COM Port in Virtual Machine (Hyper-V, VMware, VirtualBox)

Common problem with serial port to virtual machine passthrough:

The virtual environment offers many benefits including server consolidation, increased utilization and faster recovery times after failure. A physical machine can host multiple virtual machines, and all of them may share peripherals, resources, and serial port connections. Forwarding serial to VMware, Hyper-V or any other environments makes the serial port hardware usage more efficient.

It often happens that in the virtual environment we cannot work with serial ports, as virtualization software tools usually do not support their throughput. So what do we do if we need a serial device access in virtual machine – a modem, a scanner or a printer? Serial ports are also required when you debug applications.

If you or any applications on the virtual machine you are working on have to have access to a serial port on host OS, try one of the following solutions.


  • Emulate Serial Port
  • Hyper-V COM port passthrough
  • VirtualBox COM port access
  • COM port in VMware
  • Emulate Serial Port in Virtual Machine with Serial to Ethernet Connector

    Serial to Ethernet Connector is one of the easiest ways to connect COM port in virtual machine that runs Linux or Windows. With the help of the software tool you will have an opportunity to get access to COM in VMware, Hyper-V, Citrix, or any other virtual environment.

    The software will create a client connection thus initiating data redirection from a serial port – local or real – to a remote server over TCP/IP protocol. The remote side does not need Serial to Ethernet Connector installed. You only need to specify IP address or network name of the remote server and TCP port you would like to connect to. The client connection means that the data sent from the remote end will be received by a local serial port and will be processed further.

    To start working with a COM port, download and install the app, it will display a list of devices available to you, find the one you need and connect to it. Serial to Ethernet Connector enables access to serial port in Hyper-V, VMWare, Citrix XenDesktop and other virtualization software.
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    Serial to Ethernet Connector

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    Serial to Ethernet Connector

    Access Serial Ports in Hyper-V

    Hyper-V Manager never displays COM so you would not even know whether you have them or not. To be able to work with COM port in virtual machine you need to follow these steps, once the Hyper-V connection is established:

    1. In the lower left corner of the app click ‘Show Options’ button.
    2. Go to ‘Local Resources’ tab
    3. Next to ‘Local devices and resources’ box click ‘More…’
    4. Click ‘Ports’ checkbox
    5. Sign into the virtual machine in ‘General’ tab.
    Resources of the host machine should be visible to you in the virtual environment. After these settings are done, you will get access to COM port in virtual machine.
    Hyper-V serial port

    Work with Serial Ports in VirtualBox

    To get access to a serial port in Virtual Box, you need to perform a couple of actions on the guest virtual machine. Nothing is to be done on the host OS. VirtualBox serial port passthrough is possible in a couple simple steps:

    VirtualBox COM port

    Here is what you have to do in the virtual environment – configure serial port settings:

    1. Click ‘Serial Port’ check box and enter Port/ File Path.
    2. Start your machine with flagged ‘Create Pipe’ check box, if ‘Create Pipe’ is not checked, an error message will be displayed.
    3. VirtualBox serial port
    3. Now you can start your second machine.
    If you followed the instructions carefully, after all manipulations are done - you will easily get access to all needed features of your serial port device in VirtualBox. You will see the device in your control panel on the virtual machine.

    VMware serial port access

    If you are used to VMware environment, you may face the problem mentioned above. In case you already know, how to access COM port in VMware, the issue may still appear. For example, when you need to forward more than four COMs in VMware Workstation. To work with a serial port in VMware here is what you have to do:

    1. In virtual machine go to Settings
    2. In ‘Hardware’ tab click ‘Add’
    3. Follow the wizard and select a serial port
    4. Specify where the serial port needs to send an output – if it is a named pipe, make sure to configure it.
    5. ‘Connect at power on’ allows you to connect to the port once you start the virtual machine
    6. Click ‘Finish’ to add remote serial port to virtual machine.

    If your purpose is to connect serial port in VMware without limitations, Serial to Ethernet Connector will be the solution you are looking for. You just need to install the software on both host and virtual machines, like mentioned above.

    In this guide, we gave you step-by-step instructions on how to access COM port in a virtual machine. With these settings, you will get all functionality you need to access serial port right in your guest machine as it was plugged in directly. You may also communicate with the virtually created port with the software solution without any additional settings. Serial to Ethernet Connector lets you access COM port in any virtual machine from mentioned above. You will easily access COM port in VMware, VirtualBox, CitriX or Hyper-V - even without additional settings and steps. The software allows working in a virtual environment with serial port devices and gets all its benefits. So, choose the solution which will be the simplest for you and it will help you to get all you need from the COM port functionality.

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