Resetting a Dell iDRAC password from inside vSphere ESXi

I’m guessing you landed here because you’ve got a Dell server with an iDRAC module you no longer have access to?  If your server is running an operating system that has a compatible racadm package available for it though, all is not lost if you don’t want to take a trip to the data center.  You’ll be able to reset the root password for your DRAC from within the host OS, or even the entire controller if you need to.  Unfortunately, the tools might require a reboot of that OS, so you may not be able to avoid an outage if you can’t otherwise go to the data center to reset the DRAC via physical buttons (which don’t require host OS interruption).

In my case, I had one DRAC9 on a server with ESXi 6.5 and one on ESXi 6.7.  The package you want to download from Dell is called Dell EMC iDRAC Tools.  The link specific to ESXi is:

https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=jywk1&oscode=xi65&productcode=poweredge-r720

The same package is used for both 6.5 and 6.7.  My example commands were from the 9.3.0 release where 9.4.0 is now current (April 2020).  Enable SSH on your ESXi host and either SCP the file in, or place it on a remote volume the host has access to.  You’ll want to un-tar/uncompress it:

[root@esx:~] tar zxvf DellEMC-iDRACTools-Web-ESXi.VIB-9.3.0-3379_A00.tar.gz
iDRACTools/
iDRACTools/racadm/
iDRACTools/racadm/ESXi65/
iDRACTools/racadm/ESXi65/Racadm-Dell-EMC-Web-9.3.0-3379.VIB-ESX65i.zip
iDRACTools/racadm/ESXi67/
iDRACTools/racadm/ESXi67/Racadm-Dell-EMC-Web-9.3.0-3379.VIB-ESX67i.zip
iDRACTools/readme.txt

To install the package, you MUST use the full path to the appropriate install file; if you do not use the full path, you’ll get a weird error like this:

skipping ((‘zip:/var/log/vmware/Racadm-Dell-EMC-Web-9.3.0-3379.VIB-ESX65i.zip?index.xml’, ”, “Error extracting index.xml from /var/log/vmware/Racadm-Dell-EMC-Web-9.3.0-3379.VIB-ESX65i.zip: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: ‘/var/log/vmware/Racadm-Dell-EMC-Web-9.3.0-3379.VIB-ESX65i.zip'”))
url = zip:/var/log/vmware/Racadm-Dell-EMC-Web-9.3.0-3379.VIB-ESX65i.zip?index.xml
Please refer to the log file for more details.

With the correct full path, it works:

[root@esx:~] esxcli software vib install -d /iDRACTools/racadm/ESXi65/Racadm-Dell-EMC-Web-9.3.0-33
79.VIB-ESX65i.zip
Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
Reboot Required: true
VIBs Installed: Dell_bootbank_racadm_9.3.0.ESXi650-3379
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:

Ugh, the dreaded “Reboot Required: true” – so I reboot.  On 6.7, that did not occur:

[root@esx:/tmp] esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/iDRACTools/racadm/ESXi67/Racadm-Dell-EMC-Web-9.3.0-3379.VIB-ESX67i.zip

Installation Result
Message: Operation finished successfully.
Reboot Required: false
VIBs Installed: Dell_bootbank_racadm_9.3.0.ESXi670-3379
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:

Finally, if you’re upgrading ESXi, you’ll need to remove the old package and install the new one (shown above), as they’re version specific (6.5 vs 6.7).  That looks like the following:

[root@esx:~] esxcli software vib remove --vibname=racadm
Removal Result
Message: Operation finished successfully.
Reboot Required: false
VIBs Installed:
VIBs Removed: Dell_bootbank_racadm_9.3.0.ESXi650-3379
VIBs Skipped:

 

So, now that we have the tools installed, here’s some handy commands:

  • racadm help – spits out the available commands; you can then chain them on after help to get more info on each command
  • racadm getsysinfo – this one spits out all the info about the DRAC, such as network settings, firmware version, service tag, etc
  • Resetting the root password:
    [root@esx:~] racadm set iDRAC.Users.2.Password NewPassword123
    [Key=iDRAC.Embedded.1#Users.2]
    Object value modified successfully

     

The definitive list can be found in the iDRAC 9 4.xx documentation group:

https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/product/idrac9-lifecycle-controller-v4.x-series/docs

specifically, the “iDRAC9 Version 4.10.10.10 RACADM CLI Guide”, but the version may change from time to time.  That guide is at:

https://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/idrac9-lifecycle-controller-v4x-series_cli-guide2_en-us.pdf

 

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