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pfsense - access ipmi using ipmitool

Recent versions of pfsense ship with ipmitool. To use it you need to load the kernel module - this guide shows how to do this.

Daniel Nachtrub
Daniel Nachtrub

Recently i needed to access an inaccessible ipmi on a system running pfsense / freebsd.

Luckily current pfsense releases come with ipmitool shipped. So let's try it:

Could not open device at /dev/ipmi0 or /dev/ipmi/0 or /dev/ipmidev/0: No such file or directory
access ipmi

As you can see, ipmitool is searching for the ipmi device folders, but these are available. The reason for this is because the required kernel driver is not loaded by default (a reasonable decision because the number of use cases is rare). So let's load the module.

kldload ipmi
load module

Having loaded the module we can access the ipmi.

ipmitool sdr
CPU Temp         | 45 degrees C      | ok
System Temp      | 42 degrees C      | ok
Peripheral Temp  | 41 degrees C      | ok
DIMMA1 Temp      | 42 degrees C      | ok
DIMMA2 Temp      | 43 degrees C      | ok
DIMMB1 Temp      | no reading        | ns
DIMMB2 Temp      | no reading        | ns
FAN1             | 3700 RPM          | ok
FAN2             | no reading        | ns
FAN3             | no reading        | ns
VCCP             | 0.84 Volts        | ok
VDIMM            | 1.33 Volts        | ok
12V              | 12.32 Volts       | ok
5VCC             | 4.90 Volts        | ok
3.3VCC           | 3.27 Volts        | ok
VBAT             | 3.14 Volts        | ok
5V Dual          | 4.89 Volts        | ok
3.3V AUX         | 3.30 Volts        | ok
Chassis Intru    | 0x00              | ok
working ipmitool

After having done the required configuration, let's unload the module again.

kldunload ipmi
unload module after use

Always load the module

In case you need to load the module on every boot, you'll need to configure the bootloader by editing /boot/loader.conf and adding the following content:

# load ipmi.ko on boot
Manual modification This configuration is not part of pfsense's config.xml and therefore not included in any config backups / restores.

That's it. Hope this helps!


Daniel Nachtrub

Kind of likes computers. Linux foundation certified: LFCS / CKA / CKAD / CKS. Microsoft certified: Cybersecurity Architect Expert & Azure Solutions Architect Expert.