How to set up Serial Port Debugging or Console Redirection on Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers

How to set up Serial Port Debugging or Console Redirection on Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers

Windows debugging setup is relatively simple – you hook up the debugger system to the target via serial cable - however, the Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation systems have a more complex setup process to use the external serial port for debugging purposes, or for serial port console redirection (such as Microsoft EMS – Emergency Management Services).

Follow the steps below to enable serial port Operating system debugging or use serial port console redirection on a Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation server. Also, you may have seen a similar article on enabling serial debugging on a the Dell 11th Generation M1000e blade chassis

BIOS and iDRAC -

In BIOS Setup, there is a group of settings for Serial Communication – an example from Dell PowerEdge R620 is shown below:


Figure1 : BIOS and iDRAC

Each setting is described below, along with the default settings for each:

Serial Communication :

Allows you to Select serial communication devices (Serial Device 1 and Serial Device 2) in the BIOS. BIOS console redirection can also be enabled and the port address used can be specified.
  • By default, Serial Communication option is set to On without Console Redirection.

Serial Port Address :

Allows you to set the port address for serial devices.
  • By default, the Serial Port Address option is set to Serial Device 1=COM2, Serial Device 2=COM1.

External Serial Connector :

Allows you to associate the external serial connector to serial device 1, serial device 2, or remote access device.
  • By default, the External Serial Connector option is set to Serial Device1.

Failsafe Baud Rate :

Displays the failsafe baud rate for console redirection. The BIOS attempts to determine the baud rate automatically. This failsafe baud rate is used only if the attempt fails and the value must not be changed.
  • By default, the Failsafe Baud Rate option is set to 11520.

Remote Terminal Type :

Allows you to set the remote console terminal type.
  • By default, the Remote Terminal Type option is set toVT100/VT220.

Redirection After Boot :

Allows you to enable or disable to the BIOS console redirection when the operating system is loaded.
  • By default, the Redirection After Boot option is set to Enabled.

Table1: Serial Communication

There are four important settings to configure to use the serial port for either debugging, or EMS successfully, and one additional setting to perform serial debugging:

Debug settings

Console Redirection settings

Serial Communication

On without Console Redirection.

On with Console Redirection.

Serial Port Address

Serial Device 1=COM1, Serial Device 2=COM2

Serial Device 1=COM1, Serial Device 2=COM2

External Serial Connector

Serial Device1

Serial Device1

Redirection After Boot

n/a - console redirection disabled above


Table2: Serial debugging

Serial debugging requires one additional setting (also accessed via "F2") – iDRAC setting below - simply select iDRAC settings vs BIOS settings.

  • Disable IPMI Over LAN, in iDRAC configuration, under network settings.


Figure2: IPMI Over LAN

Once the changes are made, you should be able to either debug the Dell PowerEdge server via a serial port or use console redirection.

Article ID: SLN249440

Last Date Modified: 08/17/2018 08:02 AM

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