Shane Duffy

Macbook pro – Connecting to Cisco consoles

Posted on: October 5, 2007

I have a macbook pro and sometimes I need to connect to the console port on some of the cisco networks I do work on.

Today I went out and bought a USB to Serial converter from maplin, the driver disk that comes with the product is one of the small CDs which would get stuck in the drive and the link from the maplin website for drivers is for very old versions of mac os 8/9. Quick search on google lead to prolifics website which manufactures the usb to serial chipset. (mac os x driver download here)

So once thats all installed and the laptop has been rebooted, its time to test it all out and start connecting to routers, problem is what program should you use?

Minicom
Zterm
Screen

I chose to use a less know command using screen which is installed and included by default on OS X which makes it very handy to use.

 screen /dev/tty.usbserial 9600

Screen provides your normal clean terminal interface inside a new process shell.

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3 Responses to "Macbook pro – Connecting to Cisco consoles"

Very good post, thanks…

Excellent & very simple.
The problem is when you try to quit the console & when you do manage to quit you have to kill the screen process.
You probably know this but for those who don’t —>

Bustamite$ ps aux | grep screen
Bustamite 1408 0.1 0.0 75532 464 s000 S+ 12:39pm 0:00.00 grep screen
Bustamite 1356 0.0 0.0 75700 512 s000 S 12:31pm 0:00.01 screen /dev/tty.usbserial-FTDWA3M8 9600
Bustamite 1357 0.0 0.0 0 0 ?? Z 12:31pm 0:00.00 (screen)
Bustamite 1399 0.0 0.0 75700 512 s000 S 12:36pm 0:00.01 screen /dev/tty.usbserial-FTDWA3M8 9600
Bustamite$ kill -9 1356 1399
Bustamite$ ps aux | grep screen
[1]- Killed screen /dev/tty.usbserial-FTDWA3M8 9600
[2]+ Killed screen /dev/tty.usbserial-FTDWA3M8 9600

This should now allow you to connect again..

Regards
Bustamite

Haha, amazing article I have just had the exact same problem! The small CD also does not work with the MacBook, i copied the .dmg file over the network from a Windows 7 box! I hate those mall CD’s!

Finally I can connect to Cisco console ports from my MacBook! 🙂

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