Cisco, Tips & Tricks

Connecting to a Cisco Router Console port from a Mac

So you’ve got to support some Cisco gear but all you’ve got is a Mac. The problem is that there are no serial ports and no blatantly obvious way of connecting to a console port.

Unfortunately there’s one thing you may need to purchase. You’ll need an FTDI USB to Console cable. You can pick these up on Amazon for about $15.00. You may be able to find them for cheaper on eBay.

Note: If your version of OS X is 10.8 or below then you may have to install the FTDI driver for USB to Serial cable.

Once you’ve got that you can follow the instructions below:

  • Open up terminal (Macintosh HD -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal)
  • Connect the FTDI cable to the USB port on your Mac and the other end to the console port of the Router / Switch
  • Enter the following commands:
    • cd /dev
    • ls -ltr /dev/*usb* (If this doesn’t find anything you can try ls /dev/tty*)
  • You should see a list of ports, hopefully there’s only one or two of them. What you’re looking for is the port that starts with tty.
  • In my case the full path would be /dev/tty.usbmodem1a21
  • You then type the following command
    • screen /dev/tty.usbmodem1a21 9600
  • The 9600 is for the baud rate
  • To disconnect from the console you have to issue the following commands
    • Ctrl+A
    • Ctrl+\

That’s it. Happy routing…

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I've been in the Geek category for as long as I can remember. I am into anything technology and Sci-Fi related. I like tinkering with electronics as well as writing applications for Mac & iPhone.

1 thought on “Connecting to a Cisco Router Console port from a Mac

  1. Hello,

    thank you for sharing this with everyone. this help me a lot to connect my macbook pro with Cisco devices. I spent day and night but finally your website and Tricks help me.

    thank you.


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