Ubuntu, Minicom & Cisco router console connection

Got a nice Cisco 857w to play around with yesterday :) Before you get into any misconceptions let me tell you that I've never before made my own configuration in a Cisco router, but I really (really!) want to learn about it ( hey, stop snickering! ).

So... first things first - wipe out the router config, I thought, and start from scratch. I managed to do THAT part pretty easily, however, as any knowing person will tell you, that leaves all ethernet ports down... so here comes the console cable to the rescue! If you can actually make it to work :P

So, here's what I had to do to get things done in Ubuntu 8.10 :

  • Get the blue console cable and connect it to your serial port, and the router console port ( the one that says "console" over it :P )
  • Launch a terminal window and get Minicom using
    sudo apt-get install minicom
  • Start minicom configuration using
    sudo minicom -s
  • Go to Serial port setup
  • Press A to setup which serial port to use. I used the only serial port available on my pc, if you have many you need to checkup which one you're using. In any case, first serial port is /dev/ttyS0 (zero)
  • Press E to change baud rate, and then C to set it to 9600
    Note that some sites recommended 38400, however that didn't work for me!
  • Press Escape to go back to the previous screen, then F to turn off hardware flow control.
  • Escape back to the main setup menu, and choose Save Setup. If you will only use minicom to connect to your cisco device(s), use Save Setup to dfl, otherwise use Save Setup to file... and use a name you'll remember ( cisco works fine :) )
  • Select Exit, and you'll be redirected to the normal Minicom session. You should be greeted by Router>
  • The message "Initializing Modem" refers to your serial port ( got me confused there for a sec
  • If you don't get greeted by the Router> prompt, check your BIOS settings - I disabled my COM port long ago, and had forgotten all about it!
  • If you want to reconnect to your router, you only need to use "sudo minicom" if you saved as default, or "sudo minicom cisco" if you saved to a file named cisco :)