Virtual Serial Bridge

When you are running emulators or virtual machines it may be sometimes handy to be able to connect a serial port from the guest machine to the host machine. [Aurimas] had that issue, and also had a fun fix for that using 2 USB <> Serial adapters, but as you can imagine that is not a ideal solution, enter the Virtual Serial Bridge.

Digging around Vmware it was found that the support for what he needed was there, but not really used. A little addition of a few lines to the guest OS vmx file and configuring the socat multipurpose relay package. Though the instructions revolve around the Mac platform as the host and Windows as the guest socat and Vmware you can probably mix it up with any software that uses the serial port and a *x or windows host.

10 thoughts on “Virtual Serial Bridge

  1. Syale it does the same thing as VMware just makes pipe file which is useless. But if you use socat as i written you can do the same thing :)

  2. Under linux you can easily snoop in on rs232 commands. use your host OS as linux and you are all set for hacking.

  3. Is vmware realy that much better than virtualbox?
    i never usee vmware because i didn’t want to waste time learning how to use a closed source adictionware program when there was a perfectly good opensource alternative.
    what gives? What am i missing? Why does everbody use vmware?

  4. Its nice to see that someone figured out how to make VMware do this — I prefer OVB because it does passthrough right out of the “box”, but corporate and future employers want to pay for their solutions for some reason.

    This will be added to my bookmarks today.

  5. For me, I have higher performance with vmware, and I can move vm’s to hostless hardware, and I can move live vms between hardware based on load. But fir vms on the desktop, well if you are tinkering around, any solutiion will do.

  6. The power of virtualization depends on your application. Certain things work better for certain situations.
    VMware really shines in the enterprise environment, when you have tens/hundreds/thousands of VMs running across a myriad of hosts. Its the management tools they provide that makes it the killer platform. VMWare ESX and ESXi (bare-metal hosting) provide live migration between hosts, VM templates & cloning, snapshots, resource pools, statistics, hot failover, NFS & iSCSI support for data stores, NIC teaming, distributed resource schedulers, etc. all make it extremely worth the money, in my production environment.

    I’m not sure how well it stacks up against the competition for single or low numbers of VMs. I’ve used the VMware Workstation product (virtualization on top of another OS) and I wasn’t really thrilled with the performance.

  7. thanks for the info, next time i have to install a massive virtual server farm i’ll think about vmware.

    fair point about the not completely open sourceness of virtualbox. and i’m not too sure about putting all my eggs in oracles basket, but if the worst come to worst i can just use the gpl fork.(maybe i should switch already)

    so far i only run non performace critical things on virtualbox, and i don’t need five nines uptime.

    i’m not an open source zealot, one of my mission critical apps is closed source. but i certainly Prefer free to no-free, when it comes to freedom. although when talking about beer, often you get what you pay for.

    i like waffles too, but i’m going to settle for ice cream

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