Using a noVNC branch to connect to your Supermicro iKVM

3 12 2016

Do you know how everyone just loves client side Java? Yeah, exactly. That’s why a lot of Nutanix customers will be quite happy with the IPMI firmware update for our latest systems. You will no longer have to rely on java to use the lights-out management, but you can simply use HTML5 to manage your systems.

Unfortunately, this update isn’t available to older systems. After cursing at Java again in my home lab, I decided to see if there was no way around it. Fortunately, I noticed that on GitHub, a developer called “kelleyk” posted a port of noVNC that adds support for ATEN iKVM, which is used in quite a couple of Supermicro servers.

So, after a bit of fiddling, I managed to get this to work on my Mac. First things first, download the fork from here: https://github.com/kelleyk/noVNC

Next up, make sure you have the xcode command line tools installed. If not, just run:

xcode-select --install

Also, since we will need a web socket bridge to forward requests to your IPMI interface (which encrypts traffic), make sure you have a certificate named self.pem, or generate one by issuing:

openssl req -new -x509 -days 365 -nodes -out self.pem -keyout self.pem

Once that is done, the rest is simple. Open a terminal and go to the directory where you copied the noVNC fork, and go to the “utils” directory. From there, run the launch.sh shell script, and provide it with the IP-address of your IPMI interface and use the default VNC port as the port number:

./launch.sh --vnc 192.168.10.10:5900

This will launch the script, and give you a link that you can open in your browser:

Using local websockify at ~/noVNC-bmc-support/utils/websockify/run
Starting webserver and WebSockets proxy on port 6080
WebSocket server settings:
 - Listen on :6080
 - Flash security policy server
 - Web server. Web root: /Users/basraayman/Downloads/noVNC-bmc-support
 - SSL/TLS support
 - proxying from :6080 to 192.168.10.10:5900

Navigate to this URL:

 http://Bass-MacBook-Pro-Retina.local:6080/vnc.html?host=Bass-MacBook-Pro-Retina.local&port=6080

Follow the link in your browser, leave the values as they are, and in the password field, input your IPMI username and password separated by a colon, so in the following format (note that ADMIN is both the default username and password in this case):

ADMIN:ADMIN

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-15-56-09

Once that is done, click the connect button, and you are now able to connect to the lights-out interface using your browser, no java needed. And while this might not be super ideal (no forwarding of iso images and such), it should make day to day administration a bit easier.

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-16-00-55

So, give it a whirl, and let me know if this works for you in the comments. 🙂


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