Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am not very experienced with terminal emulators, but most of the emulators I have seen and used are asking to connect over a serial (COM) port. Is it possible to use a terminal emulator with the parallel (LPT) port? I have used HyperTerminal and PuTTY in the past. These are both mainly Windows programs (with exception for PuTTY which also works on Linux). Is there perhaps another terminal emulator that works with the LPT port? Perhaps something for Linux will do that?

The PuTTY emulator is said to emulate the DEC VT220 terminal. If this is true, then why will it not connect over the LPT port? I think the VT220 had both a serial and a parallel port on its back. Perhaps the parallel port was not used for communication? Maybe it was only used to print the screen, as a true LPT (Line Printer) port?

share|improve this question
This might sound like a crazy idea, I know. But even so, who's to say it's not possible? We are talking about emulators here, not real terminals. Anything is possible in software. An emulator should be able to not only emulate the original equipment and its capabilities, but also go beyond what's possible in hardware. – sammyg Aug 23 '13 at 12:34
Terminals were almost always bi-directional and used EIA/RS-232. The original Centronics parallel interface was uni-directional for data with several return status lines. So they are not normally considered equivalent data paths. A program for bi-directional LPT (i.e. ECP and EPP) communications is likely to be custom software tailored to a specific device. – sawdust Aug 23 '13 at 21:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.