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Installing Dell OpenManage Server Administrator on Linux Platforms By O. R. Senthil Kumaran RajKumar V. J.


Administrators can choose from an array of different methods when installing Dell OpenManage™ Server Administrator 5.2 on supported Linux® operating systems. This article outlines the available local and remote deployment methods and how administrators can use them in enterprise environments.

ell OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) helps

can verify the integrity of these packages by importing the

administrators manage the hardware and software

GPG key from the CD using the following command in the

resources of Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers running

/srvadmin/linux directory:

Microsoft ® Windows ® or Linux operating systems. Administrators can install OMSA locally on Linux-based sys-

rpm --import RPM-GPG-KEY

tems using a set of functionally related Red Hat® Package Manager (RPM™) files or a set of support scripts that provide Related Categories:

both interactive and noninteractive modes. They can also

The key can also be imported from publicly available key servers or from

perform remote deployments using tarballs available for

Dell OpenManage

download from the Dell Web site, third-party applications

RPM installation

Dell PowerEdge servers

such as Altiris® Deployment Solution™ software, and custom

The /srvadmin/linux/custom directory consists of sets of

yum (Yellowdog Updater, Modified) repositories.

functionally related RPM selections for different operating

Novell SUSE Linux

OMSA supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5 and

systems contained in add-RAC3, add-RAC4, add-RAC5,

Novell® SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server 9 and 10. OMSA 5.0 and

add-storageservices, add-webserver, and srvadmin-base

Systems management

later includes OpenIPMI hardware management drivers; the

subdirectories. The three add-RAC subdirectories contain


Dell PowerEdge Installation and Server Management CD con-

RPM files to enable racadm-based systems management, the

tains the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) driv-

add-storageservices subdirectory contains RPM files provid-

ers required for all certified platforms along with Dynamic

ing Dell OpenManage Storage Services functionality, and the

Kernel Module Support (DKMS) packages, which enable OMSA

add-webserver subdirectory contains RPM files providing the

to run on custom recompiled kernels. Storage functionality may

Web server required for the Dell OpenManage Web browser–

require non–open source drivers on some platforms.

based interface. The srvadmin-base subdirectory contains

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Visit for the complete category index.

the basic files required to install a functional command-


Local deployment methods

line-based OMSA; it also includes an openipmi subdirec-

The Linux installation files for OMSA are located in the

tory with a DKMS version of the OpenIPMI driver, which

/srvadmin/linux directory on the Dell PowerEdge Installation

might be necessary when a required driver version is not

and Server Management CD. The RPM packages are digitally

installed on the system. Administrators can view the details

signed using a GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) key; administrators

of a particular RPM file in a given folder with the command


Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, May 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.


Version Release

: srvadmin-isvc

Relocations: /opt/dell/srvadmin

: 5.2.0

Vendor: Dell Inc

Build Date: Thu 16 Nov 2006 07:22:22 PM IST

Build Host:

: 240

Install Date : (not installed) Group


: System/Configuration/Hardware Source RPM: srvadmin-isvc-5.2.0-240.nosrc.rpm : 3664740


License: Commercial

: DSA/SHA1, Thu 16 Nov 2006 07:27:34 PM IST, Key ID ca77951d23b66a9d






: Instrumentation Service, 5.7.0

Description : Server Administrator provides a suite of systems management information for keeping supported systems on your network healthy. Server Administrator Instrumentation Service provides fault management information, prefailure information, and asset and inventory information to management applications.

The Instrumentation Service monitors the health of the system and provides rapid access to detailed fault and performance information about the hardware on supported systems.

The Instrumentation Service

requires installation of Systems Management Device Drivers.

Figure 1. Package details for the srvadmin-isvc RPM file rpm


packagename.rpm. Figure 1

shows the results for the srvadmin-isvc RPM file. For more information, see the Dell OpenManage

the RPM files also load the OpenIPMI module

and its supportRPMS subdirectory provide sets

into the OS kernel.

of RPM files for different operating systems that

Which add-RAC subdirectory is relevant

can be called by support scripts during scripted

depends on the Dell Remote Access Controller

OMSA installations. If a dependency causes an

Administrators can install OMSA using RPM

(DRAC) installed on the system (see Figure 2).

installation to fail, administrators should look

packages by entering the command rpm -ivh

If no DRAC is present, the DRAC RPM files are

for the missing RPM file in the supportRPMS

*.rpm in the /srvadmin/linux/custom direc-

still installed, and racadm functionality for the


tory. The files in this directory are arranged to

local system should be available when the

Following installation, administrators can

meet installation prerequisites. Administrators

DRAC is attached and services have been

start the installed services without rebooting by

should keep in mind that srvadmin-base instal-

launched; in this case, only remote racadm

using the command

lations fail if the necessary IPMI driver version

functionality can be used from the files installed


is not present on the system. The openipmi

on the system.

Server Administrator User’s Guide.

Scripted installation

subdirectory of the srvadmin-base folder

Linux operating systems installed using

provides the required version; administrators

Dell OpenManage Server Assistant should

Administrators can also install OMSA on Linux

can upgrade their version of the OpenIPMI

include all required RPM files; however, other

systems by using the four support scripts in the

driver from this directory with the command

installations may need these files installed

/srvadmin/linux/supportscripts directory:

rpm -Uvh openipmi-*.rpm. Scripts inside

manually. The /srvadmin/linux/RPMS directory,,, and srvadmin-uninstall. sh. Each script provides an interactive and a


Remote racadm functionality

Local racadm functionality

noninteractive mode. The interactive mode can




be helpful to inexperienced administrators,







taking them through the installation process step-by-step; the noninteractive mode is useful for automated installations and remote deployments. Administrators can start the interactive

Figure 2. Racadm functionality for RPM files in the three add-RAC subdirectories Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, May 2007. Copyright Š 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.

mode of any OMSA support script with the


systems management

command sh,

the script is designed to detect the current

• This is the OpenIPMI

or view the command-line options that facilitate

system state and only request information nec-

driver helper utility for OMSA, which checks

the non­interactive mode with the command sh

essary to complete the installation. Figure 4

the installed driver version and can install -h.

shows the results of viewing this script’s non-

an updated version from the OpenIPMI RPM

interactive command-line options.

file on the Dell PowerEdge Installation and

The script is used for installing OMSA. Figure 3 shows the results of running in interactive mode;

The other three scripts support OMSA

Server Management CD, if necessary. If the


host system is custom compiled, then the DKMS framework rebuilds the OpenIPMI RPM for the kernel and runs a scripted


installation. • This script starts the

Server Administrator Custom Install Utility

installed services following installation. • This script helps


uninstall OMSA from the host; however, it uninstalls only srvadmin RPM files, not

Components for Server Administrator Managed Node Software:

custom RPM files installed independently [ ] 1. Server Administrator CLI

from the supportRPMS subdirectory or

[ ] 2. Server Administrator Web Server

upgraded OpenIPMI RPM files, which might

[ ] 3. Storage Management

be used by other applications.

[ ] 4. All Enter the number to select a component from the above list.

Remote deployment methods

Enter q to quit.

In addition to noninteractive scripted OMSA installations, administrators can use remote

Enter :

deployment methods facilitated by downloadable tarballs, Altiris Deployment Solution, and yum repositories.

Figure 3. Interactive mode for the script

Usage: [OPTION]... Server Administrator Custom Install Utility. This Utility will run in the interactive mode if no options are given and runs silently if one or more options are given. Options: [-x|--express]

installs all components (including 'RAC', if available) any other options passed will be ignored.


installs 'Base' components


installs 'Storage' components, including 'Base'


installs applicable 'RAC' components, including 'Base'


installs 'Web Server' components, including 'Base'


update applicable Server Administrator components

[-a|--autostart] start the installed services after components have been installed. [--prefix PATH] [-h|--help]

installs the selected components as specified in the 'PATH' This option can be used along with any of the options stated above

displays this help text.

Figure 4.Noninteractive mode command-line options for the script 3


Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, May 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating systems. An unofficial yum repository is maintained

Options: [-x|--express]

installs all components (including 'RAC', if available)

any other options passed will be ignored.

by the Dell Linux Engineering team at


installs 'Base' components


installs 'Storage' components, including 'Base'

Flexible deployment on Linux-based systems

installs applicable 'RAC' components, including 'Base'

Administrators can choose from multiple

installs 'Web Server' components, including 'Base'

ways of installing Dell OpenManage Server




update applicable Server Administrator components

[-a|--autostart] start the installed services after components

have been installed.

[--prefix PATH] installs the selected components as specified

Administrator on Linux-based systems, including RPM-based and scripted deployments for local installation along with downloadable packages,

in the 'PATH'. This option can be used along

third-party software such as Altiris Deployment

with any of the options stated above

Solution, and custom yum repositories. Taking

displays this help text.

advantage of these options can provide


increased flexibility when installing OMSA in Figure 5. Command-line options for the script

enterprise data centers. O. R. Senthil Kumaran is a senior engineering

Downloadable tarballs

Deployment Solution, administrators should

analyst working with the Test Engineering team

OMSA is available as a set of downloadable

launch the application and import the

of the Dell Product Group at the Bangalore

tarballs from These packages

OpenManage_Jobs.bin file from the /srvadmin/

Development Center. He has a bachelor’s degree

contain the RPM files, installation scripts, and

support/Altiris directory on the Dell PowerEdge

in Computer Science and Engineering from

documentation in a tar zipped format. The pack-

Installation and Server Management CD, then

National Engineering College, Tamil Nadu.

age includes a script called in the

specify a destination folder. They may need to

top-level folder that works similarly to the

modify the Run Script and Copy File tasks to

Rajkumar V. J. is a senior engineering analyst script. Figure 5 shows the

match the specific environment. Once the file is

working with the Dell OpenManage Install team

command-line options for this script, which admin-

imported, administrators can schedule the job

of the Dell Product Group at the Bangalore

istrators can use to install specific components

to run on supported Dell systems managed from

Development Center. He has a bachelor’s degree

individually. The script returns exit codes verifying

Altiris Deployment Solution.

in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

operation results, which are listed in Figure 6.

Yum repository Altiris Deployment Solution

The RPM network installation feature facilitates

Administrators can use third-party deployment

setting up a custom yum repository to install

software such as Altiris Deployment Solution to

OMSA on multiple servers. Administrators can

distribute and install OMSA. To do so with Altiris

use the yum or Update 2 methods on supported

Exit code



Operation successful


Platform not supported


Minimum OS dependencies not met


Upgrade not supported (currently installed version is the latest)


Various fatal errors


RPM installation error (number of RPM files that did not install)


RPM upgrade error (number of RPM files that did not upgrade)


Installation aborted following kill signal

QUICK LINKs Dell OpenManage Server Administrator User’s Guide: software/svradmin Dell Linux Engineering team mailing lists:

Figure 6. Exit codes for the script Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, May 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.


Installing Dell OpenManage System Linux