remote serial console (IP to Serial)

Recently I have taking over the responsibility of managing about 18 remote
routers and firewalls. None of these have a console port for 'out of
band' access accessible today.

Most sites has available IPs between the ISP and us (typically a /29) or a
backup DSL connection available for use. I'd like to purchase a IP to
Serial port device I can use for each location in the event I lock myself
out. The requirement would be an Ethernet port, a serial port, and SSH.

Anyone have any recommendations on something like this?

thanks much,

for singular serial .. there are many, do you want something that's
"appliance" or are you willing to deploy 18 raspnberry-pi-like

AirConsole has an "all in one" solution with software and such.

Mikrotik does rfc2217 and this is their cheapest board today:

Josh Luthman
Office: 937-552-2340
Direct: 937-552-2343
1100 Wayne St
Suite 1337
Troy, OH 45373

also, serial? or usb? (see previous cisco usb console port discussion)

This little guy has proven handy for me.

Thanks to all who responded to me, quite the flood of suggestions and

Found a lot of 20 Digi CM32's on ebay for 35 dollars each, overkill but
can't beat the price, going to look into those to make sure they are still
able to get OS updates. There will be no firewall in front of this device
so it should have one itself.

I like the raspberry pi idea... Would ensure perpetual security updates
with the OS running on it, whereas I'm sure some of the vendors of
commercial console products EOL support at some point. The fact it runs
linux is inviting as we can add it to our monitoring systems.

have a great day,

Serial port on the PI is TTL, so you’ll need some level shifters and/or
ideally some opto-isolators or buffers to do a proper implementation.


This little guy has proven handy for me.

a number of interesting options exist, but...

1) this will get deployed into 'some third world sh*thole' (aka,
remote equinix facility 15+ minutes from your house)

2) someone has to maintain it long term (security patches,
functionality fixes, dual power supplies?, redundant network access?
gsm/cell/ethernet? )

3) an appliance might pay for itself if you don't want lots of hands-on effort


Serial port on the PI is TTL, so you’ll need some level shifters and/or
ideally some opto-isolators or buffers to do a proper implementation.

usb-serial dongle, no?

also keep in mind, 'bad power' can make raspi's a pita :frowning: corrupting
the flash card isn't fun. (maybe this is solved with another media for
root-partition though)

I just built a trivial raspberry pi gadget for about $100 that uses the $40 GSM 2G FONA cellular modem card and a SIM card to tunnel ssh back to my home network via cellular data. It's runs at just 128Kbps, but that's fine for a serial console. I use the Linux screen utility to connect to the local end of the ssh tunnel, and keep each console open (which has the nice side effect of capturing any log entries emitted).

All the parts and most instructions are available at The only customization I added was a second USB serial port to access my remote console, and the phone-home ssh script (of which there are many open source examples to choose from). has very good cellular data prices and is aimed at IoT connectivity, so it costs very little to deploy one of these gadgets ($6/mo if I use less than a megabyte, but just $15/gigabyte after that).

-mel beckman sells a USB to serial converter for $10 that works great ( Plus you can operate multiple serial ports this way.

-mel beckman has never let us down with respect to any footprint/device/connection/etc options.

Sure, you're paying a bit -- but you know the old adage..


I've used Cisco 2500 routers for this type of service, using the AUX port and a roll-over cable to connect to the target device. I'm talking 2501s mostly, not the 2511 or 2508, unless you need to control more than one device at a specific location.

Ethernet, AUX port, SSH, firewall. Updates are sketchy, but these are mature devices.

You can use a 2600 or 2800 with the 16 port serial module.

Stephen Satchell wrote:

We use the small opengears for small sites acm5500 for ethernet and serial.

Used to use cisco 25xx 26xx but those are long in the tooth and not
fast. stopped using avocent because of the value proposition.

I have experimented with raspberry pi for smaller oob server (with
appropriate usb serial breakout ) e.g. digi edgeport box for 8 serials
or ftdi usb serial adapters rather tha stand-alone pc which is what we
use for larger oob/utility server/router. it's considerably smaller than
the rackable equivalent.

The Lantronix Spiders work well and aren't a "do-it-yourself" option:


Andrew Fried

Are you perhaps thinking of the ?
I don't think the model you linked has a serial port.

We've deployed them successfully in a couple of places as a serial console.

For a few extra bucks you can get a which
you can also use to connect up a few ethernet management ports, handle
some dynamic routing/failover or even build a full OOB network.

Really love the Opengear IM range. We use IM4216's

I'm surprised no one's mentioned freetserv[1] yet. I haven't used them so don't consider this an endorsement, but on the surface it looks to be a good balance of "open / DIY" and "supportable".

This is great! A mainstream, patchable OS -- not locked into a half-baked
OS or roll-your-own-TCP-stack hell I've seen in some remote serial and
power devices.