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Using the Sun Fire X4100 ILOM and Java redirector from Debian

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Using the Sun Fire X4100 ILOM and Java redirector from Debian

If you're going to follow my instructions to install Debian on your Sun Fire X4100 or X4200, I cannot stress enough how much time and effort you will save (not to mention your eardrums!) if you get the remote management working first. What follows are very brief notes on doing this from within Debian.

Network-attach the ILOM interface and give it a DHCP address

  1. On your deployment subnet, plug in both the management netowrk interface of the x4100 (and the data network if you want that). I run a dhcp server which allocates an IP address to the ILOM interface. At that point you can ssh into it or point a web browser at it (as per the instructions that come with the box).

Getting the remote management working from a Debian box

On a debian workstation, I couldn't get javaws (the "web start") utility working within a browser, but this is how I did it:

  1. Install firefox.
  2. follow the usual instructions to grab and install the sun JDK (I use J2SDK 1.5 / "java 5.0" as it's sometimes called) and wrap it into a debian package etc. The instructions for this are knocking around all over the web, for instance: http://www.debianhelp.co.uk/debianjava.htm.
  3. Using firefox, find the remote management tab and launch the java redirector. This'll probably prompt you to find out what it wants you to do with the resulting file. Save it somewhere. If this doesn't work, see the one I prepared earlier :-) You might have to alter the IP addresses (one at the top, one near the bottom: they're currently "10.0.0.200") in that file so that it corresponds to the ILOM IP address of your x4100.
  4. From the command-line, you can launch the console redirector as follows:
    >
    javaws jnlpgenerator-8
    ... this gives you a "remote screen" that shows you what the x4100 would be outputting to its monitor port.

Using the remote management for the install

  1. If you have an .iso image available on the filesystem of the machine that's running the javaws redirector, you can choose that from the menu (I believe it's "mount virtual cd..." or something similar)
  2. Once that CD is virtually "inserted", you can use the firefox session to get to the power management screen of the x4100 and power up the main processor board.

    The nice thing about the ILOM board is that, providing you can get to that over the network, you can reboot, etc, your server without needing to be near it.

  3. Pressing alt-f1, etc: if you direct your keyboard to the remote machine using the javaws thing, then the local key combination alt-A works to toggle the "virtual" left-alt key. I think the third menu shows you the status of that. So to change console screens during a debian installation, the local keyboard sequence would be: alt-a, f2, alt-a.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Alberto Escudero Pascual for his very helpful feedback, which prompted me to write up these notes.

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