Thursday, 21 January 2016

Configuring Serial Port As A Loop-back COM Port For The Same Virtual Machine.

Written by Suhas Savkoor

If you have missed out on "How to configure COM ports between two virtual machines" video, here is the link to it.

In this article, we will see how to configure COM port on the same virtual machine. This is used in a scenario like; You have an application that monitors a set of readings in your environment. When the readings cross a particular threshold, then it has to generate a signal or send some information to an alerting system using a COM port.

Now, in Windows, when you go to device manager and expand the Ports option, you can see that there are two COM ports; COM1 and COM2. These are always there irrespective of whether you have configured serial port or not for that specific virtual machine.

Configuring serial port for the same machine:

1. Power OFF the virtual machine for which you are trying to configure this COM port.
2. Go to Edit Settings and Click Add. Here select Serial Port and click Next. 
3. Select Output to named pipe and click Next
4. The pipe name should be of the format: \\.\pipe\<pipe_name>
5. Near End: Server; Far End: A process
6. Create another COM port for this same virtual machine. Click Add. Select Serial Port and Output to named pipe option again.
7. Here the pipe name should be the same as the one with first serial port.
8. Configuration for second serial port; Near End: Client; Far End: A process
9. Click OK

Testing COM port setup:

1. Power ON the virtual machine and open CMD in administrative mode, and open Putty to COM1 in serial.
2. Type the following command in CMD:
echo text > COM2
3. In the Putty you can see the message "text" being echoed.
4. The Putty is on COM2 and CMD on COM1. Hence the Putty is listening for incoming traffic on COM1 and the CMD is sending the message to COM2, which is why Putty is opened in COM1 serial.

Simple, isn't it?


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