HowTo: Linux Serial Port Sniffer

Posted on in Categories last updated April 16, 2010

How do I sniff and monitor data on a serial port under Linux operating systems?

You can use the following tools:

a) jpnevulator – What once started as a Jackpot Navigator emulator (hence the strange name) is now a nice serial sniffer and you can use it to send data on a serial line too. It’s sort of like a very simple terminal emulator, like picocom. But jpnevulator uses hexadecimal byte values to display and send along the line. Very handy indeed if you are working a lot with serial protocols. Under Debian and Ubuntu you can install it as follows:
sudo apt-get install jpnevulator
You can use it as follows to monitor and sniff two serial ports:

jpnevulator --ascii --timing-print --tty /dev/ttyS0:SB9600d --tty "/dev/ttyUSB0:Motorola MTM800" --read

b) pyserial – Use this project which is a multiplatform serial port module for Python (Win32, Jython, Linux, BSD and more).

c) strace – You can trace system calls and signals including serial communication. See strace man page for the details.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

Leave a Comment