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Carter Long
Carter Long

Serial Console In Mac Os X


There's a new Mac app called Serial, available in the app store. Full disclosure- I wrote it. The main advantage over other apps is it can work with most USB to serial devices without having to install any drivers, as it has its own drivers built-in. It also does full terminal emulation so you can use it to work with Linux or other devices that require it. You can try it for free, too.




serial console in mac os x


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I often have to do router configuration via a console port, so I use a Keyspan Serial Adapter to get access. Two problems then present themselves: ZTerm is a horrible Mac OS X app. It hasn't been updated in five years or so, and isn't a Universal Binary. The developer doesn't seem in any hurry to rectify the situation. It is not worth the shareware fee in its current form. Minicom requires installation of Fink or MacPorts and is overly complex. Solution: Use screen, Terminal, and a little AppleScripting.


Compile and save as an app from within Script Editor, and you have a double-clickable application to launch a serial Terminal session. You may want to customize this slightly -- you can change the screen colors or number of columns or rows. You may also need to customize the screen command with a different device name if you are using something other than the Keyspan Serial Adapter (do an ls tty* of the /dev/ directory to get the right name).


screen uses Control-A to take commands directed to it. So type Control-A followed by Control-\ to exit your screen session. If you fail to do this and exit a Terminal session, you'll leave the screen session alive and the serial resource unavailable until you kill the screen session manually. man screen will show you further commands to send to a screen session.


Many USB-Serial adapters use the chip from FTDI. Install the "Virtual COM Port" driver and look for the proper TTY name in /dev. For example, on a PowerBook G4 it came up as /dev/tty.usbserial-FTALKY8I.


You should have a look at ZOC, what I think to be the best terminal emulation program available for the Mac. I use it everyday for my job. It has the ability to do direct communication with a serial port. Of course it does way more than just serial communication.


ZOC is a professional SSH/telnet client and terminal emulator. With its impressive list of emulations it lets you easily connect to hosts and mainframes, using communication methods like secure shell, telnet, serial cable or modem/isdn.


And then there still is the old ZTerm which is just as old as it's looks suggest yet it gets the job done just fine and it is available for free. Works fine with Prolific (PL 2303) and FTDI based USB serial adapters.


"cs8" being the bit rate of router and "ixoff" specifying "No Flow Control". "115200" is the baud rate of router. Alternate settings would be "cs7" for 7 instead of 8 bit and "ixon" if flow control supported by your serial device. man screen


All the "HowTo's" for using screen to make a serial connection on the 'net I've found Googling omit these required parameters, so that's why you'll find screen has not worked if you've tried it just passing only the baud rate.


BTW, minicom -s (which would also need to be installed via macports or homebrew) also works great, but I prefer screen as I don't have to go through setup menus- I can just pass the serial connection parameters directly to the screen command.


Connecting to the serial console on Mac does not require installing any drivers or extra software. You'll use a terminal program to find your board, and screen to connect to it. Terminal and screen both come installed by default.


First you'll want to find out which serial port your board is using. When you plug your board in to USB on your computer, it connects to a serial port. The port is like a door through which your board can communicate with your computer using USB.


Each serial connection shows up in the /dev/ directory. It has a name that starts with tty.. The command ls shows you a list of items in a directory. You can use * as a wildcard, to search for files that start with the same letters but end in something different. In this case, you're asking to see all of the listings in /dev/ that start with tty. and end in anything. This will show us the current serial connections.


Now that you know the name your board is using, you're ready connect to the serial console. You're going to use a command called screen. The screen command is included with MacOS. To connect to the serial console, use Terminal. Type the following command, replacing board_name with the name you found your board is using:


The first part of this establishes using the screen command. The second part tells screen the name of the board you're trying to use. The third part tells screen what baud rate to use for the serial connection. The baud rate is the speed in bits per second that data is sent over the serial connection. In this case, the speed required by the board is 115200 bits per second.


I have just started experimenting with Serproxy and Arduino to get some serial data into Flash Builder/Flex. Serproxy seems to work fine and seems to connect to whatever port is specified. However, I am not able to see or read any data from the serial port using ActionScript. This is odd, because the Arduino should be printing data on a loop.


I got a new USB/Serial cable. This one has the FTDI, rather than the Prolific chipset. This is important since OSX comes with the FTDI drivers in the box, rather than having to install the third party Prolific drivers. This made troubleshooting much easier, since the serial port stopped getting stuck after each experiment, meaning no more reboots to become usable again.


If you do this yourself, the third string will almost certainly be different, since this is the serial number of the adapter. The second line references the line we just added to to /etc/gettytab. Also note the setting of KeepAlive to true - this means that when the process exits (say, we log out), a new instance will spawn. Without this, you have to manually start the job.


You'll need to get a usb-serial adapter and then connect with a console cable. Adapters aren't very expensive.Connecting to the Console Port with Mac OS XTo connect a Mac OS X system USB port to the console using the built-in OS X Terminal utility, follow these steps:Step 1 Use the Finder to go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.Step 2 Connect the OS X USB port to the router.Step 3 Enter the following commands to find the OS X USB port number:macbook:user$ cd /devmacbook:user$ ls -ltr /dev/*usb*crw-rw-rw- 1 root wheel 9, 66 Apr 1 16:46 tty.usbmodem1a21DT-macbook:dev user$Step 4 Connect to the USB port with the following command followed by the router USB port speed:macbook:user$ screen /dev/tty.usbmodem1a21 9600To Disconnect the OS X USB Console from the Terminal WindowEnter Ctrl+A followed by Ctrl+\Hth,JohnSent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App


There's a new Mac app called Serial available on the App Store. Full disclosure- I wrote it. We got tired of having to find and install drivers for different serial adapters and devices we have here in order to administer Cisco switches, so we wrote our own terminal that uses its own built-in drivers for the most common chipsets available. There's a free demo available.


Also, as of Mac OS X 10.9, Apple began shipping their own FTDI driver. So, if you're using a USB-serial adapter that uses the FTDI chipset (many of the higher-end adapters do), you don't need to worry about installing drivers and can use the built-in screen command in the Terminal to access serial ports.


hope someone still answer my question, i have installed the drivers and was able to see the the tty.usb from my mac terminal, i can also connect properly. My problem is that when i issue a command through console, it freeze up after a few lines of output. It will not let me continue and i have to exit "screen" and run it to gain access. Even if i use other terminal application, results are the same.


Use this OS X package to make the Airconsole serial port appear as a virtual COM port visible in OS X. The virtual COM port can then be directly connected to from OS X terminal programs (such as Macwise, Screen, Zterm etc) as if it was a directly attached serial port.


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