serial port problem

Glen Turner glen.turner at
Thu Jun 20 20:37:00 CDT 2002

Tarun Bhatia wrote:
> I am having problem connecting to Dell PowerEdge 1650 using serial cable.
> On the client side, I am using HyperTerm utility on WinNT. I am wondering
> if straight serial cable is OK or I need a NULL modem for connection.
> I tried adding folowing lines in /etc/inittab
> /sbin/agetty 9600 ttyS0
> /sbin/agetty -L 9600 ttyS0 vt100
> /sbin/agetty -mt60 ttyS0 9600,2400,1200
> followed by telinit q. But it didn't help. On hyperterm I saw in the bottom
> bar 'connected 00:00:07' and hyperTerm seemed to hang at times.
> I would appreciate if I could get help in this regard.

This list has helped me write a rather extensive bit of documentation
covering this issue.  See

You need a null modem cable, see Section 11.3.  The agetty "-t"
option doesn't work correctly with a null modem cable.  You

   /sbin/agetty -h ttyS0 9600 vt102

Multiple bit rates don't make much sense with a null modem cable.
You might need the "-L" option if you have a faulty null modem

The "vt102" is the terminal selected by HyperTerm's VT100 option.
Linux is just a bit less vague with descriptions than Windows.

The -h option selects CTS/RTS handshaking.  You want this so that
you can cut-and-paste big chunks of text into the console.  Set
HyperTerm to use "hardware handshaking".  The null modem cable
also needs to support CTS/RTS handshaking -- most do.

There's more than setting up agetty if you want to use the
connection more than just casually.  See the HOWTO for those


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