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Power5 Console Connection

How to get connected to an old Power5 IBM server (9133-55A) using a null modem and a serial-to-usb RS-232 adapter cable.  In this case we will be using Linux.  First connect your cabling, null model to your Power5 and the RS-232 serial port to the null modem followed by plugging the USB end to a Linux system.  Messages similar to the following will be printed but may vary by manufacturer of your RS-232 cable:

Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: new full speed USB device number 10 using ohci_hcd
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: New USB device found, idVendor=0403, idProduct=6001
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: Product: USB HS SERIAL CONVERTER
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: Manufacturer: FTDI
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: SerialNumber: FTYPVILI
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: ftdi_sio 5-2:1.0: FTDI USB Serial Device converter detected
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: Detected FT232BM
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: Number of endpoints 2
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: Endpoint 1 MaxPacketSize 64
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: Endpoint 2 MaxPacketSize 64
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: Setting MaxPacketSize 64
Feb 13 16:09:07 mbpc-pc kernel: usb 5-2: FTDI USB Serial Device converter now attached to ttyUSB0

Next step is to set the speed.  The Power5 is preset for 19200 so we set that first:

[root@mbpc-pc log]# stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0 19200
[root@mbpc-pc log]# stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0
speed 19200 baud; line = 0;
kill = ^H; min = 1; time = 5;
ignbrk -brkint -icrnl ixoff -imaxbel
-opost -onlcr
-isig -icanon -iexten -echo -echoe -echok -echoctl -echoke
[root@mbpc-pc log]#

Next fire up a terminal emulator like putty, minicom, cu or even screen.  In this case we'll use minicom since evaluating various terminal emulators is out of scope of this article:

Welcome
Machine type-model: 9133-55A
Serial number: 06F4B8G
Date: 2016-2-13
Time: 21:45:48
Service Processor: Primary
User ID: admin
Password: *****
Number of columns [80-255, Currently: 80]:
Number of lines [24-255, Currently: 24]:
System name: mdsphy01-9133-55A-SN06F4B8G
Version: SF240_418
User: admin
Copyright ? 2002-2012 IBM Corporation. All rights reserved.

 1. Power/Restart Control
 2. System Service Aids
 3. System Information
 4. System Configuration
 5. Network Services
 6. Performance Setup
 7. On Demand Utilities
 8. Concurrent Maintenance
 9. Login Profile
99. Log out

 

S1>

The minicom settings to use were as follows and would be the same for the other emulators should you choose to use them:

    +———————————————————————–+
    | A -    Serial Device      : /dev/ttyUSB0                              |
    | B – Lockfile Location     : /var/lock                                 |
    | C -   Callin Program      :                                           |
    | D -  Callout Program      :                                           |
    | E -    Bps/Par/Bits       : 19200 8N1                                 |
    | F – Hardware Flow Control : No                                        |
    | G – Software Flow Control : Yes                                       |
    |                                                                       |
    |    Change which setting?                                              |
    +———————————————————————–+
            | Screen and keyboard      |
            | Save setup as dfl        |
            | Save setup as..          |
            | Exit                     |
            | Exit from Minicom        |
            +————————–+

One important point to mention is that if you have an HMC connected, the serial communications port WILL be disabled.  For example, once I powered on the Power5 system and plugged in the HMC cables, I got this:

S1>
You have logged out.
C100C104 C100C106 C100C108 C100C120 C100C121 C100C120 C100C121 C100C120 C100C121 C100C120 C100C121 C100C120 C100C121 C100C120 C100C121 C100C120 C100C122 C100C150 C100C154 C100C160 C100C162 C100C164 C100C165 C100C164 C100C165 C100C164 C100C165 C100C164 C100C165 C100C164 C100C165 C100C164 C100C165 C100C164 C100C165 C100C164 C100C166 C100C168 C100C169 C100C168 C100C180 C100C184 C100C1A0 C100C1A1 C100C1A2 C100C1FF C1122000 C11220FF C1132000 C11320FF C1202000 C12020FF C1472000 C1009004 C1009023 C1009006 C1009012 C1009018 C100901B C1009028 C1009030 C1009038 C1009040 C1009048 C1009050 C1009058 C1009060 C1009070 C1009078 C1009080 C1009088 C1009090 C1009098 C1009198 C10090A0 C10090B0 C10090B8 C103A100 C103A200 C103A300 C103A400 C103A401 C14720FF C7004000 C7003900 C7004000 C7004005 C700400F C700400A C7004014 C7004014 C7004019 C7004023 C7004028 C700402D C7004032 C7004037 C700403C C7004041 C7004043 C7004043 C7004044 C700404B C700404B C7003910 C7004050 C7004055 C700405A C7004064 C700406E C700406E C700406E C700406E C700406E C700406E C7004073 C7004080 C7004087 C700408C C7004091 C7004091 C7004091 C7004091

Meaning I was logged out of the serial port since the HMC was connected (System ports are disabled when a Hardware Management Console (HMC) port is connected to an HMC.) The only problem with this implementation is that if you had the HMC connected to the Power5 system at least once, the serial ports will be disabled until the next cold boot.  Meaning if you try to unplug the HMC ethernet cables from the ports to reenable the serial connections, it won't work. 

Good luck and don't forget to upgrade to Power7 or better yet Linux.  :)

Cheers,
TK

 

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