Netbooks & Serial Network device configuration

I recently bought some Cisco equiptment (a Catalyst 2924-XL-EN and a 2611 router ) to play around with in my spare time. In order to get the equiptment running for a test lab using telnet configuration, I had to connect via the serial console which can be a hassle due to the lack of serial rs232 ports on modern computer devices.

I bought a Serial USB adapter eager to find out if this will actually work (had some compatibility issues with other devices in the past)

So i got a cheap USB adapter from my local computer store (link on Amazon – this one definitely works with Cisco Catalyst Switches, I will test it on a 2600 router as soon as it gets delivered to me ) and plugged it into my Aspire One netbook running Ubuntu 8.10. After dmesg confirmed the device (in my case ttyUSB0) I needed to get a serial based terminal emulator for console configuration.

Minicom is the good old Linux serial terminal emulator, so a simple

sudo apt-get install minicom

will provide you with the required app on Ubuntu/Debian. If you are running Vista, I recommend tutty since HyperTerminal is no longer included.

The next step will be to set up the device parameters for minicom by running

minicom -s

Set your serial device to the equivalent (should be ttyUSBx) and set the following connection values:

  • Baud Rate: 9600
  • Data Bits: 8
  • Stop Bits: 1
  • Flow Control: none

Now save your config file (the default config is dfl) and launch the program. The values for any Windows software are the same.

The client version you are using is too old. Please upgrade at

If you are using pidgin with ICQ on any current Linux distribution like Interpid, you may discover that 2.5.5 is not yet available in the official repositories.

For now you will have to stick with pre-built packages or simply get rid of ICQ πŸ˜‰

Here is a source for now, 2.5.5 should be released soon on the interpid and hardy repositories:

  • first of all you should remove pidgin and perform apt-get autoremove to uninstall any pidgin dependencies such as pidgin-data and libpurple
  • install pidgin-data from the link above
  • install libpurple0
  • now you can install the pidgin package and you should be free to go πŸ™‚