File: picocom.8.xml

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picocom 1.4-2
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<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?>
<!DOCTYPE manpage SYSTEM "http://efault.net/npat/dtds/xmlmp/xmlmp-1.1.dtd">
 
<manpage 
  title="picocom" 
  section="8" 
  desc="minimal dumb-terminal emulation program">
  
  <synopsis>
    <synel>
      picocom [ <arg>options</arg> ] <arg>device</arg>
    </synel>
  </synopsis>
  
  <description>

    <p>
      As its name suggests, <cmd>picocom</cmd> is a minimal
      dumb-terminal emulation program. It is, in principle, very much
      like <manref name="minicom" section="1"/>, only it's "pico"
      instead of "mini"! It was designed to serve as a simple, manual,
      modem configuration, testing, and debugging tool. It has also
      served (quite well) as a low-tech "terminal-window" to allow
      operator intervention in PPP connection scripts (something like
      the ms-windows "open terminal window before / after dialing"
      feature). It could also prove useful in many other similar
      tasks.
    </p>

    <p>
      When <cmd>picocom</cmd> starts it opens the terminal (serial
      device) given as its non-option argument. Unless the
      <arg>--noinit</arg> option is given, it configures the device to
      the settings specified by the option-arguments (or to some
      default settings), and sets it to "raw" mode. If
      <arg>--noinit</arg> is given, the initialization and
      configuration is skipped; the device is just opened. Following
      this, <cmd>picocom</cmd> sets the standard-input and
      standard-output to raw mode. Having done so, it goes in a loop
      where it listens for input from stdin, or from the serial
      port. Input from the serial port is copied to the standard
      output while input from the standard input is copied to the
      serial port. <cmd>picocom</cmd> also scans its input stream for
      a user-specified control character, called the "escape
      character" (being by default "C-a"). If the escape character is
      seen, then instead of sending it to the serial-device, the
      program enters "command mode" and waits for the next character
      (which is called the "function character"). Depending on the
      value of the function character, <cmd>picocom</cmd> performs one
      of the operations described in the "Commands" section below.
    </p>
  </description>
  
  <section name="COMMANDS">

    <p>
      Commands are given to <cmd>picocom</cmd> by first keying the
      "espace character" which by default is "C-a" (see "Options"
      below on how to change it), and then keying one for the function
      (command) characters shown here.
    </p>
    
    <dl>
      <dt>[escape character]</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Send the escape character to the serial port and return to
	  "transparent" mode. This means that if the escape character
	  ("C-a", by default) is typed twice, the program sends the
	  escape character to the serial port, and remains in
	  transparent mode. This is a new behavior implemented in
	  v1.4. Previously picocom used to ignore the escape-character
	  when it was entered as a function character.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>C-x</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Exit the program: if the "--noreset" option was not given
	  then the serial port is reset to its original settings
	  before exiting; if it was given the serial port is not
	  reset.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>C-q</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Quit the program *without* reseting the serial port,
	  regardless of the "--noreset" option.
	</p>
      </dd>
      
      <dt>C-p</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Pulse the DTR line. Lower it for 1 sec, and then raise it
	  again.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>C-t</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Toggle the DTR line. If DTR is up, then lower it. If it is
	  down, then raise it.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>C-\e</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Generate a break sequence on the serial line. A break
	  sequence is usually generated by marking (driving to logical
	  one) the serial Tx line for an amount of time coresponding
	  to several character durations.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>C-u</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Baud up. Increase the baud-rate. The list of baud-rates
	  stepped-through by this command is: 300, 600, 1200, 2400,
	  4800, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>C-d</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Baud down. Decrease the baud-rate. The list of baud-rates
	  stepped-through by this command is the same as for the
	  "baud-up" command.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>C-f</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Cycle through flow-control settings (RTS/CTS, XON/XOFF, none).
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>C-y</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Cycle through parity settings (even, odd, none).
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>C-b</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Cycle through databits-number settings (5, 6, 7, 8).
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>C-v</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Show program options (like baud rate, data bits, etc). Only
	  the options that can be modified online (through commands)
	  are shown, not those that can only be set at the
	  command-line.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>C-s</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Send (upload) a file (see "Sending and Receiving Files"
	  below)
	</p>
      </dd>
      
      <dt>C-r</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Receive (download) a file (see "Sending and Receiving Files"
	  below)
	</p>
      </dd>
    </dl>

    <p>
      After performing one of the above operations the program leaves
      the command mode and enters transparent mode. Example: To
      increase the baud-rate by two steps, you have to type:
    </p>
    <p>
      C-a, C-u, C-a, C-u
    </p>
    <p>
      assuming of-course that "C-a" is the escape character.
    </p>
  </section>

  <section name = "SENDING AND RECEIVING FILES">
    <p>
      <cmd>picocom</cmd> can send and receive files over the serial
      port using external programs that implement the respective
      protocols. In Linux typical programs for this purpose are:
    </p>

