One of the key things I needed to get working for my transition to the MacBook is serial connectivity. I’m a router jockey after all. I’ve finally gotten it working and I thought it would be a good idea to share how. First of all, this works with a number of different USB to serial dongles but mine is an IOGear GUC232A. Now, for starters, go here and follow the directions to get the dongle installed. That wasn’t without some challenges but it’s working for me.

The real problem I ran into is finding a good console program. To say they suck on OS X would be putting it mildly. Zterm is out there and it’s mediocre at best. Old and ugly. I also found Quickterm which looked promising. Unfortunately it locks up after about 100 characters. The programmer said he compiled it as a UniBin but wasn’t able to test as he only has a PPC Mac. Supposedly there’s also a UniBin version of Minicom also, but that seems even more painful to me.

Luckily I stumbled across this little command: screen /dev/tty.usbserial 9600

Run from the terminal app it just pipes the tty output to the screen. Works great! I was even able to send a break and get to rommon. I can’t figure out how to get out of it though. ctrl-c sends the ctrl-c to the tty instead of recognizing it in terminal. Of course, killing the window works but it would be nice to find a better way.

I’m quite fond of Terminal so I think it’ll meet my needs. Anyone have any alternative suggestions?

Comments (2)

  1. Justin


    ‘Ctl+a’ followed by ‘d’ will detach you from the screen while keeping it active. ‘screen -r’ will resume the session.

    man screen

  2. scott


    I guess I should say I figured out some of the commands including how to close it.

    Ctrl-a, shift :, then “quit”

    I like the “d” though…I’ll have to try that.

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