Mike's PBX Cookbook

OS X Serial Port Apps

Having installed the right driver for our USB-serial adapter, we also need to install some terminal emulation software before we can connect to anything. The following Mac OS X GUI applications are available:

Serial ZTerm goSerial CoolTerm Serial Tools MacWise ZOC

If you're looking for a "commands line" app, there's Screen (built-in) or Minicom.

If you can't find a driver for your adapter (eg, Belkin), try Serial which has built-in support for most (if not all) USB-Serial adapters.

If you have trouble installing any of the following (or any other program) with an "unidentified developer" error, goto: System Preferences > Secrity & Privacy > General and click on "Allow Applications Downloaded from: Anywhere". Then try again.

Serial

Serial is a great Terminal Emulation Program with built-in driver support for most common USB to serial devices. So, if you can't find an OS X driver for your adapter (eg, Belkin), give Serial a try - available from the Mac App Store.

Other features include full ANSI/VT100 terminal emulation, break-sequence support (for Cisco, etc), a line-buffered or immediate send mode, and much more. It also doesn't crash if you prematurely unplug the adapter! Serial is highly recommended!

Line Settings

Terminal Settings

Device Info

ZTerm

ZTerm is a well known terminal emulation program thats been around for years, updated for Intel Macs. It supports VT100 emulation, which means it sorta kinda works with Meridian Mail (Function keys on a MacBook: fn + f-key). Shareware.

To configure ZTerm, open Settings > Modem Preferences and select your USB-Serial device as the default modem (Serial Port). Then edit your connection in Settings > Connection. Remember to connect the USB-Serial cable before launching ZTerm. The following pictures explain the steps:

zterm serial portzterm communication settings

goSerial

goSerial can open multiple connections simultaneously, send and receive files, log sessions, and it supports scripting. There is no terminal emulation (eg, VT100) support. goSerial is Donation ware.

To configure goSerial, click the light switch in the Toolbar and select your USB-Serial device as the Serial Port. The communication settings are set in the same window. The serial ports dynamically updates if devices are added or removed. The following picture shows the settings window:

CoolTerm

CoolTerm is a simple serial port terminal application (again, there's no terminal emulation) that is geared towards hobbyists and professionals with a need to exchange data with hardware connected to serial ports. CoolTerm is Freeware.

Features include ability to send and receive data in text or hexadecimal format, multiple concurrent connections (if serial ports are available), local echo, hardware (CTS, DTR) and software flow control (XON), logging of received data to text files, and more.

Serial Tools

Serial Tools for OS X, includes a Terminal Emulator, a Protocol Analyzer, and a serial port monitor to watch for connections and removals of serial ports. Serial Tools is completely free, and available from the Mac App Store.

MacWise

MacWise is a feature rich Terminal program, which emulates ADDS Viewpoint, Wyse 50, Wyse 60, Wyse 370, Televideo TV 925, DEC VT100, VT220 and Prism terminals. You can connect via modem, direct serial, SSH, or Telnet. A single user license is $95.

ZOC

ZOC is a SSH/telnet client and terminal emulator, with a long list of features and emulations including: xterm, VT220, TN3270, TN5250, Wyse, QNX, etc. Access hosts and mainframes via secure shell, telnet, direct serial, modem, etc. A single user license is $80.

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