Minicom is a text-based serial port communications program. It is used to talk to external RS-232 devices such as mobile phones, routers, and serial console ports.
Install the program with:
sudo apt-get install minicom
Alternatively, you can get Minicom via the Synaptic Package Manager.
Using the program
In order to find the name of your port(s) enter this command in terminal:
dmesg | grep tty
If it is a direct serial connection, the output will be something like this:
[ 22.587279] console [tty0] enabled [ 24.186230] serial8250: ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A [ 24.186860] 00:08: ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A [ 51.598012] audit(1243322582.732:2): type=1503 operation="inode_permission" requested_mask="a::" denied_mask="a::" name="/dev/tty" pid=5705 profile="/usr/sbin/cupsd" namespace="default"
For a USB-to-Serial adapter, one may see:
[ 0.000000] console [tty0] enabled [ 5.065029] usb 4-3: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB0
What we are interested in is the name of the serial port. In the first section above it is ttyS0, the other is ttyUSB0. which we will need in order to use Minicom. Next, enter in a terminal enter:
sudo minicom -s
One will next choose "Serial port setup'. Then, adjust the Serial Device to the device one has, for example:
A - Serial Device : /dev/ttyS0
Next, one will want to consult the hardware vendor's manual for the Bits per second, data bits, Parity, stop bits, and Flow control. Once these have been adjusted, one may want to also go to the Modem and dialing menu and remove all information in setting options A through I. Once configured, one may "Save setup as dfl", which will save these as the default configurations for future connections (/etc/minicom/minirc.dfl). Once saved, one may choose Exit, and one is at the minicom prompt. Hit enter, and you may be asked for your username, indicating a successful connection.
To exit Minicom when in terminal mode press 'Ctrl-A' to get a message bar at the bottom of the terminal window and then press 'X'.
Another useful Option is to log all information to a file which will be saved in your Home directory. Select 'Filenames and paths' and press 'F' (Logging options). By default this will be saved as 'minicom.log', but change it to whatever you like with the 'A' key. Press 'Enter' to save the changes.
http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/man1/minicom.1.html - Manual web page
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CiscoConsole - Cisco network equipment specific
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DialupModemHowto/SetUpDialer - Dialup modem (alternative method3)