Connecting to Serial Ports from OS X

As someone in IT it is common to have to connect to serial ports, whether it’s to manage Cisco gear, a security appliance, or whatever.

And if you’re on OS X the answer for the best way to do this may not be obvious. Here’s my method, which is the cleanest I know of:

  1. Get yourself a quality USB-to-serial connector. I bought a TU-S9 myself, and it’s worked flawlessly.

  2. Install its driver and reboot. You’ll now have a device called tty.usbserial under your /dev directory.

  3. Use your preferred terminal app to connect to the newly created interface using the built-in screen application, like so:

# Connecting to a Tipping Point Appliance

screen /dev/tty.usbserial 115200

That’s it. You should be at your prompt for your box.


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