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Remotely rebooting an Xserve without ssh access

Read this carefully as it may save you a long drive on a cold night, as it did for me.

So, I’m working on an Xserve somewhere over the other side of Melbourne, logged in to the VPN (fortunately through an appliance, not on the Xserve) and using ARD.

The Xserve is playing a bit weird – Server Admin can’t connect, I can’t kill the servermgrd process, some apps aren’t launching properly – you know, just the usual OS X guff.

Before rebooting it, I decide to take the opportunity to put on some software updates, just for good measure. The 10.6.4 update in particular I’ve been meaning to install on this unit for a while now.

So, run Software Update, it downloads them and then drops off to the loginwindow screen where it does the actual installation.

It gets to the end of the installation and the progress bar has about three pixels to go and it sits there… and it sits there… and it sits there.

20 minutes later, it’s not progressed.

Fuck this, I’ll ssh in and reboot it.

Nope. Permission denied (publickey,gssapi-keyex,gssapi-with-mic).

Hmmm. That’s a bit of a problem then, isn’t it.

I can’t use Server Monitor anywhere but on localhost as the NICs are bonded.

Try ssh once more – nope.

Portscan it to see if anything else looks interesting but no, it’s pretty standard, and ssh still isn’t letting me in.

Fortunately, in Apple Remote Desktop there is the Manage -> Restart command. Sweet joy, it works.

Sit back in front of the heater and it’s all good.

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