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Connect to the Raspberry PI Serial Port from a Windows PC

Created on: 28 March 2014

The Raspberry PI can be operated without a network connection, keyboard, mouse and screen.

This can be done by connecting the serial port of the Raspberry PI to a RS-232 adapter and then to the serial port of a Windows PC; or a USB to serial converter cable plugged into the PC.

In this article, the Raspberry PI serial port is connected to a Windows 8 PC running Tera Term – open-source terminal emulation software that connects to the serial port.

Commands can be sent to the Raspberry PI from Tera Term as if entering commands from a keyboard plugged into the RPI board.

Linux users can view the version of this article for Linux using minicom.

Installing Tera Term

Tera Term does not have to be installed on the PC using an installation program. The zipped Tera Term file must just be downloaded form the Tera Term website and unzipped.

Run ttermpro.exe from the unzipped folder to start Tera Term.

Connecting the Windows PC to the Raspberry PI via the Serial Port

This video shows how to connect a USB to serial port cable to a RS-232 adapter board that is plugged into the Raspberry PI. The command line of the Raspberry PI is then accessed through Tera Term. The Raspberry PI is then shut down from the command line.

Can't see the video? View on YouTube →

Connecting to the Serial Port using Tera Term

When using a USB to RS-232 cable for the first time on a Windows PC, drivers must be installed. See the article on installing drivers for the US232R adapter cable from FTDI.

Connect the USB to serial adapter to the PC and then to the Raspberry PI through the Raspberry PI RS-232 adapter board (Or if the PC has a serial port, connect it to the adapter board).

Start Tera Term, connect to the serial port and change the serial port baud rate to 115200 as shown in the video.

After connecting to the serial port, the Raspberry PI can be powered up. Messages from the Raspberry PI will be displayed in Tera Term.

Logging In and Entering Commands

After booting, the login prompt from the Raspberry PI will be displayed in Tera Term. Log in as normal.

Commands can now be entered just as if a keyboard were connected directly to the Raspberry PI.