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August 16, 2012


Dell DSET on Ubuntu 10.04 and 12.04

Dell System E-Support Tool (DSET) is an informative tool used by Dell’s support engineers to help diagnose problems for their clients. It is almost a requirement now and Dell usually refuses to continue support without a DSET report.

The problem is that DSET is only supported on Redhat and SuSE Linux and there isn’t any information on how to get it running in Ubuntu. I’ve assembled a rough guide on how to get DSET up and running on Ubuntu 10.04 and 12.04 and it is tested against a Dell R610 and R620.

First we need to install Dell’s OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) which is one piece from Dell that does support Ubuntu.

You can cut and paste the following:
echo 'deb /' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/
gpg --keyserver --recv-key 1285491434D8786F
gpg -a --export 1285491434D8786F | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y srvadmin-all sblim-cmpi-base rpm alien
sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/rpm /bin/rpm

The above will add Dell’s repository to your apt sources and grab everything necessary to install the OMSA. It does include a java/tomcat webserver for a web GUI interface, but that is not enabled by default and not necessary for our DSET. You’ll need to logout and log back in again to reset your path variables.

[email protected]:~# /opt/dell/srvadmin/sbin/ start
Starting Systems Management Device Drivers:
Starting dell_rbu: *
Starting ipmi driver: * Already started
Starting Systems Management Data Engine:
Starting dsm_sa_datamgrd: *
Starting dsm_sa_eventmgrd: *
Starting dsm_sa_snmpd: *
Starting DSM SA Connection Service: *

Secondly, if you are using an ‘OEM Ready’ Dell server then OMSA dataeng (Systems Management Data Engine) might complain with “Failed to start because system is not supported”. There isn’t any ‘official’ support for OMSA on these systems but you can contact Dell’s OEM wing for custom solutions here:

To get OMSA working on an OEM system, we need to modify this file: /opt/dell/srvadmin/sbin/CheckSystemType which calls the file: /usr/sbin/smbios-sys-info-lite which does not return back the expected value. I’ve modified it to key off the ‘Is Dell’ flag which is 1 (True). The patch can be found here: checksystem.patch
patch -p0 < checksystem.patch
Once the patch is applied, Systems Management Data Engine should start without problems.

Thirdly you need to download the 32 or 64 bit Linux version of DSET. You then need to edit the bin file to not run the file and to also not delete /tmp/dell_advdiags when it is finished running. You'll need the rpm files that it extracts to install DSET on Ubuntu.

Example from dell-dset- ( the # comments out the none necessary bits )


cd $CDIR
#rm -rf $TMPDIR

The only ones that we need are these:


DSET binaries can be found here:

Fourthly you'll need to verify that /bin/sh points to bash instead of dash because Dell's scripts rely on bash's functionality.

sudo su -
ln -sf /bin/bash /bin/sh
sh dell-dset*.bin
mv /tmp/dell_advdiags ~
cd ~/dell_advdiags/rpms
alien --scripts dell-dset*.rpm
dpkg -i --force all *.deb

You might have to do these steps one at a time, but that is the flow of things. Alien sometimes complains about ‘unknown flags’ and dpkg will likely also complain about overwriting existing files. The first problem has bothered me so far, but the last is DSET overwriting existing OMSA files which as far as I can tell are the same files.

When you run dellsysteminfo, you need to give it a password. This is your typical Linux account password. You should now have something to hand over to the Dell Support people.

17 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 21 2012

    Just had to use the CheckSystemType patch on a Dell R320 that came in today. What a weird silly problem. I was on CentOS 5.8 for what that’s worth.

    • Aug 21 2012

      Hello Paul,

      You are not the only one. The real problem comes from /usr/sbin/smbios-sys-info-lite which should return this (from Dell R610):
      [email protected]:~# /usr/sbin/smbios-sys-info-lite
      Libsmbios: 2.2.13
      System ID: 0x0236
      Service Tag: DZSM95J
      Express Service Code: 30462554071
      Error getting the Aset Tag: unknown error
      Product Name: PowerEdge R610
      BIOS Version: 6.1.0
      Vendor: Dell Inc.
      Is Dell: 1

      However what is being returned on my R620 is wrong:

      [email protected]:~# /usr/sbin/smbios-sys-info-lite
      Libsmbios: 2.2.13
      System ID: 0x04CE
      Service Tag: 93R4C5J
      Express Service Code: 19817991559
      Error getting the Aset Tag: unknown error
      Product Name:
      BIOS Version: 1.2.6
      Is Dell: 1

      As you can see, there are missing fields and my patch keys off ‘Is Dell’ which is good enough I think.

      What is your output like? Have you tried mentioning this on the Dell Linux mailing list?

    • Aug 23 2012

      With the help of Jared Dominguez and Paul Warner, we’ve managed to figure out that machines that are “OEM Ready” like the R620XL are not officially supported in OMSA. You either need to update the Vender information in smbios, use my patch or contact your OEM Sales rep to get things working.

      This has nothing to do with your OS or distribution but the fact that the hardware can sometimes be different in OEM machines than the ones you can order directly from Dell’s website.

  2. Francis
    Sep 13 2012


    Thank you for this post. Very usefull!

  3. solamour
    Oct 11 2012

    When I run “dellsysteminfo”, I get the following message. I’d appreciate any help on how to proceed from here.

