What I have:

  • MacBook Pro with OSX Lion
  • Very old Cisco Router and Switch
  • Two Crossover Cables (1 Cisco Console to Serial and 1 Cisco Console to Cisco Console)
  • One Serial to USB Cable

I am very new to Cisco stuff and not sure how I can use my MacBook to connect to the router/switch in order I can configure them.

Can I use crossover cable (Ethernet to Ethernet) and then use Terminal app from OSX? Or I should use crossover cable (Ethernet to Serial), connect it to Serial to USB cable and then connect it to my laptop?

How can I use Terminal app to connect? What commands should I use?

3 Answers 3


You can configure the devices with a usb to serial connection. USB goes into your laptop and the Console cable connects to the usb to serial converter.

Here's an introduction to configuring a Cisco router/switch using IOS. It's for version 12.0 but once you can get into your device run a sh version to get the IOS version number then you can google the configuration guide.

  • Thanks for your post. The link you sent me is for how to use Cisco CLI. The only thing I don't know is how can I get into Cisco CLI from OSX Terminal app?
    – markfw
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 19:52
  • 1
    Hopefully this resource helps: gcleric.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/…
    – Rowell
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 22:17
  • Thank you so much. That's perfect. All I have to do now is to find the driver for my adapter. Thanks again.
    – markfw
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 23:01

You don't have to install iTerm if you don't want to. You can use screen /dev/tty.<your usb device> 9600. I found this solution on http://etherealmind.com/serial-console-on-osx/ hope this helps.


The cable isn't Ethernet to serial, it's Cisco console to serial, I hope. You should be able to connect the console cable to the console port on the router and then connect the other end to a serial port and then use the terminal app to connect.

I'm not sure what you mean by what commands you should use. It depends a lot on the device and what you're trying to do.

  • Thanks for your post. Sorry for saying Ethernet. It's Cisco Console Cable. The problem is my MacBook doesn't have serial input. It has only input for Internet cable and USB (mini diaply, ...). About the command, when I connect everything, how should I start communicating with router?
    – markfw
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 18:55

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