Using The BIOS Plugin
bios plugin is used to configure a server to a specific set of BIOS values. To use the BIOS plugin, you must be
running a supported hardware platform by Digital Rebar. Supported platforms will have a Catalog content pack named (
generally) for the hardware manufacturer. For example
You must install (from the Catalog), the following items:
- one of the Vendor support content packs (eg
The above items can be installed from the Catalog in the Portal, or via the following command line installation:
The BIOS configuration subsystem of Digital Rebar Platform is designed (and only tested) to run in the Sledgehammer environment. RackN does not support use of the tooling outside of this environment.
Ensure you boot your machines in to Sledgehammer to perform the following process.
The general process for using the BIOS plugin utilizes three separate Stages, in the following usage flow:
bios-inventory- collects detailed information on supported values on the system that the Stage runs on; populates the Param
bios-baseline- populates the
bios-target-configurationcompatible Param of the current system's BIOS configuration
- Modify the
bios-target-configurationto support any desired BIOS configuration changes
bios-configure- applies the values found in the Param
bios-target-configurationto the system
bios-target-configuration Param is the settings that will be applied to a system. Use the output of
bios-baseline Stage to create a "copy" of the current systems configuration values. This can be used after an
operator has manually set a number of values through the vendors BMC configuration settings, or by using it as a
starting point, and modifying the values of the results of the
bios-current-configuration records both the current settings of the various bios values that may be set on a given
platform, and it also provides "type definition" information on the potential data that a given setting may potentially
require to for use. If you have questions on what values should be placed in the fields, refer to
bios-current-configuration for clues, or the Vendors documentation.
Ultimately, however, it is the
bios-target-configuration which is used to apply updated settings to the systems BIOS.
Note that the
bios-target-configuration structure is slightly different from what the
bios-inventory stage produces
bios-baseline stage produces a validly formatted
for actually making changes to the system BIOS.
Once you have produced a version of the
bios-target-configuration settings values, it may safely be used ONLY with
those Vendor specific Model/Version, and Firmware level systems. Vendors regularly change the BIOS supported
configuration values and details between model/platform versions, and potentially from older to newer versions of
Firmware that is flashed on the system.
Legacy -vs- UEFI¶
If you have the same vendor model and version of hardware, there are often substantial differences in the BIOS
configuration values, dependent on the system being in either Legacy or UEFI BIOS boot modes. You are advised to
ensure you re-run
bios-baseline for each of Legacy and UEFI BIOS boot modes to verify values for the boot mode are
In particular - the Boot Order semantics are often very different between Legacy and UEFI BIOS boot modes.
bios-skip-config Param allows for all BIOS related tasks to "skip" running, if this Params value is set to
This is often used in Discovery type default workflows to turn off the BIOS sub-system, without using customized
Workflows for different use cases. Verify that this value is not set to
true on the machine if you see the BIOS tasks
just skipping, and exiting with zero (success) value.
The following is an example of using the BIOS subsystem in video form. This video example shows the above outlined process on a fleet of Dell R730xd server platforms. Only a very minimal BIOS setting value has been changed via use of editing the Param value.
Generally speaking, you should extract the
bios-target-configuration produced in this example, and incorporate it in
to a Content Pack. See the Color Demo training content pack and video references for more details: