[CentOS] Re: usb to usb comm ports - possible? how?

Scott Silva ssilva at sgvwater.com
Wed Jul 30 19:57:52 UTC 2008

on 7-30-2008 12:14 PM James B. Byrne spake the following:
> I have an i686 mono core system configured as a CentOS-5.2 server.  It has
> one DB9P RS-232 serial connector and six USB connectors.  The DB9p is
> configuered as STTY0 for the attached MultiTec MT5638ZBA fax modem.  I
> would very much like to connect my MS WindowsXPpro laptop, which only has
> USB connectors, to this server via telnet or ssh over a direct connection.
> Is there a way to connect / configure a comm port to a raw USB port in
> windows / centos and to use a direct cable connection between the two? Or,
> is a usb to serial converter device required at both ends?
> I expect to use either puTTY or hyperterm as the windows client.  What I
> need to know is:
> Is this is even possible?
I think you will need 2 usb to serial convertors, one on the server and one on 
the laptop. The server will have to be set to redirect over the serial port, 
as it will not be telnet or ssh. Not all servers will redirect their early 
screens over a serial port, but grub, lilo, and the kernel can send their 
output over a serial port.

> How do you configure the tty ports on CentOS for this to work?
The usb to serial adapter should be seen by the server and will be given a 
ttyS of its own.
> How do you configure the comm port on MS-WinXPpro?
The adapter will get a virtual com port assigned by windows plug and play. 
This is how my laptop is. No serial ports, just a serial to usb adapter that I 
keep attached to the null-modem cable in my bag.

> What cable does one require?
A serial crossover or "null-modem" cable.
> I have never had this problem before since all our hosts have previously
> come equipped with two serial ports.  However, the next generation
> machines apparently have no RS-232 serial ports at all, just six usb
> ports.  So, this problem might as well be faced now as later, when it is
> unavoidable.
It must not be a true server system, as all good servers have some sort of 
out-of-band management available for headless systems.
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