xorl %eax, %eax

How to use DELL iDRAC Virtual Media

with 4 comments

So, iDRAC offers a very good implementation for remote virtual media. In this quick how-to we will see how you can use them to perform remote installations.

Here I will be using a DELL PowerEdge R610 which comes with iDRAC6. First login to the web interface were you normally should have something similar to the next screen capture.

Next, go to the “Console/Media” tab were you will see something like this.

As you can see, by default the “Virtual Media” is detached. This means that you cannot use this feature. So, click on the “Configuration” tab.

And change the “Status” value from “Detached” to “Attached”. You also have the option of “Auto Attach” but personally I recommend enabling this feature only when needed. Furthermore, if you’re communicating through internet or other insecure networks, then enabling the “Virtual Media Encryption Enabled” option is useful.
Anyway, next go back to “Virtual Console and Virtual Media” menu.

And click on “Launch Virtual Console” button. This will either execute an ActiveX or Java Applet based client depending on the browser. On the console go to “Virtual Media -> Launch Virtual Media” as shown in the below screen capture.

If virtual media support is enabled, this will open a new window similar to the one you see here.

Click on “Add image…” and a dialogue box will appear to find the image file you want from your local system.

And the new image file should be visible to the virtual media panel.

Don’t forget to enable the “Mapped” check box for this virtual media to make it available to the remote host you’re working with. Okay, so lets restart the remote server using “Ctrl+Alt+Del” to avoid wasting time…

Now, during boot you will notice the BIOS options you have.

Press F11 to enter the BIOS boot manager menu and select “Virtual Media” as the boot device.

Normally, the server should boot from the remote virtual media like if it was a common media device physically attached to it.

Back to the virtual media window, you can click on the “Details” button in order to see the exact number of Bytes that are transferred from and to the virtual media.

If you happen to use the older DRAC5 interface, then there are some slight differences. Basically, in the web interface there is a separate tab for accessing the remote console.

And another one named “Media” for accessing and managing virtual media.

This means that you have to launch the virtual media and virtual console separately. Apart from this there are no major differences for mapping remote virtual media using the iDRAC management interface.

Written by xorl

July 31, 2011 at 04:09

Posted in administration, dell

4 Responses

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  1. the main problem with this “wonderful” IDRAC is it wont work if you are behind a firewall or proxy , the main appplication will wil work but the java application to get the “launch virtual console” :
    * is unable to work behind a proxy
    * use a random port

    so . . . you ll have to disable you local security ( proxy and firewall ) if you want to use it.

    well you can still wiew and refresh the very small “virtual console preview” and get the video of the last boot . . . better than nothing, but i ll drop the datacenters using this ( and forcing me to use java ) to continue using the datacenters providing a virtual console you can use with a vnc client, on a fixed and secured open port.

    Neo Futur

    August 13, 2011 at 09:46

  2. I just had to rebuild a server in San Francisco from Washington DC, and I used virtual media on a DRAC v 6 just as you described. Very helpful. Thank you

    Dave M

    April 5, 2014 at 02:29

  3. I’ve used “socat” to get round firewall issues – it’s very powerful. You can allow one machine to connect to the relevant ports and others can connect to them via that machine. It’ll forward both udp and tcp.

    John Airey

    June 23, 2015 at 14:36

  4. You can still use it with an ssh tunnel.

    Francois Bouzigues

    September 29, 2016 at 10:22

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