Mike's PBX Cookbook

Using PuTTY for Serial

PuTTY can replace HyperTerminal for serial communications. It provides logging, a large scroll back buffer, and many other features. You are probably already using PuTTY for SSH and Telnet, but you can also use it for Serial TTY console connections.

Note: Using PuTTY is illegal in countries where encryption is outlawed. If in doubt, seek legal advice before downloading it. The Telnet-only binary (PuTTYtel) is unrestricted by any cryptography laws.

If you use an Apple Mac computer, refer to: Mac's and serial TTY's.


1Plug in your USB to Serial adapter, and determine its COM port number by opening the Windows Device Manger (a driver must have previously been installed for it).

2Open PuTTY, and click Serial from the Category: Connection. Edit the settings, eg: COM1, 9600, 8, 1, None. Flow control: None.

3Select Category: Session, click the Serial radio button,

4If you want to save this session, enter a name in Saved Sessions and click Save. This will ensure that you have quick access to your commonly used sessions. Settings are saved within PuTTY, so copying the application to a different machine will also copy your saved sessions.

5Click Open and a serial session will start.

Session logging

To create a text log file, right click on the PuTTY menu bar, and select Change Settings.

Scrollback Buffer

To lengthen the scrollback buffer size, right click on the PuTTY menu bar, and select Change Settings.

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