Using the Raspberry PI Command Line from a Windows PC Serial Port

Previously, an article was posted on how to connect to the Raspberry PI board from a Linux PC using the serial port. We now look at how to do the same thing using a Windows PC.

In this article, a Windows 8 PC is connected to the Raspberry PI through a USB to RS-232 adapter and Raspberry PI RS-232 board. The open-source terminal emulator software Tera Term is then used to connect to the PC’s RS-232 serial port.

Once Tera Term is connected to the serial port and the serial port plugged into the Raspberry PI, when the Raspberry PI is powered up, the boot-up messages will be seen in Tera Term. After booting, the Raspberry PI can be logged into by typing in Tera Term — no keyboard or screen needs to be plugged into the Raspberry PI. The only thing plugged into the RPI is the serial adapter and power cable.

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USB to RS232 Serial Port Converter Cable Driver Installation

Having a RS-232 serial port on a PC can be very useful when working with microcontroller boards and other embedded systems. It allows the PC to send information to the board and receive information from it. This can also be used when debugging a board.

Modern laptop computers no longer come with fixed RS-232 ports. The solution to this is to add a RS-232 port by using a USB to RS-232 converter cable such as the US232R cable from FTDI Chip.

This article on installing the drivers for an FTDI Chip USB to serial port converter cable shows how to install drivers for the cable on a Windows 8 PC.

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Operate the Raspberry PI from a PC using the Serial Port

The Raspberry PI can be operated without a keyboard, mouse, screen or network connection by connecting it to a PC using a RS-232 serial port.

This article uses minicom running on a Linux PC to connect to the Raspberry PI command line. A USB to RS-232 adapter cable connects the PC to the Raspberry PI RS-232 adapter board.

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Simple Raspberry PI Serial Port and Breakout Board

Add a RS232 serial port and GPIO breakout to your Raspberry PI using this simple single-sided circuit board that you can build at home.

To keep the design simple and easy to lay out on a single sided board, only 5 GPIO pins were connected to a socket strip – this is fine for initial experimentation. The serial port allows the Raspberry PI to be connected to a PC without the need to connect a keyboard and screen to the Raspberry PI.

Go to the article on the Raspberry PI serial port and breakout board to see the circuit diagram and source files in KiCad format.