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Re: [Freeipmi-users] bmc-autoconfig: drop for 0.5.0 release?

From: Peter Broadwell
Subject: Re: [Freeipmi-users] bmc-autoconfig: drop for 0.5.0 release?
Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2007 16:01:58 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20070608)

Al -

The sample man page looks much improved over the old stuff, thanks.

The "header comments" also seem like a step in the right direction.
In addition to what you mention:

  # This section is for configuring blah blah blah.
  # For most systems you want to configure blah blah blah.

a comment or two like:

  # blah blah blah lets you set the serial port parameters and
  # must be changed in coordination with the bleh bleh bleh.

would aid in navigating/tying the IPMI space together...


Al Chu wrote:
> Hey Peter,
>> Perhaps what is needed is a wiki or some such where real world
>> problem/solutions examples can accumulate?
> For FreeIPMI 0.5.0, I've been adding a lot of additional information to
> the FreeIPMI manpages.  For example:
> ---
>        Most users of bmc-config will want to:
>        A)  Run  bmc-config  with --checkout to get a copy of the current
> BMC configuration and store it in a file. The standard output
>        can be redirected to a file or a file can be specified with the
> --filename option.
>        B) Edit the configuration file with an editor. See bmc-
> config.conf(5) for information on what the fields in  the  configuration
>        file mean.
>        C) Commit the configuration back to the BMC using the --commit
> option and specifying the configuration file with the --filename
>        option.
>        For users with large clusters or sets of nodes, you may wish to
> use the same configuration file for all nodes. The one  problem
>        with  this  is  that the IP address and MAC address will be
> different on each node in your cluster and thus can't be configured
>        through the same config file. The IP address and MAC address in
> your config file may be overwritten on the command  line  using
>        --key-pair option. The following example could be used in a
> script to configure each node in a cluster with the same BMC config
>        file. The script only needs to determine the correct IP address
> and MAC address to use.
>        # bmc-config --commit -k Lan_Conf:Ip_Address=$MY_IP -k
> Lan_Conf:Mac_Address=$MY_MAC -f my_bmc.conf
> ---
> Hopefully text like that will get users going where-as it may have been
> more confusing before.  I also have pointers to bmc-config.conf(5)
> (whereas there wasn't a pointer before, so most would not have seen the
> manpage).  There are also trouble-shooting sections for generic issues.
> I don't currently have a bmc-config specific trouble-shooting section.
> Do you think that would be useful?  What kind of stuff do you think
> should be in it?
> Another thought I've had is adding additional sectional "header
> comments" into the sections bmc-config checkout.  So for example:
> #
> # Section LAN_Conf
> #
> # This section is for configuring blah blah blah.  For most
> # systems you want to configure blah blah blah.
> Section LAN_Conf
>    ...
> EndSection
> So that might give the user additional help in setting up their system.
> Do you think that would really help?
>> Where can a user find out if their machine supports SOL, and what
>> could they do with it if it did? (rhetorical question, but was real 
>> for me once.)
> Hmmm.  That's a far harder question.  Outside of a specific list, I'm
> not really sure what could be done.  Some vendors in the past have said
> they support IPMI when they don't. :-)
> Al
> On Wed, 2007-09-05 at 15:24 -0700, Peter Broadwell wrote:
>> This is understandable.
>> Loosing the commented template is sad however.
>> Perhaps what is needed is a wiki or some such where real world
>> problem/solutions examples can accumulate?
>> Where can a user find out if their machine supports SOL, and what
>> could they do with it if it did?
>> (rhetorical question, but was real for me once.)
>> ;;peter
>> Al Chu wrote:
>>> I had begun working on a template to store in the docs directory, with
>>> comments throughout the file to inform the user of what they should
>>> configure on their own.
>>> However, with so many different BMCs and vendor implementations out