    Dell System E-Support Tool
    @Copyright Dell Inc. 2004-2012 Version 3.2

    Please enter “root” password:
    Failed to gather Chassis/Storage data. Check the IP Address, credentials and namespace.

    • Oct 12 2012

      I got that at one point too, but that had to do with the fact that some services were not running. Check that all the services are running first, then give your root password. You might want to try setting your root password to something not random which happens with Ubuntu.

  4. James
    Nov 1 2012

    When extracting the rpms from the bin I only get RHEL/sblim-sfcb-1.3.11-49.x86_64.rpm in the temp directory that is created. I have tried this with both version 3.2 and 3.3 as well as x86 and 64 bit versions all with the same result. Thanks in advance!

  5. Feb 2 2013

    Thanks for your post.

    If we follow your instruction everything went well until we run the programm dellsysteminfo.

    Here the program seems to loop
    has someone an advice, what to do?

    We have a PE R210II with ubuntu precise Release 12.04.1 LTS

    We found in the report-log following entries:

    2013-02-02 17:24:05,366 – DEBUG – /root/33DSET64BUILD/source/Python/client/ :94
    Command : cat

    2013-02-02 17:24:05,366 – DEBUG – /root/33DSET64BUILD/source/Python/client/ :94
    Args : /etc/

    2013-02-02 17:24:06,369 – INFO – /root/33DSET64BUILD/source/Python/client/ :123
    Command returned 0

    2013-02-02 17:24:06,369 – DEBUG – /root/33DSET64BUILD/source/Python/client/ :94
    Command : find

    2013-02-02 17:24:06,370 – DEBUG – /root/33DSET64BUILD/source/Python/client/ :94
    Args : /tmp -name ‘dset’ -type d

    2013-02-02 17:24:07,373 – INFO – /root/33DSET64BUILD/source/Python/client/ :123
    Command returned 0

    2013-02-02 17:29:07,692 – ERROR – /root/33DSET64BUILD/source/Python/client/ :123
    Process Command timed out 1

    2013-02-02 17:29:08,693 – ERROR – /root/33DSET64BUILD/source/Python/client/ :123
    Process Command timed out 1

    2013-02-02 17:29:09,695 – ERROR – /root/33DSET64BUILD/source/Python/client/ :123
    Process Command timed out 1

    2013-02-02 17:29:10,696 – ERROR – /root/33DSET64BUILD/source/Python/client/ :123
    Process Command timed out 1

    2013-02-02 17:29:11,697 – ERROR – /root/33DSET64BUILD/source/Python/client/ :123
    Process Command timed out 1

    • Feb 4 2013

      You could always trying following along with strace to see what it is trying to do. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine, something is timing out and it needs that bit of information before continuing. Are all the services are running?

    • Ritzo
      Feb 4 2013

      Thanks for your answer.
      What do you mean with “all the services are running”? Is there somewhere a list, that I can check against it?

    • Feb 4 2013

      Above, when you started the services you got a read out of what started. You should verify that by using:

      /opt/dell/srvadmin/sbin/ status

      This should tell you if your services are all running as expected.

  6. claudio
    Mar 6 2013

    Same of James
    I can find just :

    • claudio
      Mar 6 2013

      I cant find files :
      anyone will be able to share ?

      thanks !

    • Mar 7 2013

      I know what is going wrong, your editor of choice is likely mangling the data causing the tar command to error out. To fix this, use vim instead. The end result should be like this:


      Tested to work on 3.3 version from Dell. Cheers!

    • claudio
      Mar 7 2013

      Great ! thanks bret . I was using “nano” … and It didn t work properly with vim how you suggest worked everything good .
      Now netx step :
      what I got from dellsystemsinfo is : “Failed to gather Chassis/Storage data. Check the IP Address, credentials and namespace.”

      ” /opt/dell/srvadmin/sbin/ restart
      DSM SA Connection Service is already stopped
      Stopping Systems Management Data Engine:
      Stopping dsm_sa_snmpd: Not started *
      Stopping dsm_sa_eventmgrd: Not started *
      Stopping dsm_sa_datamgrd: Not started *
      Stopping Systems Management Device Drivers:
      Stopping dell_rbu: *
      Starting Systems Management Device Drivers:
      Starting dell_rbu: *
      Starting ipmi driver: * Already started
      Starting Systems Management Data Engine:
      Failed to start because system is not supported
      Starting DSM SA Connection Service: *

      “/opt/dell/srvadmin/sbin/ status
      dell_rbu (module) is running
      ipmi driver is running
      dsm_sa_datamgrd is stopped
      dsm_sa_eventmgrd is stopped
      dsm_sa_snmpd is stopped
      dsm_om_connsvcd (pid 26882 26881) is running

      Libsmbios: 2.2.28
      System ID: 0x01EB
      Service Tag: DLNK13J
      Express Service Code: 29607525775
      Error getting the Aset Tag: unknown error
      Product Name: PowerEdge SC1435
      BIOS Version: 1.3.4
      Vendor: Dell Inc.
      Is Dell: 1

      what do you think it will be ?

    • Mar 7 2013

      Should be obvious:

      Starting Systems Management Data Engine:
      Failed to start because system is not supported

      Figure that out, and you should be good to go.

    • claudio
      Mar 7 2013

      ehehe ,
      if I check
      do you think it will change anything with different omsa ?
      such as /pub/sara-omsa/dists/dell/sara/ ???
      Or try to install the centos ?!? I will and then let you know …

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