Raspberry Pi Console Server

16 06 2012

It occurred to me that the Raspberry Pi would make a great low cost, portable console server.

1. Plug in a USB -> Serial convertor & appropriate serial console cable to your device

http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=XC4834

Check that it is detected

root@raspberrypi:~# dmesg

usb 1-1.2: new full speed USB device number 5 using dwc_otg
usb 1-1.2: New USB device found, idVendor=067b, idProduct=2303
usb 1-1.2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
usb 1-1.2: Product: USB-Serial Controller D
usb 1-1.2: Manufacturer: Prolific Technology Inc.
usbcore: registered new interface driver usbserial
USB Serial support registered for generic
usbcore: registered new interface driver usbserial_generic
usbserial: USB Serial Driver core
USB Serial support registered for pl2303
pl2303 1-1.2:1.0: pl2303 converter detected
usb 1-1.2: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB0
usbcore: registered new interface driver pl2303
pl2303: Prolific PL2303 USB to serial adaptor driver

Install minicom to drive it

root@raspberrypi:~# apt-get install minicom

Hurrah – Portable console access 😀

root@raspberrypi:~# minicom -D /dev/ttyUSB0 -b 9600 -o
Welcome to minicom 2.4

OPTIONS: I18n
Compiled on Sep 7 2010, 01:26:06.
Port /dev/ttyUSB0

Press CTRL-A Z for help on special keys
FORTIBORDER login: admin
Password: ************
Welcome !

FORTIBORDER # get system status
Version: FortiWiFi-60CM v4.0,build0535,120511 (MR3 Patch 7)
Virus-DB: 15.00698(2012-06-15 03:29)
Extended DB: 14.00000(2011-08-24 17:09)
IPS-DB: 3.00201(2012-06-14 00:30)
FortiClient application signature package: 1.496(2012-06-08 08:51)
Serial-Number: FW60CM3GXXXXXXXX
BIOS version: 04000018
System Part-Number: P08962-03
Log hard disk: Available
Internal Switch mode: interface
Hostname: FORTIBORDER
Operation Mode: NAT
Current virtual domain: root
Max number of virtual domains: 10
Virtual domains status: 1 in NAT mode, 0 in TP mode
Virtual domain configuration: disable
FIPS-CC mode: disable
Current HA mode: standalone
Distribution: International
Branch point: 535
Release Version Information: MR3 Patch 7
System time: Sat Jun 16 20:50:32 2012

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3 responses

18 07 2012
rojo

Thank you – this is great.
What I would love to be able to figure out now is if I can make one Raspberry Pi control a few serial consoles 🙂

17 11 2012
Null0

Interesting post, got me thinking.. The linux application Ser2Net will allow you to setup a console server which listens on telnet ports much the same as a console server. Your only limit is usb->serial adapters 🙂

26 11 2012
Ash

that is awesome – I hadnt seen that app before – will definitely be looking further at it, especially attached to one of the multi head USB->Serial adapters – very useful.

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