UNIX Serial Port Resources – Console/Serial Port Switches, KVMs, and Software

This content was originally created, collected, and maintained by Stokely Consulting.
As of May 2005, it is being hosted and maintained by Bill Bradford.

Information, Free & Public Domain Products:

Serial Console on a Sun or SGI System
An excellent how-to for serial console connections. Covers ports, wiring, terminal settings. Great pictures.

Terminal Server BREAK-off:
See the results of testing many different terminal servers, and whether or not they send expected or unexpected BREAKs. Test methodology also included. Excellent work.

Greater Scroll of Console Knowledge

Extremely useful and detailed wiring connection guides to several console servers, links, and the Conserver program.

Doug Hughes’Console Server
Doug shows all the steps to build your own console server for Suns.

Linux Remote Serial Console HOWTO
Extensive, detailed instructions on how to connect a terminal, modem or terminal server as a serial console to a Linux system.

An administrative tool for working with clusters of machines. It allows you to connect to each node of your cluster simultaneously, and you can type administrative commands in a specialized window that multiplies the input to each open connection. Uses SSH.

Commercial Products:

42U sells KVM Switches & Server Room Solutions including server racks, KVM extenders, remote console management and KVM remote access.

Altura XL purchased the Computone RAS2000 family of Console Solutions. System starts with 4 ports and grows to 64. Any RS-232 connection to 921kbps guaranteed. No Solaris BREAK issues.

makes KVMs as well as KVM over IP products, for remote management of

BayTech remote power, console access, dialup and network servers can be custom-configured for your own data center needs.

ServSwitch connects up to 256 intermixed machines’ video, keyboard, and mice. Good for VGA monitor use.

Carlo Gavazzi Computing Solutions, formerly Aurora Technologies, Inc., makes ControlTower Console Manager Software for Sun Solaris. Enables a single SPARC server to function as a common console (monitor and keyboard) for up
to 128 managed systems.

makes AutoBoot Commander 1xP and 4xP, hardware/software devices which can control multiple Suns and PCs from a single location with multiple users.

Cyclades makes Console Access devices, Terminal Servers, dialup servers, routers. Unix/Linux strongly supported. Site includes good white papers and tech talk.

Data Comm for Business Inc. manufactures serial data switches, ethernet-servers, remote RS-232 access products and more. Good information in their papers, tutorials, and application notes on topics like WAN, general networking, wireless, LAN, serial
connectivity standards and cables.

Digi International Portserver terminal
servers provide secure console port management for Sun servers, Cisco routers and switches in a 1U rack mount. SSH v2 encryption, port buffering,
Auto Alerts, Auto Discovery and Sun Certified Solaris Ready. Sun BREAK-safe.

KVMs.com resells many brands of KVMs, cables, adapters, serial switches, and more.

KVM Switches Online sells many varieties of KVM switches, KVM/Video/USB extenders, remote access products, and server management tools.

Lantronix makes console servers with dial-up access, port buffering, Radius authentication, SSH and fault-tolerant features. They also provide ConsoleWorks console management software.

Lightwave Communications, Inc. manufactures ConsoleServer for centralized management of serial command console
ports through direct network access, multiple terminals, and modem. Lightwave also manufactures a complete line of KVM devices and fiber optic extension systems.

Logical Solutions manufactures Secure Console Servers for mission-critical Unix applications. Dual hot-swappable power supplies, dual network interfaces and dual console ports. Monitor and manage up to 48 servers/serial devices all in a compact 1RU chassis.

MRV Communications, Inc. (formerly iTouch Communications) makes console/alarm/sensor management solutions which control a variety of core network, discrete alarm and environmental sensor devices all
with a single box. Sun BREAK-compatible serial console/terminal server
devices, OSS Management, IP-based alarm management, remote power management

Network Technologies Inc.
manufactures a complete line of switches, console switches, splitters and extension cables for sharing Sun, PC, and Macintosh computers.

OpenGear has developed console management and KVM over IP solutions for small and mid-sized offices. Opengear’s products embody the strength and security of Linux, and source code is supplied so solutions can be customized. Opengear also takes an active role in the development of open source console management and KVM technology through its support of the okvm initiative.

Raritan MasterConsole switch. If using their switch on Suns, get their adapter for the Sun keyboard and video ports. Good tech support web page with FAQs.

Rose Electronics provides keyboard/monitor/mouse switches for Sun, R/S6000, PC, Macintosh. The company also provides video splitter, video extenders, and serial/parallel
port sharing devices.

Western Telematic Inc. makes all types of interesting serial port switches, console switches, and devices which connect multiple RS232 ports or devices together in many ways.