[SunHELP] Sun Fire X2100 IPMI

Martin Frost martin at omniconsumerproducts.com
Tue Apr 25 17:33:30 CDT 2006

I have a Sun Fire X2100 with the IPMI option card, which I fitted myself.

The machine is installed with Solaris 10 1/06 from a downloaded DVD ISO.

I have downloaded the supplemental CD v1.3 and flashed the BIOS up to 1.09
and the IPMI firmware up to 4.12. I have configured the IPMI IP address,
netmask, and passwords using the util.exe tool.

Using ipmitool 1.8.7 compiled from source on a nearby Solaris 8 box (with
--enable-solaris-opt --disable-shared) the IPMI seems to be working fine
on the second (bge) ethernet port as expected:

$ ./src/ipmitool -H -U Admin -P xxx sensor list
DDR 2.6V         | 2.600      | Volts      | ok    | na        | 2.496
| na        | na        | 2.704     | na        
CPU core Voltage | 1.416      | Volts      | ok    | na        | 0.796
| na        | na        | 1.556     | na        

Apart from this I am having problems.

Firstly, I can't get the "bmc" driver to load on Solaris. I've tried
"devfsadm -i bmc" and a reconfiguration boot. The devfsadm command just
gives me the error "devfsadm: driver failed to attach: bmc". I found one
other person having this same problem using Google but no-one had
suggested a solution. Solaris 10 1/06 includes the 120081-02 bmc driver
patch, so it's not that.

Without the "bmc" driver I cannot use IPMI locally to monitor the machine
status. This is less important than the remote network connection to IPMI,
but I still want it to work, and it may be indicative of some underlying

Secondly, I can't get the IPMI to share the network port with the OS.
Currently I have the IPMI on on bge0 (second port) and the OS
on on bge0 (first port), but I'm going to send this machine
to the colo soon and they charge an extra monthly fee for extra switch
ports and IP addresses, so I'd like to avoid this if at all possible.

I'm pretty sure that it's possible to share both the network port and even
the IP address. As far as I know the X2100 is based on the Tyan 2865
motherboard. A friend uses these motherboards and IPMI cards under Linux
at work and says that it shares the port fine. I also found this blog


suggesting that the V65x Sun Xeon servers could share the port and even 
the IP address for IPMI.

If I plumb the bge0 interface, assign it an IP address (either a different
IP address, or the same one as the IPMI card) and bring it up then the
IPMI seems to stop responding and will not respond in the future even if
the interface is unplumbed.

Additionally, I have at least once had the IPMI simply stop responding
remotely on its own IP address, even in the absence of any interface
plumbing provocation.

Can anyone shed light? Does this sound like faulty hardware, or do I need
to update some firmware or driver?

The IPMI card is a Tyan M3290, and the util.exe tool is identical to that
supplied by Tyan. The IPMI card ("SMDC") manual is at:


but this doesn't mention Solaris.

Tyan's support site also mentions flashing the Broadcom Ethernet ASIC
firmware, and provides the files in:


Is this appropriate on an X2100? Sun supply the SMDC firmware but not the
Broadcom ASIC firmware.

I'd be grateful for any help anyone can offer.



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