Serial Port to Named Pipe in VMware Fusion

If you need to be able to input information to a serial port in VMware Fusion, it can be a royal pain. I tried to gather all of the info I could to help those with VMware Fusion view serial port information.

Programs to install:

  1. XCode (updated) (Link)
  2. XCode Command Line Developer Tools (link)
  3. Macports (link)
  4. socat

    sudo port install socat

Config to add to VMX file:

  • Make sure the VM is powered down, not suspended

serial0.present = "TRUE"
serial0.fileType = "pipe"
serial0.yieldOnMsrRead = "TRUE"
serial0.startConnected = "TRUE"
serial0.fileName = "serial0"

Take a look at all the TTY devices in /dev/

ls -al /dev/tty*

Start the VM and cat the serial file to a PTY device

  • This command will continue to run, so open another terminal after running this

socat UNIX-CONNECT:serial0 PTY

Check for a new TTY device in /dev/

ls -al /dev/tty*

Open the terminal emulator of your choice and connect to the new tty device

  • SecureCRT/cu/screen all work

screen /dev/ttys004

Leave a Reply

Responses to “Serial Port to Named Pipe in VMware Fusion”

  1. Hi Ben,

    I got below message when running socat, what is wrong?

    socat UNIX-CONNECT:serial0 PTY
    2014/09/12 22:32:00 socat[438] E connect(3, LEN=9 AF=1 “serial0”, 9): Socket operation on non-socket
    Admin:pipe admin$

  2. Thank you for posting this and for replying to the messages below.
    It works like a charm.

  3. Hi All, I am getting following error

    ziahaq$ socat UNIX-CONNECT:serial0 PTY
    2014/04/06 18:57:53 socat[6718] E connect(3, LEN=9 AF=1 “serial0”, 9): No such file or directory

    • Hi Zia,

      Make sure your serial named pipe file is “serial0” and that when you run the command you are in the directory with the named pipe.

  4. Hi,
    Thanks for posting your solution!
    I tried to connect to my Vmware guest machine that runs over my Mac Air OS X but the Vmareware Fusion refused to take the configuration commands in the vmx file!

    Any solution?

    Thanks a lot!