[nycbug-talk] multiport serial cards

Charles Sprickman spork
Fri Dec 23 16:41:03 EST 2005

Top-posting to myself, so sue me... :p

I realized that I never shared the cost-effective device that I settled on 
for this.  In the past, I remember contacting Paul Vixie directly since 
he was a BSDi (now FreeBSD) diehard and he'd written some open source 
terminal server software.  He was very helpful, so I decided to hit him up 

He said that ISC is using these devices and they have been working well:


$500 for 16 ports.  It's basically a box with a bunch of USB->serial 
adapters and a hub.  In FreeBSD 5/6 it's totally plug-n-play.  In 4 it may 
or may not be depending on the chipset.  Mine required a manual backport 
of some driver code from 6, but it was very simple for a non-coder like me 
and I have the info saved.

So hats off to Vixie, this was exactly what I needed.  Combined with 
conserver.com, I've got a really nice console server that's secure, logs 
all console output from all the servers, and has been very reliable.  This 
box takes standard DB9/DB9 null modem cables that can be had for about $2.

I'd also recommend looking at the entire USBGear serial line, there's some 
really cool stuff there if you need more than 2 serial ports:



On Wed, 12 Oct 2005, Charles Sprickman wrote:

> Hi all,
> I've got a (FreeBSD) console server that's got two 8-port Rocketport cards in 
> it.  I need to ditch these as they have two problems:  the driver is kind of 
> flakey and basically abandoned, and I'm already three ports short of what I 
> need and we're still adding servers.
> Stallion looked nice, specifically this setup:
> http://www.stallion.com/html/products/easyconnection.html
> Density is great, 64 ports per card.  Price is right too.  However every 
> retailer has these on backorder, and it seems like the stl driver did not 
> make it to 5.x.
> This all makes me feel like some old unix nerd.  When I post on the FreeBSD 
> lists it's just crickets. :)
> Anyone here have recommendations on decent cards that cost less than buying a 
> standalone console server?  I'd like a minimum of 32 ports on a single 
> card...
> Thanks,
> Charles
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