How to setup virtual serial console for a HP system with iLO's VSP?

Solution Verified - Updated -

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

Issue

  • I would like to setup serial console to capture all kernel messages in order to troubleshoot a system problem. How to setup virtual serial console for a HP system with iLo? And how can I capture all the information printed on the serial console?

Resolution

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  1. Consult the following solution to setup a serial terminal:

  2. Setup serial console in iLo and confirm that it can be accessed by the web interface.

    • For details regarding Integrated Lights-Out 3 Virtual Serial Port setup and configuration, please refer to the Configuring the iLO virtual serial port in the host system RBSU section in the noted article.
    • For details regarding Integrated Lights-Out 4 Virtual Serial Port setup and configuration, please refer to the Debugging a server section of the noted article making sure to follow steps 1, 3-6, then 8-9.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux does not have windbg so make sure to skip portions of the linked instructions noting any usage of windbg.
      • Similarly, nearly every installation of Linux has access to an SSH client built in. PuTTY is also available for download for Linux. As such, any instructions noting using PuTTY can either be applied to using PuTTY or the built in SSH client.
      • Note if issues occur in setting up the Virtual Serial Port within the iLo despite following the linked instructions above, please engage your respective HPE support representative for further assistance.
  3. Use an ssh client that supports logging.

    • If using PuTTY, go to "Logging", select "Printable output" and input the "Log file name". Then, use PuTTY to connect to the IP of iLo interface.
    • When using a Linux distribution, an ssh session can be recorded via the script command for convenience of providing serial console output to support cases.
  4. In the terminal interface of iLo, type "vsp" to connect to the serial console.

    If you see error "Virtual Serial Port is currently in use by another session." you can try to execute:

    </>hpiLO-> stop /system1/oemhp_vsp1
    

    to stop clients connected to vsp.

  5. Then you should able to see the serial console on the ssh session/PuTTY terminal. Note the remainder of these steps are optional.

  6. On the RHEL system, configure syslog.conf or rsyslog.conf file to print all kernel messages to serial console by adding this line in /etc/syslog.conf or /etc/rsyslog.conf:

    kern.*   /dev/ttyS0
    

    And then restart syslog:

    # service syslog restart
    
  7. Test the whole setup:

    • Issue Alt-SysRq-h on the remote console on iLo
    • Check if the following line prints in the recorded ssh session:

      > *Oct 29 17:05:14 localhost kernel: SysRq : HELP : loglevel0-8 reBoot Crashdump tErm Full kIll thaw-filesystems(J) saK showMem Nice powerOff showPc unRaw Sync showTasks Unmount shoWcpus*
      

      That means the setup is ok and it should able to capture other kernel messages too (e.g. the output of "Alt-SysRq-t").

(Remember to do step 3-5 again if the Red Hat Enterprise Linux system reboots)

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2 Comments

What are the steps to set this up on RHEL7 / systemd?

Looking for additional information on the use of VSP when booting to single user mode.