When it comes to using serial ports in VMware, the easiest way is to pass a VMware host’s serial port to the VM. This method works both for built-in COM ports and USB-to-serial adapters and can be a great option if you need to access a serial-based device (e.g. printing unit or bar-code scanner) from a VM.
From this article, you’ll find out how to make a serial port available in VMware with the help of a universal software solution that enables a VMware host’s serial port connection to a VM’s virtual COM port over the network.
Plus, you'll get acquainted with the VMware COM port passthrough setup process for each of the popular VMware solutions.
FlexiHub is a software utility that lets you use serial ports and devices in VMware or any type of virtual environment.
FlexiHub works by establishing a virtual connection that redirects data from a physical serial port to a virtual COM port within the VMware session over the network. It’s so simple that no modifications of network parameters are required to add a VMware serial port.
Serial devices attached to the physical host will now be available in the virtual session. Without any additional configuration, you have enabled VMware COM port passthrough for your virtual machines.
You can add up to 4 serial ports to a VMware Workstation. The virtual interfaces can be used to redirect data to physical serial ports, files or named pipes. When you add a serial port to a VMware Workstation session you can create modems and other serial devices that are available to the VM. The virtual port can also send debugging information to the host or another virtual machine.
In the case of the VMware Workstation serial port named pipe, it needs to be configured.
For Linux Hosts:
A UNIX socket name needs to be entered in the next text box. The name must be the same on the client and server and may look like /tmp/socket.
For Windows Hosts:
You can use the default pipe name or enter another name. The format of the pipe name must begin with \\.\pipe\. The name needs to be identical on the server and client.
To transmit debugging information to a virtual machine, choose “This End is the Server” on the initial drop-down menu and “The Other End is the Application” on the next drop-down menu.
Transmitting debugging data to a host system application, select “This End is the Server” on the first drop-down menu and “The Other End is the Application” on the second one.
Connecting the VMware Workstation to the serial port is done with the “Connect at Power On” option. When the VM is turned on, the connection will be activated.
The first VM usually takes the role of the server when two virtual machines are connected.
This process needs to be replicated for the second VM. When you are configuring the named pipe, define it as the client by selecting "This End is the Client.”
We hope that the information provided in this guide helps you redirect serial ports in VMware. Using these methods enables you to use serial devices from within virtual sessions with the full functionality afforded through a direct connection. They make your serial equipment more valuable as a much wider user base can share limited physical resources.
For vSphere virtual machines, there are four different ways of adding a serial port to VMware VM. it’s totally up to you to decide which one will be the best for your current task.
Before you start, don’t forget to shut down or power off the virtual machine and make sure you have these privileges: “Virtual Machine”, “Configuration”, and “Add or Remove Device”.
With this method, you can enable VMware ESXi serial port connection for 32 serial ports per VM.
To enable VMware serial port passthrough in VMware Horizon, you’ll need to install Horizon Agent with the Serial Port Redirection setup option (deselected by default). Once you set up the serial port redirection feature, it’ll automatically work on all your remote desktops and published applications (the redirected ports may be mapped to avoid conflicts).
To enable serial port redirection in VMware View, you’ll need to make a redirected serial port active by right-clicking the port’s tool tray icon during a desktop session and picking “Connect“ from the menu. Alternatively, you can set a serial device to connect automatically whenever you connect to the remote desktop/published app.
For the VMware View serial port redirection to work properly, your software/hardware has to meet these requirements:
In VMware Fusion, the serial port adding process won’t be very long or difficult.
Before you start, don’t forget to shut down or power off the virtual machine as its setting can’t be changed while it’s running or suspended.