A native Erlang IPMI library.
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EIPMI is a native Erlang/OTP library application for RMCP/IPMI 1.5. The goal is to implement the remote console part of the IPMI LAN interface, as specified here. We would like to provide a low threshold for learning and using EIPMI, aiming to make it fit well with other Erlang/OTP concepts and solutions.

Initial planned features

  • Simple API and user work-flow
  • Extensible design, open for contributions
  • RMCP presence ping/pong
  • Session initiation and activation
  • Some basic IPMI queries

We really want to provide a simple enough basic implementation, that is open for extension, and not going for a complete coverage of the specification right away - that should be added by the community as the needs appear.


If you whish to contribute fixes or enhancements, please make your code look nice, for example using the Emacs Erlang-mode, formatting your code before committing. Also, you should always write proper edoc module documentation. When writing documentation, please try to keep the tone simple and on a higher abstraction level, so that users may understand the concepts without having to know too much of the standard.

The modules eipmi_request and eipmi_response are a starting point for developers that want add support for not yet implemented request/response pairs. To add support for a new request the encoding of the corresponding IPMI data part needs to be added to the eipmi_request module. To add support for a new response the decoding of the corresponding IPMI data part needs to be added to the eipmi_response module. As soon as encoding and decoding is implemented the command is ready to be issued using eipmi:raw/4. For features that need to combine multiple requests (e.g. reading the FRU) it would be even more nice to add a corresponding frontend API function to the eipmi module.


The following sections will give a brief description of the EIPMI features as well as some usage examples for developers integrating the application into their project. Additional information can be found in the projects EDoc documentation located here. The EIPMI API functions are exported by the eipmi module.

Sessions & Authentication

EIPMI does all the necessary session handling for the user as soon as a session is requested using eipmi:open/1 or eipmi:open/2. However, according to the capabilities of the target BMC the user eventually has to pass in user and password credentials using the Options argument of eipmi:open/2. A user process can immediatelly start using a session. All requests received before the session is established will be queued and issued after the session is established.

All authentication mechanism mentioned in the specification are supported, including anonymous, null user and non-null user. Additionally, all digester algorithms proposed by the specification are supported.

In case the target BMC only supports non-null users the options user and password need to be passed to a call to eipmi:open/2. In case null users are configured on the BMC only the password option will be required. If the BMC supports anonymous logins no options need to be set.

A session may be shared between mutliple processes. While the requests of one process will be synchronous and thus ordered, requests from different processes will not block each other. However, flow control is not performed by the session and a user has to ensure that only a limited number of processes issue concurrent requests over the same session.

An established session will be kept alive by the session state machine until eipmi:close/1 gets called.

Asynchronous Events

The API of EIPMI has been designed to be as similar as possible to existing erlang protocol implementations (e.g. gen_udp). However, since sessions may be share between multiple processes it is not possible to send asynchronous events to a specific process.

Therefore, EIPMI provides the possibility to distribute asynchronous events for all currently existing sessions through a gen_event. User can subscribe to EIPMI events using eipmi:subscribe/2. Subscription can be cancelled using eipmi:unsubscribe/2. The subscriber must implement the gen_event behaviour and be prepared to receive the following events on the handle_event/2 callback:

 Session :: eipmi:session(),
 Address :: inet:ip_address() | inet:hostname(),

The session was successfully established and activated.

 Session :: eipmi:session(),
 Address :: inet:ip_address() | inet:hostname(),
 {closed, Reason :: term()}}

The session was closed with the provided reason.

 Session :: eipmi:session(),
 Address :: inet:ip_address() | inet:hostname(),
 {decode_error, Reason :: term()}}

A received packet could not be decoded.

 Session :: eipmi:session(),
 Address :: inet:ip_address() | inet:hostname(),
 {timeout, RqSeqNr :: 0..63}}

The corresponding request timed out.

 Session :: eipmi:session(),
 Address :: inet:ip_address() | inet:hostname(),
 {unhandled, {call, Request :: term()}}}

The session received an invalid gen_server call.

 Session :: eipmi:session(),
 Address :: inet:ip_address() | inet:hostname(),
 {unhandled, {cast, Request :: term()}}}

The session received an invalid gen_server cast.

 Session :: eipmi:session(),
 Address :: inet:ip_address() | inet:hostname(),
 {unhandled, {info, Info :: term()}}}

The session received an invalid message.

 Session :: eipmi:session(),
 Address :: inet:ip_address() | inet:hostname(),
 {unhandled, {ipmi, {ok | error, term()}}}}

The session received an IPMI response but no handler was found for it.

 Session :: eipmi:session(),
 Address :: inet:ip_address() | inet:hostname(),
 SELEntry :: eipmi:sel_entry()}

A forwarded entry from the System Event Log (only when automatic SEL polling is enabled).


If you are using rebar to build your project and want to use EIPMI just specify it as a dependency in your rebar.config. Please note that the below link will change in the future as soon as EIPMI gets released for the first time. Do not use non-released (untagged) versions in production environments!

 [{eipmi, "1.0.0", {git, "https://github.com/lindenbaum/eipmi.git"}}]}.


The eipmi module contains the whole functionality this project currently has to offer. It defines functions to manage sessions as well as functions to issue implemented requests. Additionally it contains functions that abstract functionality that usually need in-detail knowledge of the IPMI standard, e.g. reading SDR or SEL entries.

The general process of session establishment is briefly outlined in the next paragraphs. IPMI device discovery usually starts with a PING message to the target host:

case eipmi:ping("") of
     pong ->
     pang ->

After successful device discovery an actual session can be opened. This example will open a session, read the FRU with id 253 and close the session again.

{ok, Session} = eipmi:open(""),
{ok, {fru_data, FruInfo}} = eipmi:read_fru(Session, 253),
BoardArea = proplists:get_value(board_area, FruInfo),
Name = proplists:get_value(name, BoardArea),
Serial = proplists:get_value(serial_number, BoardArea),
error_logger:info_msg("Board ~s has serial number ~s.~n", [Name, Serial]),

The following snippet first reads the BMC's Sensor Data Record Repository and then returns the complete FRU inventory based on the found FRU Device Locator Records.

{ok, Session} = eipmi:open(""),
{ok, SDRRepository} = eipmi:get_sdr_repository(Session),
{ok, FruInventory} = eipmi:read_fru_inventory(Session, SDRRepository),
error_logger:info_msg("FRU inventory:~n~p~n", [FruInventory]),

EIPMI also allows to send raw requests over a session. However, raw does not mean that binary data can be sent directly. The corresponding request/response encode/decode functionality must be present. The following snippet will issue the Set Session Privilege Level command, trying to set the current session privilege to administrator.

{ok, Response} = eipmi:raw(Session, 16#06, 16#3b, [{privilege, administrator}]),
NewPrivilege = proplists:get_value(privilege, Response),
error_logger:info_msg("New privilege level is ~p.~n", [NewPrivilege]),