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

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Wed Jul 30 20:19:44 UTC 2008

James B. Byrne wrote:
> 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?
> How do you configure the tty ports on CentOS for this to work?
> How do you configure the comm port on MS-WinXPpro?
> What cable does one require?
> 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.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to do this on any system capable 
of using a network connection instead.  You can get usb cables that are 
really back-to-back usb<->100BaseT adapters and they are popular now 
because Windows/Vista knows how to migrate things from an XP box with 
them but it is still a fairly dumb concept if a real NIC is a 
possibility on at least one of the ends.  The reason you don't see much 
about this kind of scenario any more is that most people would have a 
cheap home inernet router that would provide the network interconnect 
and act as a DHCP server to take care of the setup automatically.  If 
you don't have/want one of those, a crossover ethernet cable will work 
with one, both, or neither NIC being a USB adapter and you can easily 
hand-configure the addresses.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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