Remote usage of the Dell console switches

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Installing the DRCSS

The software can be ontained from the Dell support web site. It's usually an '.exe' file, but the format is actually a ZIP that contains both a Windows and a Linux set of Java classes. It runs on Linux, Windows and MacOS (although on the latter the keyboard mappings are all messed up).

For local use at Nikhef, you can find the software also at

You can configure the IP address on a 2161-DS only via the serial interface, whereas on a DS2 you can also do this via the PrintScreen menus locally. The default administrative username is "Admin". The password is empty by default.

Using the DRCS Software

On the 'desktop' NIKHEF network, the DRCS software is installed at:


To start it, change to that directory and run the programme. Start the Java application like:

 ./Dell_Remote_Console_Switch_Software &

It will create a directory in your home directory, named


Just wait for the window to apprear. The name of the administrator login is "Admin" (case sensitive) with the agreed password :-), or your own username with the assigned PW. Once you have started the application, you need to quit before updating the vpdbase.script file with the MagicSysRQ entries listed below.

Note that if you used version 1 of the programme earlier: all the database layout has changed -- you may need to just wipe your $HOME/Dell... directory and start anew.

There are four DSes, all located in the management-only network (

This information is outdated. Since the move the switches are now arranged so there is one in each row and named through

and the Nikhef desktop network also has "".

  • terp can be used to access the bulldozer nodes, tbn15, and dorsvlegel
  • rcs-luilak-1 connects all of luilak-1, and the HA_GRID class machines. NOTE it is not clear from the node functions wiki, which nodes are HA_GRID
  • rsc-luilak-2 connects all of luilak-2 and a movable one for emergencies on Generics2008/A NOTE it would appear that "Generics2008/A relates to nodes in the node function table labelled with machine type PE2950/2008/A
  • ruif connects "all other systems", exceptions of course excluded and possibly not documented.

On the farm

Start the remote console tool via:


Selection of the switches can be done via the tab Remote Console Switches, The following switches exist:

2161DS 03-53-33      the switch in the bulldozer cluster
2161DS 03-DD-F9      the switch in the server cabinet (named ruif)

On the tab Servers it is possible to connect to one of the attached hosts by double clicking the host name.

End a session by closing the containing window with the cross button in upper right corner.

If you want to do X-forwarding: the number of X events is huge, but it can be done. You need to have access to a host in the farm with X forwarding enabled and use X compression will make the display respond quicker:

ssh -C -X <hostname>

The by far better option for remote access is by using the OpenVPN network on stolp.

Using 'magic sysrq' keystrokes in the Dell DS2161 Console switch

Although impossible to do via the provided GUI, there is a magic way to get the "Alt-sysrq-<character>" keystrokes to work on this thing.

The trick is as follows: the keystroke macros that you can specify in the GUI are stored on disk in a set of SQL commands, but 'not' as specified, but in key-press-and-release codes. By manually changing this script, and moving the SysRQ-release instruction to a later position in the macro, you get the desired behaviour.

This is the magic line you should enter into the vpdbase.script file (change the initial number as needed):

 INSERT INTO OPTIONS VALUES(44,'MACRO_Alt-PrtScrn+B','true,false,18,true,false,154,true,true,66,false,true,66,false,false,154,false,false,18,')


true,false,18 Alt-press
true,false,154 PrintScrn-press
true,true,66 "B" press
false,true,66 "B" release
false,false,154 PrintScrn-release
false,false,18 Alt-release

Normally, true,false,154 and false,false,154 would follow on eachother immediately, but by editing this file manually you can tear them apart.

Restart the Dell Remote colsole application and reboot your system (after doing sysctl -w kernel.sysrq=1)

Other keys: "S" = 83, "B" = 66, ...

Using 'magic sysrq' keystrokes in the Dell DS2161-2 Console switch

With the DRCSS2 release software, the scan codes have changed. The new definitions for the magic sysrq button keystrokes are:

INSERT INTO GLOBAL_OPTIONS VALUES(43,'MACRO_Alt-PrtScrn+B','Alt-PrtScrn+B,en,-1,0,226,0,Alt-Left,70,0,PrtScn,5,2,B,70,1,PrtScn,226,1,Alt-Left')
INSERT INTO GLOBAL_OPTIONS VALUES(44,'MACRO_Alt-PrtScrn+S','Alt-PrtScrn+S,en,-1,0,226,0,Alt-Left,70,0,PrtScn,22,2,S,70,1,PrtScn,226,1,Alt-Left')
INSERT INTO GLOBAL_OPTIONS VALUES(104,'MACRO_1155895654125','Alt-PrtScn-T,en,-1,0,226,0,Alt-Left,70,0,PrtScn,23,2,T,70,1,PrtScn,226,1,Alt-Left')
INSERT INTO GLOBAL_OPTIONS VALUES(105,'MACRO_1155895654126','Alt-PrtScn-E,en,-1,0,226,0,Alt-Left,70,0,PrtScn,8,2,E,70,1,PrtScn,226,1,Alt-Left')
INSERT INTO GLOBAL_OPTIONS VALUES(106,'MACRO_1155895654127','Alt-PrtScn-I,en,-1,0,226,0,Alt-Left,70,0,PrtScn,12,2,I,70,1,PrtScn,226,1,Alt-Left')
INSERT INTO GLOBAL_OPTIONS VALUES(107,'MACRO_1155895654128','Alt-PrtScn-M,en,-1,0,226,0,Alt-Left,70,0,PrtScn,16,2,M,70,1,PrtScn,226,1,Alt-Left')
INSERT INTO GLOBAL_OPTIONS VALUES(108,'MACRO_1155895654129','Alt-PrtScn-O,en,-1,0,226,0,Alt-Left,70,0,PrtScn,18,2,O,70,1,PrtScn,226,1,Alt-Left')
INSERT INTO GLOBAL_OPTIONS VALUES(109,'MACRO_1155895654130','Alt-PrtScn-P,en,-1,0,226,0,Alt-Left,70,0,PrtScn,19,2,P,70,1,PrtScn,226,1,Alt-Left')
INSERT INTO GLOBAL_OPTIONS VALUES(110,'MACRO_1155895654131','Alt-PrtScn-U,en,-1,0,226,0,Alt-Left,70,0,PrtScn,24,2,U,70,1,PrtScn,226,1,Alt-Left')

Accessing all the machines through multiple console switches

Important to know is that all console switches leverage their own users database. This can all be synced with the use of an LDAP-directory, but that's not working (yet). This means that you'll need to have 'N' different accounts (username/password combination), where 'N' is the amount of Remote Console switches.

Updating your local node list

Select the 'Remote Console Switches' tab and select the Console Switch that you wish to update the list of servers for. Then Right-Click on the selected Console Switch and hit the 'Manage Remote Console Switch' button. If not authenticated to this console switch yet, you'll be asked to enter username/password for that console switch. In the 'Catagory' pane select 'Servers'. On the right side of that screen you'll need to hit 'Resync' to initiate the node list updating proces. In the new screen click 'Next->Next->Next->Finish' and exit the 'Manage Remote Console Switch' screen.

Your nodes list is updated for this console switch. Repeat the procedure on each console switch to perform a full resync of all connected nodes.

Firewall considerations

Für den Zugriff auf die am KVM angeschlossenen Server per IP über eine Firewall müssen die TCP-Ports 3211, 2068 und 8192 sowie UDP-Port 3211 auf der Firewall geöffnet werden.