Minicom

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Minicom is a Linux program you can use to communicate with embedded target devices, either directly via through your computer's COM port or with the Flyswatter. This guide is written for Flyswatter and the Beagleboard. Configuration is similar for other target boards.

Minicom is available through the Ubuntu Advanced Packaging Tool (APT).

Configuring Minicom

Install minicom using apt-get. Open a terminal window and type:

$ sudo apt-get install minicom

Run minicom setup as root from the host computer:

$ sudo minicom -s

You'll get a screen as follows:

           +-----[configuration]------+                                        
           | Filenames and paths      |                                        
           | File transfer protocols  |                                        
           | Serial port setup        |                                        
           | Modem and dialing        |                                        
           | Screen and keyboard      |                                        
           | Save setup as dfl        |                                        
           | Save setup as..          |                                        
           | Exit                     |                                        
           | Exit from Minicom        |                                        
           +--------------------------+                                        

Select Serial port setup:

   +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+   
   | A -    Serial Device      : /dev/ttyS1                                |   
   | B - Lockfile Location     : /var/lock                                 |   
   | C -   Callin Program      :                                           |   
   | D -  Callout Program      :                                           |   
   | E -    Bps/Par/Bits       : 9600 8N1                                  |   
   | F - Hardware Flow Control : Yes                                       |   
   | G - Software Flow Control : No                                        |   
   |                                                                       |   
   |    Change which setting?                                              |   
   +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+   
           | Screen and keyboard      |                                        
           | Save setup as dfl        |                                        
           | Save setup as..          |                                        
           | Exit                     |                                        
           | Exit from Minicom        |                                        
           +--------------------------+                                        

Now press E to change those settings:

                   +-----------[Comm Parameters]------------+                  
   +---------------|                                        |--------------+   
   | A -    Serial | Current: 115200 8N1                    |              |   
   | B - Lockfile L|                                        |              |   
   | C -   Callin P|   Speed          Parity          Data  |              |   
   | D -  Callout P|                                        |              |   
   | E -    Bps/Par| A: 300           L: None         S: 5  |              |   
   | F - Hardware F| B: 1200          M: Even         T: 6  |              |   
   | G - Software F| C: 2400          N: Odd          U: 7  |              |   
   |               | D: 4800          O: Mark         V: 8  |              |   
   |    Change whic| E: 9600          P: Space              |              |   
   +---------------| F: 19200                      Stopbits |--------------+   
           | Screen| G: 38400                         W: 1  |                  
           | Save s| H: 57600                         X: 2  |                  
           | Save s| I: 115200        Q: 8-N-1              |                  
           | Exit  | J: 230400        R: 7-E-1              |                  
           | Exit f|                                        |                  
           +-------|                                        |                  
                   | Choice, or <Enter> to exit?            |                  
                   +----------------------------------------+                  

You should get 115200 8N1, press keys I, L, V and W. When you're done, press Enter.

Now in the previous screen, press F to set Hardware Flow Control to Off. You should have this now:

   +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+   
   | A -    Serial Device      : /dev/ttyS1                                |   
   | B - Lockfile Location     : /var/lock                                 |   
   | C -   Callin Program      :                                           |   
   | D -  Callout Program      :                                           |   
   | E -    Bps/Par/Bits       : 115200 8N1                                |   
   | F - Hardware Flow Control : No                                        |   
   | G - Software Flow Control : No                                        |   
   |                                                                       |   
   |    Change which setting?                                              |   
   +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+   
           | Screen and keyboard      |                                        
           | Save setup as dfl        |                                        
           | Save setup as..          |                                        
           | Exit                     |                                        
           | Exit from Minicom        |                                        
           +--------------------------+                   

Now press A to change the serial device, and type /dev/ttyUSB0.

   +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
   | A -    Serial Device      : /dev/ttyUSB0                              |
   | B - Lockfile Location     : /var/lock                                 |
   | C -   Callin Program      :                                           |
   | D -  Callout Program      :                                           |
   | E -    Bps/Par/Bits       : 115200 8N1                                |
   | F - Hardware Flow Control : No                                        |
   | G - Software Flow Control : No                                        |
   |                                                                       |
   |    Change which setting?                                              |
   +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
           | Screen and keyboard      |                                  
           | Save setup as dfl        |                                  
           | Save setup as..          |                                  
           | Exit                     |                                  
           +--------------------------+                                                 
                                                                               

Press Enter to leave this screen, select Save setup as dfl and finally select Exit from Minicom.

Connecting to the Beagleboard with Minicom

Connect the Flyswatter and the Beagleboard and connect the Beagleboard to your computer's USB port, as described in the Flyswatter How To. Then run minicom as root:

$ sudo minicom

You should get the following screen:

Welcome to minicom 2.2

OPTIONS:                                                                     
Compiled on Sep  8 2008, 17:03:34.                                           
Port /dev/ttyUSB1                                                              
                                                                            
              Press CTRL-A Z for help on special keys                       
                                                                            
                                                                            
                                                                            
Texas Instruments X-Loader 1.41                                              
Starting OS Bootloader...                                                    
                                        
U-Boot 1.3.3 (Jul 10 2008 - 16:33:09)   
                                        
OMAP3530-GP rev 2, CPU-OPP2 L3-165MHz   
OMAP3 Beagle Board + LPDDR/NAND         
DRAM:  128 MB                           
NAND:  256 MiB
In:    serial
Out:   serial
Err:   serial
Audio Tone on Speakers  ... complete
OMAP3 beagleboard.org # 

If you don't, check the serial port. You'll have to go back to the config (minicom -s) and get to this screen:

   +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+   
   | A -    Serial Device      : /dev/ttyUSB0                              |   
   | B - Lockfile Location     : /var/lock                                 |   
   | C -   Callin Program      :                                           |   
   | D -  Callout Program      :                                           |   
   | E -    Bps/Par/Bits       : 115200 8N1                                |   
   | F - Hardware Flow Control : No                                        |   
   | G - Software Flow Control : No                                        |   
   |                                                                       |   
   |    Change which setting?                                              |   
   +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+   
           | Screen and keyboard      |                                        
           | Save setup as dfl        |                                        
           | Save setup as..          |                                        
           | Exit                     |                                        
           | Exit from Minicom        |                                        
           +--------------------------+     

Now press A and change /dev/ttyUSB0 for /dev/ttyUSB1, save as dfl, and restart minicom.

If you still don't get the beagleboard shell, try using other serial terminal program like GtkTerm.

Now we got the beagleboard shell! Congratulations!

First command we wanna try is "help":

OMAP3 beagleboard.org # help

If you get some output, you're happy!

If at some point you cannot enter text any more, verify that you have turned off flow control (F and G should be set to No). Also if after a reboot you do not see anything exit (ctrl-A q) and restart minicom.


External Links

Minicom man page

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