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Using Minicom with NetModem Server

Introduction to Minicom

Minicom is a free open source serial communication terminal program for Unix-like operating systems including Linux.

Minicom is similar to HyperTerminal (included in Windows XP, 2003 and earlier) and is also very simliar to TELIX (shareware) for DOS.

Minicom features include a dialing directory with auto-redial, support for UUCP-style lock files on serial devices, a separate script language, capture to file, multiple users with individual configurations, and more.

Minicom can be used to communicate with physical serial devices (TTY's), or pseudo TTY's such as the Cyclades-Serial-Client software, allowing the pseudo devices to network redirect to a Cyclades terminal server or to a NetModem Server (a modem server software package for Windows).

Installing Minicom

Linux users can usually download and install Minicom automatically, using this command line:
sudo apt-get install minicom

Configuring Minicom

Minicom should be started from a Terminal. Minicom can be temporarily set to use a specific pseudo TTY on the command line by using the -p parameter when it is started. The -p parameter overrides the TTY terminal port stored in the configuration files, but only if it is a proper pseudo TTY name beginning with ptyp and ending with an alphanumeric digit between 0-9 or A-Z. for example:
minicom -p ptyp0

This command line forces Minicom to use pseudo tty /dev/ptyp0

Minicom can be configured to use a particular port device every time Minicom starts up (without a -p port overide on the command line).

You can start Minicom in the Configuration screen by using the -s parameter, for example:
minicom -s

If Minicom is already running, press Ctrl-A followed by the letter O (^AO) to enter the Configuration screen shown below:

Use the arrow keys to move the cursor to "Serial port setup" and press the Enter key to be taken to the following screen:

To change the 'Serial Device" name to match the name of the pseudo TTY device created by cyclades-ser-cli, Type "A" and enter the correct device name such as /dev/ptyp0

When finished making any other changes, select "Save setup as dfl" to make these the default settings every time Minicom is started (unless Minicom is started with override parameters).

Press ESC to return to the Configuration Menu, and use the arrow keys to select "Modem Settings". This brings up the screen shown below:

A custom modem initilization string can be defined here, as well as several other modem strings and options. If the default initilization string needs to be changed to match a the modem model, you can obtain the modem manuifactures suggested modem init string from the Windows modem driver .INF file for the physical modem on the Windows server. The .INF file is a plain text file that defines a modems AT commands and other options.

When finished making any other changes, select "Save setup as dfl" to make these the default settings used every time Minicom is started.

Once Minicom is configured, you can review the Minicom Command Summary screen by pressing Ctrl-A followed by the letter Z (^AZ).

The Dialing Directory is selected by pressing Ctrl-A followed by the letter D (^AD). The Dialing Directory allows you to use the arrow keys to select a record to dial or to edit. And multiple records can be tagged to allow dialing each tagged record until a connection is made.

Initially you should choose to Edit one of the empty records. Each Dialing Directory record contains the following fields:

Once you have defined at least one dialing record containing the Name, Phone Number, and other settings, press Enter to return to the main Dialing Directory page, and use the arrow keys to select the "Dial" command and the record to Dial, then press Enter to Dial that record.

Another way to dial is the manual dial method, by typing a modem AT Dial command into the Terminal such as "ATDT{phone number}" and press Enter, in which {phone number} is the number to dial.

To adjust the Terminal mode settings when dialing manually, press Ctrl-A followed by P (^AP):

The Communication Parameters include data rate, parity, data bits and stop bits. The default settings are 115200 bps, 8 data bits, No Parity, 1 stop bit (115200 8N1).

To adjust the Terminal settings when dialing manually (rather then using the Dialing Directory). Press Ctrl-A followed by T (^AT):

Minicom supports both the classic VT102 Terminal emulation, and the ANSI Terminal emulation used by Bulletin Boards Systems (BBS's) to display colorized text and menus.

When using the Dialing Directory to dial, the Communication parameters and Terminal settings are defined within each Dialing Directory Record.

For more information on using Minicom, refer to a Minicom manual or type: man minicom


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