Fortanix IPMI Setup for FX2200 Series I


The purpose of this article is to describe the steps required to set up IPMI for Fortanix FX2200 Series 1 appliance. It also contains the information that an administrator needs to:

  • Perform user authentication into IPMI
  • Troubleshoot the IPMI setup process

Intended Audience

This Setup is intended to be used by technical stakeholders of Fortanix FX2200 Series 1 who will be responsible for planning, performing, or maintaining the setup or deployment, such as the Systems Administrator, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Analysts, or Developers.

Terminology References

  • IPMI – Intelligent Platform Management Interface
  • DHCP – Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
  • BIOS – Basic Input/Output System
  • LDAP - Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
  • RADIUS – Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service
  • PAM – Pluggable Authentication Modules
  • BMC – Baseboard Management Controller
  • KVM – Keyboard, Video (monitor), and Mouse
  • DSM – Data Security Manager


To set up IPMI for the FX2200 Series 1 appliance, the following requirements have to be met:

  • 1 monitor and 1 keyboard
It is widely known that IPMI is not a secure protocol and as such Fortanix recommends that customers do not rely solely on IPMI security features for IPMI access. Customers wanting to leverage the out-of-band (OOB) access port should implement logical or physical isolation and access control for this port.

IPMI Setup

Steps to Setup IPMI for FX2200 1

By default, the FX2200 II appliance is set to get an IPMI IP address from DHCP. If a DHCP IP address is assigned or if a static IP address is configured, the address will be visible on one of the BIOS boot screens as shown below.

Figure 1: BIOS Boot Screen

 The easiest way to set a static IP address for the IPMI interface is through the BIOS setup.

Figure 2: BIOS Boot options

  1. If the machine is on. Press the power button (briefly) to initiate the shutdown sequence. Wait until the machine turns off.
  2. Turn the machine on. During the boot sequence, press ESC to go to BIOS configuration.
  3. Connect a monitor and keyboard to the FX2200 appliance and while booting up, press the <DEL> key repeatedly until the following screen is displayed.
  4. Click the Front Page tab, and then arrow down to Setup Utility. When it is highlighted, press Series1_2.png
    Figure 3: Setup utility screen
  5. Click the Advanced tab, and then arrow down to H20 IPMI Configuration. When it is highlighted, press <Enter>. Series1_3.png
    Figure 4: H20 IPMI configuration screen
  6. Using the keyboard arrow keys, move the highlight to the Advanced tab, and then arrow down to BMC Configuration. When this is highlighted, press <Enter>. Series1_4.png
    Figure 5: Select BMC configuration
  7. In the BMC configuration screen, you can set the desired IP address settings. Highlight IPv4 IP Address using the keyboard arrows, and then press <Enter>. Now set the desired IP address, subnet mask, and gateway IP address as required for your network. When you are satisfied with the settings, press the F10 key on the keyboard to save the changes, and then exit. The FX2200 will reboot Series1_5.png
    Figure 6: BMC network configuration
  8. After rebooting, the IPMI web page will be accessible at the specified IP address through any browser.
    The default administrator credentials are:
    Username: admin
    Password: password Series1_6.png
    Figure 7: IPMI webpage login
    • The default username and password are in lower-case characters.
    • When you log in using the admin username and password, you get full administrative rights. You are advised to change your password once you login.
    • Starting with BMC firmware version 12.49.06, only one default user (admin) exists.

IPMI Authentication

User authentication into IPMI can be done using local users or by using external user services.

If using local users, the length of the password can be configured when adding or modifying the user.

  • Password length of 16 bytes or 20 bytes is supported for local users.
  • Password strength and expiration time are not supported for local users.

The following screenshot in the IPMI interface shows you how to set password size for local users.

To do this:

  1. Click ConfigurationUsersSelect Desired User Modify User. Series1_7.png
    Figure 8: Set Password Size for Local Users

Set Password Policies

Better fine-grained control on user management including password policies can be achieved using external user services which can leverage the enterprise’s existing user authentication service. The following external user services are supported:

  • LDAP
  • Active Directory

LDAP Settings

The following screenshot shows all the available external services. To access these services in the UI:

  1. Click Configuration LDAP/E-Directory Advanced Settings.Series1_8.png
    Figure 9: LDAP Settings

Active Directory Settings

The following screenshot shows how to set up Active Directory as an external user service.

To do this:

Click SettingsExternal User ServicesActive directory SettingsGeneral Active Directory Settings.

Figure 10: Active Directory Settings

Radius Settings

The following screenshot shows how to set up RADIUS as an external user service.

