Connect to console using Terminal on OSX

For longer than I  can remember, I’ve used SecureCRT for all of my console needs. By far, the easiest and most intuitive application for ssh/telnet/console. With that said, we’ve all at one time or another been in a situation where we had to make due with what we had. Recently, I did an upgrade of OSX rendering my SecureCRT unable to open. After countless reboots, it came back to life. This got me thinking…..What would I do without SecureCRT? I’ll tell you. Use my Mac in all its glory to achieve the same goal. This is where I am today. Connecting to the console using terminal.

  • Open ‘’ on your Mac running OSX . Yours should look similar to this.

Screenshot 2016-01-20 14.00.57.png

  • Change your working directory to /dev by entering the command below. You should see your working directory change.

Screenshot 2016-01-20 14.03.04.png

  • Next, we’re going to make sure our USB to DB9 adapter is plugged in by issuing the command below. This command tells to return any lines that match usb. As you can see, I have two devices available. Most commonly, yours will be cu.usbserial.

Screenshot 2016-01-20 14.08.23.png

  • Now that we’ve verified we can see the adapter, time to connect. Issue the screen command followed by the full path of the device, plus the baud rate. In most cases, 9600 baud rate will work fine, especially if it is a newer Cisco device. This number is issued as a command line argument after specifying the full path of the device. See example below.

Screenshot 2016-01-20 14.13.17.png

  • Press Return/Enter to connect.
  • As you can see, the tab has now changed to screen. This is because we are now in the application window. NOTE: Control+C will not work here. To exit the screen application, issue CTRL+A then CTRL+\ You will be prompted “Are you sure?.” Of course you are. type and then enter. This will drop you back into working directory you were in before.

Screenshot 2016-01-20 14.15.34.png


We hope this helps a few of you out there who, like me, struggled with finding an alternative to ol’ trusty SecureCRT. Let us know if this has saved you once or twice…or if this is your daily routing by dropping a comment below!