Connect the serial module to your laptop and let's find out what name the OS assigned to it.
$ dmesg | grep -i tty (..) [ +0.000155] usb 3-2: FTDI USB Serial Device converter now attached to ttyUSB0
NOTE On macs, the USB device will named like this:
cu.usbserial-*. Adjust the following commands accordingly!
But what's this
ttyUSB0 thing? It's a file of course! Everything is a file in
$ ls -l /dev/ttyUSB0 crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 188, 0 Oct 27 00:00 /dev/ttyUSB0
You can send out data by simply writing to this file:
$ echo 'Hello, world!' > /dev/ttyUSB0
You should see the TX (red) LED on the serial module blink, just once and very fast!
Dealing with serial devices using
echo is far from ergonomic. So, we'll use
minicom to interact with the serial device using the keyboard.
We must configure
minicom before we use it. There are quite a few ways to do
that but we'll use a
.minirc.dfl file in the home directory. Create a file
~/.minirc.dfl with the following contents:
pu bits 8 pu parity N pu stopbits 1 pu rtscts No pu xonxoff No
NOTE Make sure this file ends in a newline! Otherwise,
minicomwill fail to read it.
That file should be straightforward to read (except for the last two lines), but nonetheless let's go over it line by line:
pu baudrate 115200. Sets baud rate to 115200.
pu bits 8. 8 bits per frame.
pu parity N. No parity check.
pu stopbits 1. 1 stop bit.
pu rtscts No. No hardware control flow.
pu xonxoff No. No software control flow.
Once that's in place. We can launch
$ minicom -D /dev/ttyUSB0 -b 115200
minicom to "open" the serial device at
/dev/ttyUSB0 and set its
baud rate to 115200. A text-based user interface (TUI) will pop out.
You can now send data using the keyboard! Go ahead and type something. Note that the TUI won't echo back what you type but you'll see TX (red) LED on the serial module blink with each keystroke.
minicom exposes commands via keyboard shortcuts. On Linux, the shortcuts start
Ctrl+A. On mac, the shortcuts start with the
Meta key. Some useful
Z. Minicom Command Summary
C. Clear the screen
X. Exit and reset
Q. Quit with no reset
NOTE mac users: In the above commands, replace