Serial Login

Home / HowTo / Serial Login

Hello again users! FYI, the first batch of Kickstarter Sensorian shields has already shipped. The rest of the Kickstarter orders, including the project booklet are slated for shipping by mid-August.

We are hosting some pre-configured Raspbian images on the site for both architectures of Raspberry Pi. The images come preloaded with Node-Red and Scratch servers. Additionally,under the home directory on the Sensorian folder you’ll also find a copy of all the sensor drivers together with a number of demo applications to get you started. Check us out on Github for the latest updates to the Sensorian drivers and API.

For the uninitiated, our blog series will start from scratch ( no pun intended).

Download the Raspbian image from the Raspberry Pi downloads page:

If you’re on Windows use Win32diskimager to burn the ISO image an SD card. Mount the Sensorian shield on the Raspberry Pi, insert the SD card and connect the bundled mini USB cable to the Sensorian serial port as shown on the image below.

Now we’re going to take a trip back to the 1970’s. Not really. We’re just going to use the Linux serial console to log in.To do that you’ll need a serial terminal program. There are a number of choices. Teraterm, Realterm , Putty, Hyperterminal, MTTY and the list goes on. If you’re on a Mac I would suggest using Coolterm. It’s a nifty program that has been also ported to Windows and Linux. The bottom line is that any serial terminal will do.

Serial login using the Bray terminal.

Serial login using the Bray terminal.

As soon as you plug in the serial USB cable on Windows the serial port will enumerate under the port listings. Open Device manager and check under Ports. On Linux you can use the dmesg command.


Serial ports under Windows.


I use Bray terminal ( which has a quick search function that lists all available ports. On my laptop the Sensorian serial port enumerates as COM 41. The default connections settings used by the Linux serial console are 115200 baud, 8 bit, no parity bit and 1 stop bit. These settings are usually abbreviated as 8N1.

Now that you have properly configured the serial port on your end, power on the Raspberry Pi. You’ll find out that the received messages on the terminal are identical to the boot messages you get if you are connected to a monitor display.One note of importance here is that all commands have to be send using a carriage return. Otherwise they will not be acknowledged until the serial buffer overflows.

 Checking IP address from serial console.

Checking IP address from serial console.

If you can’t see how this is useful, issue the following command:


You’ll be greeted with this screen showing what IP address the Raspberry Pi has currently leased from the DHCP server.

Going forward we’ll take a more in depth look at connectivity configurations.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment