I am in the process of further automating our system-installation on new servers. Main problem here is that the network-devices do not appear in the order we expect them (i.e. first onboard network card is sometimes eth2, eht3 or even eth4).

This depends on the used hardware (in our case which Dell PowerEdge server model is used). I built a table with the mappings from model to network-card.

This is important during kickstart-installation of our CentOS 5 servers, since I want to automate the setup of the network-cards (fixed IPs) during kickstart-installation.

My idea was to install Dell-OMSA, and then query omreport chassis info to get the model.

This works great after kickstart has completed, but fails during kickstart-install.

I found and removed the following obstacles:

  • During installation the very first CentOS 5.8-kernel is used, while the files that get installed already contain the newest patched kernel (way around: install the "old" kernel during installation, so the dell_rbu-driver is there)
  • The dell_rbu kernel could not be loaded due to missing depmod. (way around: do depmod after the old kernel is installed)

Now I traced down one remaing problem: For OMSA there needs to be a functioning IPMI interface.

If I start up ipmi (service ipmi start) I get an error that /dev/ipmi0 does not exist (after some impi-modules are loaded).

Any idea what could be going wrong at this stage?


Possibly you need to load the ipmi_devintf kernel module.

Also, note that you don't need the Dell software to get the model. You can get it from IPMI with ipmitool

# ipmitool fru
FRU Device Description : Builtin FRU Device (ID 0)
 Board Mfg Date        : Sun Dec 31 23:00:00 1995
 Board Mfg             : DELL
 Board Product         : PowerEdge R515

or from SMBIOS (no need for IPMI driver):

# dmidecode -t system
System Information
    Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
    Product Name: PowerEdge R515
    Version: Not Specified
  • I am petty sure that ipmi_devintf is loaded. Your other two solutions look promising - especially dmidecode. – Nils Sep 20 '12 at 19:49
  • dmidecode works like a charm. – Nils Sep 25 '12 at 14:29

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