Knowledge base:
Background: The IPMI interface
Posted by Vincent De Maertelaere, Last modified by Vincent De Maertelaere on 20 April 2021 02:31 PM

One may have noticed that ByteBlower servers from the 1300 series on have an interface labeled IPMI. 

What is this interface and what is it used for?

What is the IPMI interface?

IPMI stands for "Intelligent Platform Management Interface".  IPMI is a protocol to manage the hardware platform the ByteBlower server is running.

Managing the hardware enables some advanced features which can become handy when managing the lab remotely.  For example: when access to the lab is restricted.

Example of these handy features:

  1. Remote console access
    This can become extremely handy when the ByteBlower server is not available through its normal network interface.  A case can be when the network configuration has to be done or when the system does not boot (e.g. a harddisk failure).
  2. Power control
    Sometimes one wants to limit the power-usage of the lab, so why keep the ByteBlower server up and running when the lab is closed and no tests are running?  IPMI enables the users to power up, power down and even hard-reboot the server.
  3. Hardware monitoring
    On most systems, the IPMI interface provides insights in various sensors.  Useful sensors may be power usage and system temperature.

This interface has a dedicated ethernet (UTP) connector on the back of the ByteBlower server.  It has its own IP configuration.  By default, it performs DHCP.

How to retrieve the IPMI interface IP address

The IPMI interface network connection status can be viewed in a few ways:

  1. At boot:  In early boot, the IPMI interface will show its IP address on the screen (bottom right)
  2. In the BIOS menu.  IPMI usually has a page in the BIOS settings, where the current IP address can be reviewed and the network configuration of the IPMI interface can be altered.
  3. Using the ByteBlower server console (directly or through SSH)

Using the ByteBlower console

Since there are multiple operating systems used for ByteBlower, there are different methods to fetch this information.

When unsure which operating system the ByteBlower server is running, one can execute the following command to determine which operating system is used.

lsb_release -a

Distributor ID: Debian
Description: Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)
Release: 10
Codename: buster


LSB Version: n/a
Distributor ID: excentis
Description: Excentis ByteBlower 1300 on Excentux release 3.5.4-r23
Release: 3.5.4-r23
Codename: n/a


$ ipmiutil lan | grep 'IP '
Lan Param(3) IP address:
Lan Param(4) IP addr src: 02 : DHCP

The server above seems to have IP address, which was obtained by DHCP


$  ipmi-config --checkout --section Lan_Conf
Section Lan_Conf
## Possible values: Unspecified/Static/Use_DHCP/Use_BIOS/Use_Others
IP_Address_Source Use_DHCP
## Give valid IP address
## Give valid MAC address
MAC_Address 00:25:90:0B:B8:43
## Give valid Subnet Mask
## Give valid IP address
## Give valid MAC address
Default_Gateway_MAC_Address 00:09:0F:09:00:06
## Give valid IP address
## Give valid MAC address
Backup_Gateway_MAC_Address 00:00:00:00:00:00

This server has the IP address, which was obtained through DHCP

Accessing the IPMI interface

The IPMI interface usually has a web interface running.  Older ByteBlower models only have HTTP support, others use HTTPS


There are also tools one can install on a PC to control IPMI. 

E.g. the debian package ipmiutil

The IPMI interface is also username and password protected. 

The default username is ADMIN.

The password is ADMIN on older systems.  On more recent systems, it is noted on the system itself.

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