ComTech: IT Support Stirling

How to establish a Cisco console session on LInux

Today we are going to use Linux to establish a console session with a Cisco Catalyst 2950 switch.  I will be using Linux Mint 10 but the procedure is exactly the same on all the other major distributions.

First we need a client to establish the connection, so we need to download PuTTY. PuTTY is an open source telnet/ssh client which can also connect using serial links.  It can be found here or can be downloaded through your distributions repositories.

Before we use PuTTY we need to find out the name of the serial line we will be connecting to.  Open up a terminal and type:

dmesg |grep tty

You should get something similiar to the following:

chris@chris-desktop ~ $ dmesg |grep tty
[    0.000000] console [tty0] enabled
[    0.584757] serial8250: ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
[    0.585003] 00:06: ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
[ 3560.733194] usb 2-2.3: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB0

Because I am using a USB to serial connector my serial name is ttyUSB0.

Now open up PuTTY and you should now be faced with the configuration screen below:

Scroll down the categories on the left until you come to serial.  Click on this to get the screen below:

In the box serial line to connect to change the default value to the name of the serial line you are connecting to (for instance mine would be /dev/ttyUSB0 achieved earlier through the terminal).  Make sure that all the other settings are the same as the screenshot above.

Once this has been configured go back to the main PuTTY screen click on serial and enter the ip address of the switch you are connecting to.  Once this information has been entered click open.  You should now be faced with a console session to your switch.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter




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