    <ul>
      <li><p><manref name="rx" section="1"/> 
	    - receive using the X-MODEM protocol</p></li>
      <li><p><manref name="rb" section="1"/> 
	    - receive using the Y-MODEM protocol</p></li>
      <li><p><manref name="rz" section="1"/> 
	    - receive using the Z-MODEM protocol</p></li>
      <li><p><manref name="sx" section="1"/> 
	    - send using the X-MODEM protocol</p></li>
      <li><p><manref name="sb" section="1"/> 
	    - send using the Y-MODEM protocol</p></li>
      <li><p><manref name="sz" section="1"/> 
	    - send using the Z-MODEM protocol</p></li>
      <li><p><manref name="ascii-xfr" section="1"/> 
	    - receive or transmit ASCII files</p></li>
    </ul>
    
    <p>
      The name of, and the command-line options to, the program to be
      used for transmitting files are given by the "--send-cmd"
      option. Similarly the program to receive files, and its
      argumets, are given by the "--receive-cmd" option. For example,
      in order to start a <cmd>picocom</cmd> session that uses "sz" to
      transmit files, and "rz" to receive, you have to say something
      like this:
    </p>

    <p>
      picocom --send-cmd "sz -vv" --receive-cmd "rz -vv"
    </p>

    <p>
      During the picocom session, if you key the "send" or "receive"
      commands (e.g. by pressing C-a, C-s, or C-a, C-r) you will be
      prompted for a filename. At this prompt you can enter one or
      more file-names, and any additional arguments to the
      transmission or reception program. After that, picocom will
      start the the external program as specified by the "--send-cmd",
      or "--receive-cmd" option, and with any filenames and additional
      arguments you may have supplied. The standard input and output
      of the external program will be connected to the serial
      port. The standard error of the external program will be
      connected to the terminal which---while the program is
      running---will revert to canonical mode. Pressing 'C-c' while
      the external program is running will prematurely terminate it,
      and return control to <cmd>picocom</cmd>. Pressing 'C-c' at any other
      time, has no special effect; the character is normally passed to
      the serial port.
    </p>
      
  </section>
  
  <section name = "OPTIONS">
    <p> 
      <cmd>picocom</cmd> accepts the following command-line options
    </p>
    
    <dl>
      <dt>--baud | -b</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Defines the baud-rate to set the serial-port (terminal) to.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>--flow | -f</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Defines the flow-control mode to set the serial-port to. Must be
	  one of:
	</p>
	<ul>
	  <li><p>\'x' for xon/xoff (software) mode</p></li>
	  <li><p>\'h' for hardware flow control (RTS/CTS)</p></li>
	  <li><p>\'n' for no flow control</p></li>
	</ul>
	<p>(Default: 'n')</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>--parity | -p</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Defines the parity mode to set the serial-port to.
	  Must be one of:
	</p>
	<ul>
	  <li><p>\'o' for odd parity mode.</p></li>
	  <li><p>\'e' for even parity mode.</p></li>
	  <li><p>\'n' for no parity, mode.</p></li>
	</ul>
	<p>(Default: 'n')</p>
      </dd>
    
      <dt>--databits | -d</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Defines the number of data bits in every character. Must be one of:
	  5, 6, 7, 8
	</p>
	<p>(Default: 8)</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>--esacpe | -e</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Defines the character that will make picocom enter command-mode
	  (see description above). If 'x' is given, then C-x will
	  make picocom enter command mode.
	</p>
	<p>
	  (Default: 'a')
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>--noinit | -i</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  If given, <cmd>picocom</cmd> will not initialize, reset, or
	  otherwise meddle with the serial port at start-up. It will
	  just open it. This is useful, for example, for connecting
	  <cmd>picocom</cmd> to already-connected modems, or already
	  configured ports without terminating the connection, or
	  altering the settings. If required serial port parameters
	  can then be adjusted at run-time by commands.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>--noreset | -r</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  If given, <cmd>picocom</cmd> will not *reset* the serial
	  port when exiting. It will just close the filedes and do
	  nothing more. This is useful, for example, for leaving
	  modems connected when exiting <cmd>picocom</cmd>. Regardless
	  whether the "--noreset" option is given the user can exit
	  <cmd>picocom</cmd> using the "Quit" command (instead of
	  "Exit"), which never resets the serial port. If "--noreset"
	  is given then "Quit" and "Exit" behave essentially the same.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>--nolock | -l</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  If given, <cmd>picocom</cmd> will *not* attempt to lock the
	  serial port before opening it. Normally picocom attempts to
	  get a UUCP-style lock-file (e.g. "/var/lock/LCK..ttyS0")
	  before opening the port. Failing to do so, results in the
	  program exiting after emitting an error-message. It is
	  possible that your picocom binary is compiled without this
	  option.
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>--send-cmd | -s</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Specifies the external program (and any arguments to it)
	  that will be used for transmitting files.
	</p>
	<p>
	  Default: "sz -vv"
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>--receive-cmd | -v</dt>
      <dd>
	<p> 
	  Specifies the external program (and any arguments to it)
	  that will be used for receiving files.
	</p>
	<p>
	  (Default: "rz -vv")
	</p>
      </dd>

      <dt>--help | -h</dt>
      <dd>
	<p>
	  Print a short help message describing the command-line
	  options.
	</p>
      </dd>
    </dl>
  </section>

  <section name="AUTHOR">
    <p>picocom was written by Nick Patavalis (npat@efault.net)</p>
  </section>

  <section name="AVAILABILITY">
    <p>The latest version of "picocom" can be downloaded from: <url
	href="http://efault.net/npat/hacks/picocom/"/>
    </p>
  </section>

</manpage>