In my office resides a Dell R815 testmachine, which would like to get infected with Linux and get tested.

Dell R815?

That's what you get with that "little box":

  • 2U 19" rack chassis
  • 4x 12 Cores (AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 6174) ("Magny Cours")
  • 64 GiB memory (DDR3, 1333 Mhz)
  • 5x 136 GiB HD
  • iDrac6

For detailled information, have a look at the get-sysinfo output.

Remote access / iDrac6

  • Works with conkeror + javaws from Sun Java 6 (archlinux)
  • Works with Mozilla 3.5.9 + Sun Java 6 (windows)
  • Even german menu (java interpreted locales?)
  • Keyboard doees not work sometimes; selecting something in the menu sometimes fixes it
  • Video refresh is very slow (only parts of ps aux can be seen)
  • Has shortcuts in the menu for alt-fx and ctrl-alt-fx
  • Somebody at Dell or at Avocent (as seen in About iDRAC 6 about) seems to have noticed that Linux is available
  • General the KVM website is slow (about 3 seconds to load subpage)
  • Boot device can be forced (without going to the BIOS)
  • Has syslog support
  • No logs when enabling
  • Tried to trigger via cold boot of the system (no success)
  • Seems to work only with the ip address
  • IP address is submitted as the hostname (instead of sgs-r815-ra01)
  • Need to select "Use DHCP to obtain DNS server addresses" manually

Debian Lenny

See only 32 cores, kernel is compiled with this limit. As Debian Lennys Linux kernel (2.6.26) does not support the raid controller found in the system, it's not possible to install it currently.

Ubuntu 10.04

Ubuntu 10.04 installs fine on the machine. As another friendly sysadmin has already prepared an automated network installation of Ubuntu (thanks Steven!), I could easily get the machine up and running.


The machine is now up and running with Ubuntu 10.04 and configured with puppet. It's now open for the Systems Group people for use. Have fun!