Pass serial port through iDRAC

Lets say for a minute you’re trying to configure your first SAN. Now, lets pretend that first SAN is a Compellent SC8000. Ya know, cause that’s what we all learn on..  You may then be aware that setting up the first and second controller, is not the easiest configuration task.

Now, lets pretend, you want to set this up at your desk, so you don’t have to sit in the cold datacenter, executing terminal commands via DB9 serial..

Has anyone else wanted that??  yes, no? maybe it’s just me, and i’m getting old.

Whatever the case may be, the purpose of this document, is to show you how to pass the serial connection through the idrac on an Compellent SC8000 controller but this should work on a R720 class Dell PowerEdge server.. (The chassis’s are almost identical)

This is a little complicated, but rewarding, so you don’t have to sit in the datacenter. ( however – may pose a small security risk, so you decide..)


There are a few settings we need to make in the BIOS for this to work. (Don’t get this confused with the IDRAC settings – you NEED to actually reboot the server and get into the BIOS and make these settings.)

1. Reboot the server, and at the DELL splash screen, hit the F2 button to Enter System Setup.



2. Depending on the mood of the chassis, you may enter into a GUI or a Text mode menu where the following settings should be selected.

You enter this menu by selecting at the System Setup Screen, “System BIOS > Serial Communications”, then change to the following settings:


Make note that I am connecting on COM2, and redirecting the serial device from Device 1 to COM2.

*I know, its confusing, but this is how I made it work reliably. I believe there may be an issue with redirection on COM1. Perhaps someone smarter then I has an answer to that.


3. Serial debugging requires one additional setting (also accessed via “F2”) – iDRAC setting below – simply select iDRAC settings vs BIOS settings.

  • Disable IPMI Over LAN, in iDRAC configuration, under network settings.



4. Once the changes are made, you should be able to connect to the Dell PowerEdge server via a serial port or use console redirection. (meaning we can connect via SSH through the idrac)

So grab putty (or your other favorite terminal program) and ssh into the IP address of your IDRAC.

after you authenticate type “connect”


after you connect, you will wait a long time while the controller initializes, but after a short while (Up to 5 minutes or longer) you will see the following:




Source : How to set up Serial Port Debugging or Console Redirection on Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers

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