Included in the RHEL/CentOS base distribution are tools that may be of interest to users, including the ipmitool command for monitoring and managing compute node hardware.


ipmitool is a hardware management utility that supports the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) specification v1.5 and v2.0.

IPMI is an open standard that defines the structures and interfaces used for remote monitoring and management of a computer motherboard (baseboard). IPMI defines a micro-controller, called the "baseboard management controller" (BMC), which is accessed locally through the managed computer's bus or through an out-of-band network interface connection (NIC).

Scyld ClusterWare supports ipmitool as the primary way to monitor and manage compute node hardware. The Scyld ClusterWare distribution includes /etc/beowulf/init.d/20ipmi, a script that executes at compute node boot time that enables IPMI on a compute node.

The root can use ipmitool for a variety of tasks, such as:

  • Inventory a node's baseboards to determine what sensors are present
  • Monitor sensors (fan status, temperature, power supply voltages, etc.)
  • Read and display values from the Sensor Data Repository (SDR)
  • Read and set the BMC's LAN configuration
  • Remotely control chassis power
  • Display the contents of the System Event Log (SEL), which records events detected by the BMC as well as events explicitly logged by the operating system
  • Print Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) information, such as vendor ID, manufacturer, etc.
  • Configure and emulate a serial port to the baseboard using the out-of-band network connection known as serial over LAN (SOL)

Several dozen companies support IPMI, including many leading manufacturers of computer hardware. You can learn more about OpenIPMI from the OpenIPMI project page at http://openipmi.sourceforge.net, which includes links to documentation and downloads.