SUMMARY: verify physical host from terminal session

From: John Christian <>
Date: Wed Apr 06 2005 - 10:11:44 EDT

Michael Imrick, Rob McCauley, Pascal Grostabussiat, Graeme Burke,
Iain Miller, the hatter, Bernd Schemmer, Anthony D'Atri, Michael Horton,
Shane Gainer, Thomas Payerle, Lee Wood, Alan Pae, JV,
Adam Tomkinson, Eugene Schmidt


The most elegant solution came from Michael Imrick who suggested
/usr/sbin/locator -n which lights a very bright blue LED on the front of the
host. Perfect! Shane Gainer suggested that a "bright ass blue light" can also
be enabled from the ALOM (details below). Please note: The very bright blue
LED and the bright ass blue LED are, in fact, the same LED.

As it turns out, firing flares within the data center is frowned upon. Here
are the alternatives:

Visual Clues:
enable bright blue locator light within Solaris (if h/w supports)
     /usr/sbin/locator -n
enable bright blue locator light from ALOM
     Sc> setlocator on
     Sc> showlocator
     Locator LED is on
very busy hard drive lights
     dd if=/dev/somedisk of=/dev/null
     format > analyze > [read | test]
     find /

Audio Clues:
Cat something to /dev/audio or run snoop -a (-a = listen to packets on

Physical Clues:
If the network cables are labeled with switch/port information, login to the
switch, check MAC and port tables, trace back to cable drop.
If dual power supplies, pull one power cord out and check /var/adm/messages or
local terminal console.

-John Christian

find physical hardware locator location flash flasher alert discover echo
sound audio identify


From: on behalf of John Christian
Sent: Tue 4/5/2005 5:07 PM
Subject: verify physical host from terminal session

My colleague just installed Solaris 9 on ~20 hosts (440's and 240's) and
forgot to label them before taking holiday.What's a quick way to verify that
the terminal session I'm logged into corresponds to a specific machine in a
rack? I'd like to invoke something that flashes the lights, sounds a beep, or
shoots a flare. Yes, I can drag in my laptop and serial cables, but that's
very elegant.

Many of the hosts are already in use, so destructive tests like pulling
network cables or rebooting is out.
Eject won't open the CD tray unless a disk is mounted. Since automountd is
disabled, if I drop in a CD I'll have to try to mount on each server which is
time consuming.
echo [Ctrl+v][Ctrl+g] doesn't seem to ring any bells. At least, not that I
discern amongst three racks of running hosts.

I have all the IPs and passwords.
Most hosts are dual power supplied. Is there a mechanism at the OS level that
says "Warning: power supply A is now a doorstop" ?

TIA, will summarize,
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Received on Wed Apr 6 10:16:24 2005

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