Enabling a Serial Port Console: getty systemd

Using the serial port to login is a good way to get access to a device that doesn't have a network connection. This could be a small embedded Linux computer.

Raspberry Pi


On a Raspberry Pi you can edit /boot/config.txt and add this at the bottom. Then reboot. More details can be found here.

Linux devices with systemd

sudo nano /lib/systemd/system/serial-getty@.service

First we need to edit the serial-getty service to set the correct bard rate.

# Edit this line
ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty --keep-baud 115200,38400,9600 %I $TERM

# To This
ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty 115200 %I $TERM

Set this to the bard rate that you wish to use. This should be the same at the computer is using at the other end.

systemctl daemon-reload

# For a USB serial adaptor
systemctl enable serial-getty@ttyUSB0.service

# For a built in serial port /dev/ttyS0
systemctl enable serial-getty@ttyS0.service

You can now log in using the serial console on /dev/ttyUSB0 or /dev/ttyS0

  1. Connect another computer to it using a NULL modem cable.
  2. Then open a terminal emulator such as minicom.
  3. Set the baud rate and port.
  4. Press enter a few times and you should then see a login prompt.



Tux is a penguin character and the official mascot of the Linux kernel. Tux is the most commonly used icon for Linux, although different Linux distributions depict Tux in various styles. The character is used in many other Linux programs and as a general symbol of Linux.