo apt-get install –f ia32-libs
sudo apt-get install dellomsa

4. Start SNMP

The following commands will enable SNMP and get it going:
<samp?>
sudo /etc/init.d/snmpd restart
sudo /etc/init.d/dataeng start

5. Special Step for 64-bit users

If you are running a 64-bit version of Ubuntu, there are a couple extra things that need to be done to enable the login from the OpenManage web interface.

If you are running a 32-bit installation, continue to step 6.

i. Determine where your pam security files came from. The dpkg command with the -S option will tell you what package a file came from:
sudo dpkg -S /lib/security/pam_unix.so

On my system, this returned:
libpam-modules: /lib/security/pam_unix.so

ii. Download the 32-bit version of that package and extract it's contents

By googleing libpam-modules ubuntu, I was able to find a place to download the 32-bit (i386) package and copy the download URL. At the time of this writing, the correct url is: http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/main/p/pam/libpam-modules_0.99.7.1-5ubuntu6_i386.deb
sudo wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/main/p/pam/libpam-modules_0.99.7.1-5ubuntu6_i386.deb
sudo dpkg-deb -x libpam-modules_0.99.7.1-5ubuntu6_i386.deb

iii. Copy files to the lib32 directory

Next, you will need to copy a couple files from the package you just extracted to the /lib32/security directory:
sudo cp ./lib/security/pam_unix.so /lib32/security/
sudo cp ./lib/security/pam_nologin.so /lib32/security/

iv. Reconfigure the dynamic linker

Finally, reconfigure the dynamic linker so that it knows the new 32-bit libraries are there.
sudo ldconfig

6. Start the web services 

Start the Dell OMSA web interface:
sudo /etc/init.d/dsm_om_connsvc start

7. Add a user to access the OMSA site

If your system is setup properly, you shouldn't have a password for the root user. To access the OpenManage client, you need to have root access. There is a way to do this without giving the root user a password. I created a user called dellroot that will be able to access the OMSA client:
sudo useradd dellroot
sudo usermod -g root dellroot
sudo passwd dellroot

Enter a secure password for the user when prompted.

8. Check it out

Now you should be able to access the OpenManage web interface by going to https://<servername>:1311 (e.g., https://www.example.com:1311)

Make sure you are using https and you add the port number of 1311 to the end of the URL. You can login using the dellroot user you just created. 

If you are using firefox, you will have to add a security exception for the self-signed certificate the server is using.

If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to post a comment below or leave a note in the forum.