Reset a DRAC III using racadm on a Dell 2650 running RHEL 5.5 / CentOS 5.5 3

If you’ve ever tried to reset the password on a Dell Remote Access Card III (DRAC3), then you probably already know that trying to manage a DRAC III in a Linux environment can be frustrating – especially since current (as of this writing) versions of Dell’s OpenManage Server Administration software (OMSA) aren’t backward compatible with older hardware like the Dell PowerEdge 2650. But with the right tools, you’ll be able to access your DRAC III and do things like reset the password, set up networking, update firmware, and more.

Some might try to convince you that the only way to reset the password and do other management tasks with your DRAC 3 is to install OMSA. That’s not entirely true. If you want to do a full install of OMSA, that’s fine. I’ve written a separate blog post to help you do just that. But if you don’t want the extra overhead of a full OMSA install, you can get away with using yum to install only the few packages that are required to manage the DRAC, including the command line tool racadm.

The most current version of the OMSA tools that will run on a Dell PowerEdge 2650 is OMSA 5.5, so that’s what we’ll use. Keep in mind that if you try to install a later version of OMSA, you’ll likely run into trouble.

Step 1: Set up the Dell OMSA Repository

Set up the OMSA 5.5 version of Dell’s repository with:
wget -q -O - | bash
This will make the correct (older) version of the Dell OMSA repo to the list available to yum, and will also install some Dell firmware management tools. The output will include:
Package                            Arch                  Version                   Repository                         Size
 firmware-addon-dell                i386                  2.1.2-1.1                 dell-omsa-indep                    56 k
Installing for dependencies:
 firmware-tools                     noarch                2.1.2-4.1                 dell-omsa-specific                203 k
 libsmbios                          i386                  2.1.0-1.2                 dell-omsa-specific                1.3 M
 smbios-utils                       i386                  2.1.0-1.2                 dell-omsa-specific                119 k
Transaction Summary
Install       4 Package(s) Upgrade       0 Package(s)

Step 2: Install the OMSA RAC Development Package

The package that contains the racadm CLI utility required to manage your DRAC is included with the srvadmin-racser-devel package. This package has three dependencies, so if they’re not already installed, yum will fix that for you. Type:

yum install srvadmin-racser-devel

and the output should like like:

 Package                              Arch                Version                   Repository                         Size
 srvadmin-racser-devel                i386                5.5.0-364                 dell-omsa-specific                196 k
Installing for dependencies:
 srvadmin-omilcore                    i386                5.5.0-364                 dell-omsa-specific                489 k
 srvadmin-racser                      i386                5.5.0-364                 dell-omsa-specific                 12 k
 srvadmin-syscheck                    i386                5.5.0-364                 dell-omsa-specific                6.6 k

Transaction Summary
Install       4 Package(s)
Upgrade       0 Package(s)

Step 3: Protect OMSA from being upgraded

If you’re running a Dell PowerEdge 2650, version 5.5 of OMSA is the latest that supports your hardware, so you’ll need to tell yum not to update OMSA to a later version. Edit the /etc/yum.conf file with your favorite text editor and add this line at the bottom:


The next time you run yum update, it will ignore any updates to OMSA.

Step 4: Start the svradmin Service

Now you’re ready to start the svradmin service by typing: start

The output should look like:

Starting pppd (RAC) services:                              [  OK  ]
Starting racsrvc (RAC) service daemon:                     [  OK  ]
Starting pppd (RAC) services:                              [  OK  ]
Starting racsrvc (RAC) service daemon:                     [  OK  ]

Step 5: Use racadm

Now you’re ready to manage your DRAC III. Type:

racadm getsysinfo

You should get something like:

RAC Information:
RAC Date/Time         = Tue, 28 Sep 2010 07:32:48 GMT-07:00
Firmware Version      = 3.38 (Build 12.14)
Firmware Updated      =
Hardware Version      = A04
Current IP Address    = 123.456.78.90
Current IP Gateway    = 123.456.78.1
Current IP Netmask    =
DHCP enabled          = FALSE
Current DNS Server 1  =
Current DNS Server 2  =
DNS Servers from DHCP = FALSE
PCMCIA Card Info      = N/A

System Information:
System ID    = 0121h
System Model = PowerEdge 2650
BIOS Version = A21
Asset Tag    =
Service Tag  = 2T10V21
Hostname     =
OS name      = Linux 2.6.18-164.9.1.el5
ESM Version  = 3.38

Watchdog Information:
Recovery Action         = No Action
Present countdown value = 0
Initial countdown value = 6553

RAC Firmware Status Flags:
Global Reset Pending Flag = 0

Step 6: Reset the DRAC password

The default username/password on a DRAC III is root/calvin, and the default user index number for root is 1, which you’ll need to know when you type this command to change the password:

racadm config -g cfgUserAdmin -o cfgUserAdminPassword -i 1 'newpassword'

Notice that the new password should go inside apostrophes. That allows you to use special characters (! ? #) in your password.

If the default admin username has been changed, you can display it from the command line with:

racadm getconfig -g cfgUserAdmin -i 1

Now reset the DRAC so it accepts the change:

racadm racreset

Give the DRAC a few moments to reset, then (assuming you have a network cable connected to it) try to connect to it using the IP address assigned to it (you can also use racadm to edit the DRAC’s network settings).

Congratulations! You now have control of your DRAC!