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stangri

serial console access on microserver pre-gen8

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FiLiNuX

Hi Stangri,

 

I am confused by what you mean serial console access to your ss4200 (the Intel one correct?).  I remember reading about them online at one time and even setting one up in a friend of a friends home network but I don't recall a DE9/DB9 port of any kind on the one I saw / ones I read about.  Is this some kind of external add on / converter / mod / im going to stop making slashes now / home brew setup to be used with a term like putty or something?  At the time they were released common serial ports were long gone for equipment like it.  

 

The easiest thing I can think of (and I am always thinking on a budget now a days :) is a pci-e 1x serial port card.  I would think (from the actual hardware required to make one) they would be cheap.  I am off to look!! 

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ikon

I don't think he's looking to add a serial port to his server. I think he's looking for a way to get remote access to the system, but even during reboots; hence, the term "console access".

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FiLiNuX

Sorry,

 

As he made reference to "serial console access" and "serial port leads" I thought he was wanting to gain console access via a serial port like he (probably) did on his ss4200 by adding on a DE9 serial port to it. 

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e4Bkt

SS4200 has a knockout for a DE-9 connector, and a header on the motherboard.

 

It's not clear whether the SS4200's serial port only allows use of the port to the running OS, or whether it can do BIOS-level redirection to the serial port (an awesome, but hard to find feature).

 

On the microserver, the options are:

  • Install a serial port PCI-E card. This won't be useful until the OS loads, but that might be what the OP wants.
  • Install the HP remote access card (careful about that IPMI vulnerability). This option allows pre-boot and power-off management.
  • Use an external KVM-over-IP like the Lantronix Spider.

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stangri

SS4200 has a knockout for a DE-9 connector, and a header on the motherboard.

 

It's not clear whether the SS4200's serial port only allows use of the port to the running OS, or whether it can do BIOS-level redirection to the serial port (an awesome, but hard to find feature).

There's a BIOS setting for BIOS-level redirection (and different options wherever to redirect past bootloader) which I've used a lot on SS4200.

 

 

 

On the microserver, the options are:

  • Install a serial port PCI-E card. This won't be useful until the OS loads, but that might be what the OP wants.
  • Install the HP remote access card (careful about that IPMI vulnerability). This option allows pre-boot and power-off management.
  • Use an external KVM-over-IP like the Lantronix Spider.

 

Oh, that's a bummer, I was so hopeful I could just get a $5-$10 serial port card and plug it in and it would work the same way as ss4200. :(

BTW, this document on N54L refers to the serial redirect setting in BIOS on page 72 http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c02473845/c02473845.pdf

 

PS. I've read horror stories on the lack of stability of Microserver RAC (non-iLO, pre-gen8 of course) and it's out of my budget. If it's more than $10 I'll live thru the inconvenience of temporarily plugging a monitor and keyboard if need be.

Edited by stangri

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ikon

In my basement closet where I keep my WHS2011 server and Untangle box, I have 1 monitor, KB, and mouse that I switch between them when needed. It doesn't happen often so the inconvenience of replugging is minimal.

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e4Bkt

 

BTW, this document on N54L refers to the serial redirect setting in BIOS on page 72 http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c02473845/c02473845.pdf

 

 

So it does! Interesting. I just poked around in my N54L (BIOS 041 from 7/29/2011) and didn't see such an option.

 

Of course I don't think I have a serial port present here anyway. Maybe the option would appear if a serial port were installed? I kinda doubt it...

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ikon

Of course I don't think I have a serial port present here anyway. Maybe the option would appear if a serial port were installed? I kinda doubt it...

 

Yeah, I doubt it too. Haven't seen a BIOS that alters what you see based on what's installed in the system. Well, except for things like which HDDs it detected -- but the SATA port(s) are listed even if an HDD isn't detected.

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FiLiNuX

Not everything a BIOS can/does do is shown as a option or setting.  There may be a additional prompt @ boot or something if a serial port or RAC card is detected.  

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ikon

True, but those extra prompts are normally to take you into the BIOS of the add-in card, like many RAID cards do -- they're not really part of the BIOS per se.

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