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For our class project we are going to use HyperTerminal to communicate to something we are building that is attached to our laptops using USB. We're supposed to use HyperTerminal.

I can't believe that a program that does the same thing doesn't exist in Linux. What programs that can do the same thing are available in Linux and Mac OSX?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Unix systems might not have an exact equivalent because HyperTerminal does two unrelated jobs which in unix are done by separate programs.

One job is providing a text terminal inside a GUI environment. This job is done by terminal emulators such as gnome-terminal, konsole, rxvt,, xterm, ...

Another job is converting between user interactions and serial port interactions (since you use HyperTerminal to connect to it under Windows, I presume the device uses the serial-over-USB protocol). Under Linux, minicom is often used for this; there are undoubtedly alternatives. Whatever program you choose needs to be connected to /dev/ttyUSB0 (or /dev/ttyUSB1, etc, if you have more than one device).

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Try out screen. It's very portable, comes installed by default on Mac OS X and Ubuntu, and can do a lot of wizardy things in addition to connecting your usual terminal emulator (xterm / / etc) to a serial console. Here's a tutorial.

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Minicom is a very nice serial communication program for Linux, over the years I've used it with all kinds of bizarre hardware requiring RS-232 communication. For USB devices the device you'll need to use will be something like /dev/ttyUSB0.

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This may help. It's one of the first things that came up when googling "USB serial client". Note that you'll need to connect to a serial device (not necessarily the one listed on that link) using a terminal client in the *nix variants. In most flavors of *nix the device will be found in /dev/ after attaching the USB cable. A quick way to find out which device is to do this:

find /dev -ls > before.txt
(attach your device)
find /dev -ls > after.txt
diff before.txt after.txt
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In OS X you have and in Linux you have several choices including xterm and gnome-terminal. I would recommend PuTTY for Windows over HyperTerminal.

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The feature of HyperTerminal that Dennis plans to use is talking to a serial port. While you can indeed do that with and xterm & co, they aren't exactly the right tool for the job. – DomQ Sep 14 '10 at 7:07
This doesn't answer the question. – svec Dec 24 '11 at 0:55

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