Tips January 20, 2006 at 2:00 pm

Using Screen as a ZTerm Replacement

Read on for a quick tip on using screen instead of zterm for serial line communications.I have a pc running FreeBSD. I have configured this system to be a “headless” system with no VGA, mouse, or keyboard. All administration is done via the com1 port.

For a while I had been connecting to the FreeBSD box from my mac via the Keyspan USB serial port adapter (Part# USA-19HS). The only program that I was familiar with to connect over a serial port was ZTerm.

Recently I became more familiar with a very cool program called screen. It has many uses but it can also access the serial device directly.

Here’s the syntax:

screen /dev/tty.KeySerial1 57600

where screen is /usr/bin/screen

/dev/tty.KeySerial1 is the tty

and 57600 is the speed.

Ed. Note: Screen is a cool program in general and we often use it to be able to end a SSH session while leaving a terminal session open on the remote server.

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