Enthusiasm never stops


The Super Micro IPMI Console + Java are killing me

I don’t know if it’s Java or the Super Micro IPMI developers to blame, or both. One thing is for sure – I rarely need it, but almost each time I want to use the server-critical “Console Redirection” feature on our Super Micro servers, there is some problem with the Java applet. Thus I’m not able to access the remote console of the server quickly, which in turn gets me real headache.

Today, it’s the “Launch Console” button doing absolutely nothing on my Kubuntu desktop – no errors, no action after clicking it, no nothing. I (always) have a “backup option” – a Windows 7 virtual machine running on my desktop, as Java tends to work better for me on Windows (cross-platform, eh?). Same problem on the Windows too. As I’m a real paranoid about having a backup, I have a backup of the “backup option” – X over VNC, running on
some not-so-bleeding-edge Linux machines, in order to have a “stable” Java installation there. Though the Java failed on them today as well, as they are running Debian “lenny”, which seems to be having the latest Java version 1.6.20 too.

Well… sorry Java applets + Super Micro IPMI, you really disappoint me! :-/

27/Mar/2012: Resolution: Use the IPMIView application which does not rely on web browsers. Tested with Java Version 6 Update 31 (build 1.6.0_31) on Windows 7. Note that IPMIView does not provide a KVM console for older versions of the Super Micro IPMI devices — the good news is that those devices work well within a web browser. ๐Ÿ™‚

The (ugly) fix is to downgrade your Java to 1.6.19 (and disable automatic Java updates):

Update #1: I downgraded to Java 1.6.19 on my Windows 7 by:

  1. Uninstalling the Java 1.6.20 JRE update.
  2. Installing the Java 1.6.19 JRE update which I downloaded from the “Archive: Java[tm] Technology Products Download” page.
  3. Being able to get this working only with Chrome. Firefox and IE 8 failed to work.

Update #2: Linux doesnโ€™t seem to be having any problems. Firefox 3.6.3 on Ubuntu and Gentoo with Sun Java 1.6.20 works fine.

Update #3: If you upgrade the IPMI firmware to version 2.02, the Windows problem is fixed.

Here is some debug info from the Debian “lenny” Iceweasel browser, the only one which issued an error:

Unable to launch ATEN Java iKVM Viewer.
An error occurred while launching/running the application.

Title: ATEN Java iKVM Viewer
Vendor: ATEN
Category: Download Error

Unable to load resource: (https://%IP%/iKVM.jar,×0)

Wrapped Exception: java.io.IOException: HTTP response 404.

At the same time, the Java test page works fine. The version on the Debian “lenny” “sun-java6-jre” package is “6-20-01lenny1” (Java JRE 1.6.20).

The same problem is re-produced on:

  • Windows 7, running Java 1.6.20, under IE 8, Firefox 3.6.3 and Chrome 5.0.375.99.
  • Kubuntu Lucid, running OpenJDK 6 build b18, under Firefox 3.6.3.

The Firmware Revision of the IPMI interface on the X8DTL motherboard is 01.29, dated 2010-01-06. It’s not the latest one, but surely not a very old one. After all, you can’t reboot your production servers for every IPMI firmware release…

Anyway, I try not to write articles with negative attitude, but this time I just couldn’t resist.
Java, Java, Java… ๐Ÿ™‚