Devices with only USB console port - Need a Console Server Solution

Christopher Morrow morrowc.lists at gmail.com
Wed Feb 3 01:25:45 UTC 2016


The airconsole's are cute ... but not really practical.

I happened to get a chip computer (getchip.com ?) and turned it into a
console server I can get to over the net ... at least at home and
equinix. it's also 'cute' but not really practical... it is only 9 USD
though, so there's that.

I'm really unclear why USB for console is 'a thing' for large gear...
9600 is plenty fast for typing, 115200 is acceptable (in a pinch) for
code upgrades... (icky, yes, but...)

I wonder if you can x-modem over the usb... and at what rate. I also
do wonder about jared's problem of: "hey so I need to hit break to fix
this gear during reboot.... oops! driver not loaded yet!"

On Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 3:27 PM, Peter Loron <peterl at standingwave.org> wrote:
> A possible alternative, although probably not one you'd want to leave in
> place permanently:
>
> http://www.get-console.com/airconsole/
>
> -Pete
>
>
> On 2016-02-02 06:11, Jared Mauch wrote:
>>
>> On Mon, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:15:28PM +0000, Erik Sundberg wrote:
>>>
>>> We have one of these nice new and fancy Cisco ASR920-24SZ, just realized
>>> it doesn't have an RJ45 Console port only USB. When we deploy devices at our
>>> pop we wire the console port to a terminal\console server, well that doesn't
>>> work for a usb console device.
>>>
>>> So what is everyone doing for out of band management via the console when
>>> it's a usb only device?
>>> Is there something I am missing?
>>
>>
>>         Likely not.  I've seen most equipment makers start to ignore
>> serial console.
>> The default these appears to be moving to a uBoot/PXE style network setup
>> where you push an image and such via TFTP/DHCP into the device.
>>
>>> Is there a console server for USB?
>>
>>
>>         I've not seen one show up, but there are other devices like this
>> which the DIY industry has started to build:
>>
>>         http://freetserv.github.io/
>>
>>         I have a side business i'm tinkering with and these are open
>> source
>> hardware.  If there is interest, I'd be willing to build these in volume
>> and
>> drive the cost down.
>>
>>         It would not be difficult to do a giant USB hub that was similar.
>>
>>> Does cisco make an USB to RJ45 Jack adapter?
>>
>>
>>         Yes, but I'm always concerned about what boot messages are lost
>> or things you can't quite do properly (like send break, etc) to get into
>> the device as you're waiting for the USB to initalize, driver to present
>> to OS, etc..  Maybe they spent more time thinking about this than I
>> am aware, but it's something I've not had a proper solution explained to
>> me
>> for.
>>
>>         - Jared


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