remote serial console (IP to Serial)

Mel Beckman mel at
Tue Mar 8 16:50:13 UTC 2016

I just built a trivial raspberry pi gadget for about $100 that uses the $40 GSM 2G FONA cellular modem card and a SIM card to tunnel ssh back to my home network via cellular data. It's runs at just 128Kbps, but that's fine for a serial console. I use the Linux screen utility to connect to the local end of the ssh tunnel, and keep each console open (which has the nice side effect of capturing any log entries emitted). 

All the parts and most instructions are available at The only customization I added was a second USB serial port to access my remote console, and the phone-home ssh script (of which there are many open source examples to choose from). has very good cellular data prices and is aimed at IoT connectivity, so it costs very little to deploy one of these gadgets ($6/mo if I use less than a megabyte, but just $15/gigabyte after that). 

 -mel beckman

> On Mar 8, 2016, at 8:33 AM, greg whynott <greg.whynott at> wrote:
> Thanks to all who responded to me,  quite the flood of suggestions and
> options.
> Found a lot of 20 Digi CM32's on ebay for 35 dollars each,  overkill but
> can't beat the price,  going to look into those to make sure they are still
> able to get OS updates.  There will be no firewall in front of this device
> so it should have one itself.
> I like the raspberry pi idea...  Would ensure perpetual security updates
> with the OS running on it,  whereas I'm sure some of the vendors of
> commercial console products EOL support at some point.  The fact it runs
> linux is inviting as we can add it to our monitoring systems.
> have a great day,
> greg
> On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 10:33 AM, Christopher Morrow <morrowc.lists at
>> wrote:
>> for singular serial .. there are many, do you want something that's
>> "appliance" or are you willing to deploy 18 raspnberry-pi-like
>> thingies?
>> On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 10:30 AM, greg whynott <greg.whynott at>
>> wrote:
>>> Recently I have taking over the responsibility of managing about 18
>> remote
>>> routers and firewalls.   None of these have a console port for 'out of
>>> band' access accessible today.
>>> Most sites has available IPs between the ISP and us (typically a /29) or
>> a
>>> backup DSL connection available for use.     I'd like to purchase a IP to
>>> Serial port device I can use for each location in the event I lock myself
>>> out.   The requirement would be an Ethernet port,  a serial port,  and
>> SSH.
>>> Anyone have any recommendations on something like this?
>>> thanks much,
>>> greg

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