UNIX Serial Port Resources – Serial Hardware

This content was originally created, collected, and maintained by Stokely Consulting.
It has moved to SunHELP as of May 2005, and all further updates are done by Bill Bradford.


Serial Cards & Terminal Servers

Cisco Systems, Inc., makers of fine
terminal servers, along with a zillion other networking products.

Huge list of PCI boards: pcisource.com contains a large list of desktop PCI and CompactPCI boards
by vendor and function. Good descriptions and supported software.

ABLE Communications designs and manufactures SCSIserver, a SCSI-based Unix serial terminal/modem server,
MuxMaster port concentrators, and other products. They also make products just for DEC machines.

Antares Microsystems, bought by SEI Inc., makers of PCI Serial Cards and internal hardware modems for Solaris,
as well as other Solaris-compatible boards and software.

Axel, European manufacturer of TCP/IP Communication Servers, Graphics VNC Terminals, TCP/IP Text Terminals and
Serial Terminals.

Carlo Gavazzi Computing Solutions, formerly Aurora Technologies, Inc., makers of SBUS and PCI bus serial comm boards for Sun and Linux systems. Also has software for use with their boards to do Frame Relay, X.25, PPP, HDLC/SDLC. Good free "Guide to Multiport Serial Connectivity for Sun Systems".

Cyclades Corporation, makers of LAN-connected terminal servers and multiport serial cards for PCI bus. Serial
card drivers for (at least) FreeBSD, Linux, NT, SCO, and MacOS.

Connect Tech Inc., makers of Blue Heat/PCI and other serial port boards for SCO, Linux, QNX, BSD and Solaris,
as well as for Microsoft operating systems.

Computone Corporation, makers of Terminal Servers for both network connection and PCI bus.

Digi International cards and terminal servers. Digi bought Central Data, so they now sell SCSI-based terminal
servers. ftp://ftp.dgii.com/centraldata has drivers and infosheets for CentralData servers.

GNP Computers, makers of the GNP Telco WorkServer and Serial Smart high performance asynchronous serial comm boards for SPARC, 16-64 ports per SBus slot.

Lantronix, makers of ETS 8 and 16 port network terminal servers.

Livingston Portmasters (bought by Lucent).

MAGMA, maker of SBUS and PCI DMA-type serial port adapters. Older revs of some of their drivers had problems with DCD handling. Get the latest drivers from MAGMA’s support page.

Performance Technologies, Inc. makers of serial, parallel, aynchronous, synchronous, T1 adapters for PCI, SBUS, and
VMEbus. Extensive communications software end-user and developer product line.

Perle Systems, makers of LAN-connected terminal and access servers, multiport serial cards and multi-modem cards
for PCI bus, routers, print servers, and ISDN modems. Products include IOCOMM, IOLAN+.

Sangoma Technologies, makers of Wide Area Networks cards with support for ATM, Frame Relay, X.25, PPP, SS7, HDLC, SDLC, BiSync line protocols and all standard PC operating systems and platforms including Linux, FreeBSD, Sun Solaris and Windows.

Stallion Technologies, makers of multiport serial cards for PCI/ISA (4-64 ports per slot) and
LAN based communications servers. Supporting Solaris x86, Linux, FreeBSD, SCO and Windows NT.

Xylogics Annex and micro Annex (bought by Nortel Networks).

Xyplex, makers of Access Server network terminal servers and much more.

Serial Port Code

Serial Programming Guide for POSIX Compliant Operating Systems by Michael Sweet is a great online book on programming Unix serial ports. Thank you Michael!

Asynchronous Serial Port Programming in IRIX applies to all POSIX systems. Great
programming examples and explanation from Richard Masoner.

Birthisel Engineering provides free information and code for a POSIX-based clone for Unix and Linux
Device::Serial Port, along with the Perl Win32::SerialPort distribution from CPAN and other Win32 serial port modules. Perl serial port code examples and
demo programs.

Linux I/O Port Programming Mini-HOWTO describes programming hardware I/O ports and waiting for small periods of time in user-mode Linux programs running on the Intel x86 architecture.

Serial Port Resources is sample serial port code from Doug Hughes. Includes
code to test serial printers, ioctl control of RS-232 lines, and stty setting from a program.

Unix Serial Port Configuration is short and clean Unix serial port code. It sets up the port, opens it, reads and writes the port. By Robert G. Huenemann.

You can also find excellent serial port programming examples by studying the public domain PPP packages and
Communication Packages listed on this site.

Monitor Solaris serial port traffic:

A reader reminded us of a simple way to monitor the traffic going over a Solaris serial port with good, old truss. His easy method:

Find the PID of a process which writes to a serial port, <pid>

truss -D -t write -w all -o drums.serial.out -p <pid>

less drums.serial.out

0.0000 write(1, 0x00056564, 357)                       = 357
\n * * * R e c o r d 4 5 2 4 4 6 T y p e D N e t w o r
k I U S t a t i o n M A J O L o c a t i o n 0 0 C h
a n n e l B H Z * * *\n T i m e 2 0 0 4 , 2 1 1 ,
1 7 : 4 7 : 2 5 . 1 2 3 S a m p l e s 4 2 4 F a c t o r
2 0 M u l t 1 ( R a t e 2 0 )\n A c t i v i t y
( 0 x 4 0 ) I O ( 0 x 2 0 ) Q u a l ( 0 x 0 0 ) \n
B l o c k e t t e s 2 C o r r e c t i o n 0 D a t
a S t a r t 6 4 F i r s t B l o c k 4 8\n
1 0 0 0 – D A T A O N L Y : S T E I M – 2 S w a p = B E L
e n = 9\n 1 0 0 1 – Q T A D E X T : Q u a l i t y
= 8 5 % U s e c = 4 5 F r a m e s = 7\n\n [ S e n d C h a
n 0 -
0.0017 write(6, ” 07FE5″, 3) = 3
0.0082 write(6, ” 07FE8″, 3) = 3 …..