Serial Port Access on OSX to Cisco devices

26 Feb 2010

How to connect to a Cisco device (or other serial devices) using OSX and a USB to Serial converter (eg ATEN).

Googling, everyone says to use zterm, but I couldn’t get it to work (and zterm looks and feels like a toy).

This probably isn’t the “Mac way” of doing things, but .

Install PL2303 USB to Serial Driver for Mac OS X, restart :-(

sudo port selfupdate
sudo port upgrade outdated
sudo port install minicom

Work out tty of USB-Serial converter:

ls /dev/tty* > pre

Plug in USB-Serial converter.

ls /dev/tty* > pst
% diff pre pst
> /dev/tty.PL2303-00002006

Link up to make life easier:

cd /dev
sudo ln -s tty.PL2303-00002006 ttyusb

Setup minicom, and use colour:

sudo minicom -s -c on

Setup defaults to:

  • /dev/ttyusb (ctrl-A, O, Serial Port Setup)
  • 8N1
  • 9600
  • no hardware or software flow control
  • init string empty (so garbage doesn’t appear on screen when you connect) – ctrl-A, O, Init string
  • save settings as default (ctrl-A, O, Save setup as dfl)

Always use colour:

  • add export MINICOM=“-c on” to shell rc file (~/.bashrc, .~/zshrc, etc)

Connect (sudo minicom), hit enter a few times, and you should be on the device.

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