To do this:

  1. Click ConfigurationRADIUS.Series1_10.png
    Figure 11: RADIUS Settings

The following page is used to configure the PAM order for user authentication into the BMC. It shows the list of PAM modules supported in the BMC. Drag and drop the PAM modules to change their position in the sequence.

To do this:

  1. Click ConfigurationPAM Order settings.Series1_11.png
    Figure 12: PAM Order Settings

BMC Firmware Upgrade on FX2200 Series I


Check the version of BMC firmware on your FX2200 by looking at the version number displayed in the top-left corner in the WebUI as shown below.

Figure 13: BMC version

Upgrade the BMC firmware after upgrading or installing Fortanix DSM software version 4.11 or later version.

  • This BMC upgrade is only for FX2200 series 1 units.
  • Upgrading the BMC will cause all IPMI settings (users, TLS certificate, IP, and so on) to be lost. You will need to re-configure the IP address and then log in through IPMI Web UI to add/change users and passwords.
  • Make sure the unit is not powered off or rebooted during the process of BMC firmware update.
  • After the BMC firmware upgrade, there will only be one default user “admin” and the default password of this user will be “password”.

IPMI Web UI Access

The BMC firmware upgrade will power off the unit at the end. The unit will need to be powered on using IPMI. Therefore, it is important and a must to have IPMI WebUI access before attempting the upgrade. If you do not have IPMI WebUI access, then after upgrading you will need to send someone to the data center to power on the unit. Please plan accordingly.

Physical Access to the Unit

The install guide from the board vendor mentions that:

“In some critical condition, after update BMC firmware, you might need to unplug AC power cord 5 seconds and then plug in AC power cord to reset BMC, and then updated new function can work properly.”

Fortanix has not seen this problem in their testing. But please be prepared to use remote hands to perform this action should there be a need.

Root Access

The command to perform the upgrade must be run as root.

Upgrading from BMC Version 1.1.10

  1. Log in to the IPMI WebUI and verify that you are able to log in.
  2. Go to the folder “/opt/fortanix/sdkms/bmc/linux”.
    cd /opt/fortanix/sdkms/bmc/linux
  3. Get root access.
    sudo su
  4. Note down your current IPMI network information (IP address, Subnet mask, and Default Gateway). We will need to reconfigure the IPMI network, so keeping this information available is important. You can see the information by running the following command:
    sudo ipmitool lan print 1
  5. Perform the upgrade.
    ./ soc
  6. Once the BMC upgrade starts, DO NOT interrupt it, and DO NOT power off or reboot the system.
  7. At the end of the upgrade, you will see the following prompt which indicates the update is complete.
     NOTE: At this point, you need to make sure that you do NOT power off the unit. You will need to reconfigure the IPMI network interface before powering it off. Press Y to cancel power off.
    BMC need to power off to initial T control function
    press Y to cancel power off system, press others key to power off system.
  8. Wait for 60 secs.
  9. You can check the status of BMC by running the following command and wait until you see “Set in Progress : Set Complete”.
    sudo ipmitool lan print 1
  10. If you had set up a static IP address on the BMC, then you can set it by running the following commands from the shell. (NOTE: replace w.x.y.z with appropriate values).
    sudo ipmitool lan set 1 ipsrc static
    sudo ipmitool lan set 1 ipaddr w.x.y.z
    sudo ipmitool lan set 1 netmask w.x.y.z
    sudo ipmitool lan set 1 defgw ipaddr w.x.y.z
  11. Verify that the IPMI network is configured correctly by running the following command and review the values for the IPMI IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.
    sudo ipmitool lan print 1
  12. Perform BMC reset by running the following command.
    sudo ipmitool mc reset cold
  13. Wait for 120 seconds and run the following command to verify that the reset is complete. If the output of the command does not show all the information, then wait another 120 seconds.
    sudo ipmitool lan print 1
  14. Refresh the IPMI WebUI page and log in again to verify that you are able to log in. If you are not able to log in or if the WebUI page does not come up, then do not proceed.
  15. Power off the unit by running the following command
    sudo poweroff
  16. Wait for 60 seconds.
  17. Even though the unit is powered off, BMC is still running, and you can still log in. Refresh the IPMI WebUI Page and log in again.
  18. Verify the version number shown on the dashboard in 2.50.1 as shown in the following screenshot.
  19. Power on the unit from the IPMI WebUI by going to “Remote Control” → “Server Power Control”.
  20. Select Power on Server and click the button Perform Action as shown below. Series1_13.png
    Figure 14: Power on


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