My mobile device of choice at work is a 13″ MacBook Air. It’s a great system that is extremely lightweight (see: portable). Unfortunately, I need the ability to console into switches to make configuration changes and this computer does not have a serial port. Thankfully, I have a USB to Serial Adapter that I keep in my “go bag.” It doesn’t work out-of-the-box in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, but it isn’t too difficult to configure.
I followed a few articles I found online (primarily, this one: http://plugable.com/2011/07/12/installing-a-usb-serial-adapter-on-mac-os-x).
- Plug in the USB to Serial Adapter.
- Click Apple menu > About This Mac > More Info … > System Report …
- Click on Hardware > USB > verify you see USB-Serial Controller D on the right.
- Download the driver here: http://plugable.com/drivers/prolific (I downloaded the PL2303 MacOSX10.6 dmg v1.4.0.zip file).
- Install the driver, then reboot the computer.
- Click on System Preferences > Network > “+” > Interface. If it was installed properly, you will see something like “USB-Serial Controller D.”
- Click cancel.
Now that the device and driver are installed properly, you can download a terminal emulator like ZTerm to make a connection to the serial device.