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

avatar logo 7 Feb at 12:49

Common problem:

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 with Serial to Ethernet Connector

    Serial to Ethernet Connector is one of the easiest ways to connect to a serial port on a machine that runs Linux or Windows. 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.

    Sec logo

    Serial to Ethernet Connector

    Requirements: Requirements for Windows (32-bit and 64-bit): XP/2003/2008/ Vista/7/8/10, Windows Server 2012. 4.66MB free space. Version 7.1.876. (29th Jan, 2017). 4.9 Rank based on 52+ users
    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.
    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 serial ports you need to connect to the virtual machine, once the connection is established follow these steps:

    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.
    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 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.

    VMware serial port access

    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.