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COM port in Virtual Machine - An Extended Guide

Olga Weis Olga Weis

In a nutshell, the virtual machine (or VM for short) is an emulated computer system that imitates the configuration and operability of a real PC.

The software-based VM (also known as full virtualization VM or system VM) is all-in-all a separate fully-functional operating system inside the real host OS. It’s really handy to have one of those if you, for example, want to test your software product on different platforms, or need to use an application incompatible with your current OS, or would like to create an OS backup.


  1. Software solution to work with COM in virtual machine
  2. How to access serial port in virtual environment?
  3. COM port in Virtual Machine - video guides
COM port in Virtual Machine

There are also hardware-assisted VMs, and virtualization-specific hardware, widely used by present-day hypervisors (VM monitors) that will allow you to run several isolated operating systems or programming environments on a single physical machine.

In some scenarios, you may need to use your serial printer, modem, or some other device connected to a COM port from your virtual machine. You can also use a serial port in a virtual machine for debugging data transferring to a host PC or another VM. For such purposes, you’ll have to enable a COM port in a virtual machine first.

Serial to Ethernet Connector
Access COM in Virtual Machine

Connect serial ports in virtual machine

Serial to Ethernet Connector (SEC) allows you to access the serial port in virtual machine and get full advantages of using COM port functionality. For example, developers rely on serial ports to interface with kernel debugging software. But it is possible to place a virtual serial port and carry out kernel debugging. This means there is no need for a real computer to be connected.

So what needs to be done to enable a COM in a virtual machine? In a best-case situation, your virtualization software can be configured to access the serial devices of a host machine. In a not-so-lucky picture, it doesn’t have an embedded function for a COM in a VM, so you’ll have to purchase an extra software application that will grant you access to serial ports through the network.

Well, here we will describe the most handy method to work with COM port in virtual machine.

Step-by-step guide to access serial port in Virtual Machine

Serial to Ethernet Connector enables you to easily access serial ports in a virtual machine. Users of VMware, Citrix XenDesktop, Hyper-V, and other virtualization platforms can create and share virtual serial ports with the same functionality of a physical COM interface. All you need to do is download the software to the host and guest machines that will share the serial port.

How to enable COM ports in a virtual machine

Follow these simple steps to share a local serial port on a virtual machine.

On the computer that will share the COM port (host):
Download, install and launch Serial to Ethernet Connector.
 launch Serial to Ethernet Connector
Open the "Server connection" tab. Define the COM port to be used on the host and the TCP port that will be used to monitor the communication.
 Server connection
Click the "Create server connection" button.
 serial port in the virtual machine
On the guest operating system that will access the port:
Download, install and start the program. Navigate to the "Client connection" tab.
Configure the host’s IP address and the TCP port that you defined when you created the server connection.
Select the name to be used by the virtual machine’s serial interface before enabling the "Create as virtual serial port" option.
Click the "Create client connection" button.

That’s all you need to do to access a serial port in a virtual machine. After the client connection is established, Serial to Ethernet Connector links the host’s physical port to the virtual interface. The guest virtual machine obtains full functionality over the connected serial device.

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Access serial ports in virtual machines over the network

One of the simplest ways to connect a COM port in a virtual machine is (in Windows or Linux) by using the Serial over Ethernet Connector approach. The Serial to Ethernet Connector software tool can provide you with access to COM in Hyper-V, VMware, and even VirtualBox.

The computer a shared device is connected to, such as remote machine or host, will function as the server. The virtual machine connects to it as soon as the remote access to serial devices is established and acts as the client.

Now, if you’re wondering how to enable a serial port in a virtual machine over the network, you will need to download and install the app onto the guest operating systems as well as on the host. This will aid the creation of client and server connections through the software. Serial to Ethernet Connector opens up access to serial port in VirtualBox, VMware, and Hyper-V.

How to series:

Access COM port on the Amazon Web Services VM

How to access COM port on the Amazon Web Services VM

Learn how to access a serial port in a virtual machine: using Serial to Ethernet Connector by Electronic Team, Inc. to access a GPS sensor plugged into a physical COM port from a VM powered by Amazon Web Services via an RDP connection.
COM port in Hyper-V to access a GPS sensor

How to use COM port in Hyper-V to access a GPS sensor

Find out how to set up Hyper-V serial port passthrough. Serial to Ethernet Connector by Electronic Team, Inc. can forward a real COM to a virtual machine via the RDP connection so you can use a device connected to it, e.g., a GPS sensor.
VirtualBox COM port passthrough

Connect GPS sensor - VirtualBox COM port passthrough

Using a COM-based device in VirtualBox: With Serial to Ethernet Connector by Electronic Team, Inc., you can set up VirtualBox serial port passthrough via the RDP connection and read data from a GPS sensor on your virtual machines.
VMware serial port passthrough

VMware serial port passthrough

Accessing a COM port in VMware: setting up serial port passthrough to multiple VMs. Using Serial to Ethernet Connector by Electronic Team, Inc. to connect a real COM port in VMware and read data from a GPS sensor connected to that port on two virtual machines.
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