Home > Technical Miscellany > Using screen to connect to serial ports

Using screen to connect to serial ports

Using screen to connect to serial ports

screen is cool. screen is an indespencable tool to any unix administrator. My challenge was to find a solution to connect to the serial port on a server chassis. The solution I found was to utilize a USB-Serial adapter (and associated Mac OS X Lion Driver), null modem cable, and rj45-db9 adapter in conjunction with screen.

screen, being a key tool in an administrator’s tool box, was found to have the capability of connecting to serial ports!

To connect to the serial port:

screen /dev/tty.PL2303-000013FD

Specifying baud rate:

screen /dev/tty.PL2303-000013FD 9600

Enabling CTS/RTS:

screen /dev/tty.PL2303-000013FD 9600,ctsrts

Terminate the session using screen command ^a,k


  • Your tty will likely differ. I was using a PL2303 based USB-Serial adapter within Mac OS X 10.7 (aka Lion)
  • A driver for this USB-Serial adapter were difficult to find, so I will link to it here
  • I downloaded the driver from here
Categories: Technical Miscellany
  1. April 5, 2014 at 2:25 AM

    Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility
    issues. When I look at your website in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, awesome blog!

    • June 2, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      Thanks! It seems this theme is not optimized for all platforms.

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