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Run Dell OpenManage directly off a boot CD

Even though I’m transitioning away from Dell PowerEdge servers in favor of HP ProLiant boxes, with their fancy integrated iLO adapters and such, I still find I need to manage a Dell box from time to time. Sometimes, like when I use a Dell NAS 745N box that comes with Windows Storage Server 2003 as an OpenFiler iSCSI target, OpenManage won’t run (without a lot of hacks) on the OpenFiler OS. In situations like this, I found the Dell Knoppix Boot CD works wonders.


Here’s an excerpt from the readme txt:

Dell OpenManage Knoppix

Feel free to remaster, improve or whatever

1 Problem

So far, Dell has not released a version of the OpenManage System Administrator for Kernel 2.6.x.

According to some forum posts, they will not release a version until they have at least a Beta of RedHat Enterprise Linux 4 which is not expected before end of 2004.

2 Solution

A live CD based on Knoppix 3.4 that allows to run Dell Openmanage directly from the CD.

There are two flavors:

* One is a full featured Knoppix CD with KDE and almost all recovery and god knows tools (614 MB),
* the other is a stripped down version that still offers numerous tools, but has been shrinked to 300 MB for slower connections.

Nothing needs to be installed on the harddisks and no drives get mounted writeble by default, so you can safely use this CD, it will not destroy anything.

This CD also makes OMSA available for Dell desktop systems – just insert and boot!

3 Howto

* Download the iso of your choice
* Create a CD with the ISO (“Burn Image” or similar in most CD recording applications)
* Boot the CD
* On the first boot screen, try the default by just hitting Return
o If this doesn’t help, F2 and F3 can give you hints.
o The default cheatcodes (when just pressing Return) are: “knoppix nodma noscsi atapicd” – this works fine on the Dell 1750s
* No matter which flavour you use, in any case after some time a browser should start up automatically and ask you about accepting a certificate, which you do.
* Then you should already see the OpenManage screen. Enter “root” as username and “omsa” as password.
* You can now use OpenManage just as if it were installed on your box.
* It’s also possible to look at OpenManage from another browser by using the following URL: https://ip.of.box:1311/ (please note that it is https)

4 Credits
OMSA-Knoppix has been remastered on a Dell 1750 by Sven Hergenhahn (sven.hergenhahn@eur.sas.com)

It’s a great tool if you need to access OpenManage to, say, change the settings on your DRAC III card but can’t because most of the applicable settings aren’t accessible via the DRAC’s web interface or DRAC BIOS setup screens (WTF Dell !?). Yeah, situations like that.

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2 Responses to “Run Dell OpenManage directly off a boot CD”

  1. Charley Walling says:


    I am having trouble getting the user:root pass:omsa to work. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. Amal says:

    Silly question, but are you using lower case for everything?

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