>>> there, a substantial portion of the default template will fail for
>>> different users and different hardware.  I think that will simply cause
>>> confusion.  For example, a user may believe they have SOL configured
>>> properly when their machine may not support SOL.
>>> I'm more inclined to let the user run --checkout on their own, since it
>>> will allow the user to configure exactly what is available for their
>>> machine.  It is the model that LLNL and most users of FreeIPMI (that
>>> I've spoken to) follow.
>>> So for the time being, I've removed bmc-autoconfig.  If it can be
>>> revamped to handle SOL, varying number of users, passwords, varying BMC
>>> implementations, etc.  I think we can add it back in.
>>> Al
>>> On Thu, 2007-08-30 at 10:14 -0700, Al Chu wrote:
>>>> I have been working with a user on a BMC config issue with their
>>>> machine.  I'm now disinclined to support the committing of a default
>>>> template.  
>>>> 1) Many different machines support different configuration options.
>>>> Included in this are: ipmi 1.5 only options vs ipmi 2.0 options vs.
>>>> optionally supported options vs. newer errata options vs. flat out
>>>> unsupported options.  So do we support the full template (so most
>>>> options will fail by default) or do we support a minimal template (most
>>>> options aren't listed).
>>>> 2) Due to the IP address and MAC address being required for modification
>>>> (and likely subnet + gateway too), at minimum, the user must edit the
>>>> template anyways, we cannot create a default template that will work
>>>> without modification.
>>>> I think the better idea is to store a template in the docs location and
>>>> mention it in the bmc-config manpage.  I have also written into the bmc-
>>>> config manpage some general use instructions, so they know they should
>>>> run --checkout to create a config template first.
>>>> Any thoughts?
>>>> Al
>>>> On Fri, 2007-08-17 at 11:18 -0700, Anand Babu Periasamy wrote:
>>>>> Hi Al,
>>>>> I am thinking, if we produce $prefix/etc/freeipmi/bmc-config.conf with
>>>>> fully documented options and default values, bmc-autoconfig's goal can
>>>>> be achieved. Additionally it can be used for automation too.
>>>>> bmc-config will use this config file if none is specified through the
>>>>> command line argument. Then we can get rid of bmc-autoconfig. What do
>>>>> you think?
>>>>> Al Chu writes:
>>>>>> I just thought of this.  We could also distribute a common template file
>>>>>> as part of FreeIPMI and install it in the docs dir?  I guess my semi-
>>>>>> argument against this is the fact that we've (practically) already
>>>>>> distributed a template file with the bmc-config.conf(5) manpage.  So
>>>>>> would there be a need?
>>>>>> What are people's thoughts?
>>>>>> Al
>>>>>> On Tue, 2007-08-14 at 11:01 -0700, Peter Broadwell wrote:
>>>>>>> I have need to configure many machines at the same time and if the 
>>>>>>> templateing
>>>>>>> file was documented this tool might become the one of choice for such 
>>>>>>> uses.
>>>>>>> ;;peter
>>>>>>> Anand Babu Periasamy wrote:
>>>>>>>> Hi Al,
>>>>>>>> * It is still maintained.
>>>>>>>> * BMC-Autoconfig is not a GUI wizard for bmc-config. It is supposed to
>>>>>>>>  ask minimum questions from the user and automatically configure the
>>>>>>>>  BMC with known defaults. It is intended for users without any
>>>>>>>>  knowledge of IPMI to quickly get a basic working setup.
>>>>>>>> * It does enable LAN and configure NULL, admin, operator and ipmiuser
>>>>>>>>  accounts. See the template file, you will get an idea what all it
>>>>>>>>  configures.
>>>>>>>> If you have suggestions to improve, let us know?
>>>>>>>> Albert Chu writes:
>>>>>>>>> I'm thinking of dropping this from FreeIPMI:
>>>>>>>>> A) It doesn't seem to be maintained by the original authors.
>>>>>>>>> B) It apparenly only configures 3 fields of the BMC.  No users, lan
>>>>>>>>> enabling, etc.
>>>>>>>>> I don't really see the use anymore.  Any comments?  Anyone out there
>>>>>>>>> using
>>>>>>>>> this?
>>>>>>>>> Al
>>>>>>>>> -- 
>>>>>> -- 
>>>>>> Albert Chu
>>>>>> address@hidden
>>>>>> 925-422-5311
>>>>>> Computer Scientist
>>>>>> High Performance Systems Division
>>>>>> Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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