Posted By: Anonymous
What is the proper way to get a list of all available serial ports/devices on a Linux system?
In other words, when I iterate over all devices in
/dev/, how do I tell which ones are serial ports in the classic way, that is, those usually supporting baud rates and RTS/CTS flow control?
The solution would be coded in C.
I ask because I am using a third-party library that does this clearly wrong: It appears to only iterate over
/dev/ttyS*. The problem is that there are, for instance, serial ports over USB (provided by USB-RS232 adapters), and those are listed under /dev/ttyUSB*. And reading the Serial-HOWTO at Linux.org, I get the idea that there’ll be other name spaces as well, as time comes.
So I need to find the official way to detect serial devices. The problem is that none appears to be documented, or I can’t find it.
I imagine one way would be to open all files from
/dev/tty* and call a specific
ioctl() on them that is only available on serial devices. Would that be a good solution, though?
hrickards suggested to look at the source for “setserial”.
Its code does exactly what I had in mind:
First, it opens a device with:
fd = open (path, O_RDWR | O_NONBLOCK)
Then it invokes:
ioctl (fd, TIOCGSERIAL, &serinfo)
If that call returns no error, then it’s a serial device, apparently.
I found similar code in Serial Programming/termios, which suggested to also add the
There is one problem with this approach, though:
When I tested this code on BSD Unix (that is, Mac OS X), it worked as well. However, serial devices that are provided through Bluetooth cause the system (driver) to try to connect to the Bluetooth device, which takes a while before it’ll return with a timeout error. This is caused by just opening the device. And I can imagine that similar things can happen on Linux as well – ideally, I should not need to open the device to figure out its type. I wonder if there’s also a way to invoke
ioctl functions without an open, or open a device in a way that it does not cause connections to be made?
What should I do?
/sys filesystem should contain plenty information for your quest. My system (2.6.32-40-generic #87-Ubuntu) suggests:
Which gives you descriptions of all TTY devices known to the system. A trimmed down example:
# ll /sys/class/tty/ttyUSB* lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2012-03-28 20:43 /sys/class/tty/ttyUSB0 -> ../../devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.0/usb2/2-1/2-1.4/2-1.4:1.0/ttyUSB0/tty/ttyUSB0/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2012-03-28 20:44 /sys/class/tty/ttyUSB1 -> ../../devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.0/usb2/2-1/2-1.3/2-1.3:1.0/ttyUSB1/tty/ttyUSB1/
Following one of these links:
# ll /sys/class/tty/ttyUSB0/ insgesamt 0 drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 0 2012-03-28 20:43 ./ drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 0 2012-03-28 20:43 ../ -r--r--r-- 1 root root 4096 2012-03-28 20:49 dev lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2012-03-28 20:43 device -> ../../../ttyUSB0/ drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 0 2012-03-28 20:49 power/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2012-03-28 20:43 subsystem -> ../../../../../../../../../../class/tty/ -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 4096 2012-03-28 20:43 uevent
dev file contains this information:
# cat /sys/class/tty/ttyUSB0/dev 188:0
This is the major/minor node. These can be searched in the
/dev directory to get user-friendly names:
# ll -R /dev |grep "188, *0" crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 188, 0 2012-03-28 20:44 ttyUSB0
/sys/class/tty dir contains all TTY devices but you might want to exclude those pesky virtual terminals and pseudo terminals. I suggest you examine only those which have a
# ll /sys/class/tty/*/device/driver lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2012-03-28 19:07 /sys/class/tty/ttyS0/device/driver -> ../../../bus/pnp/drivers/serial/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2012-03-28 19:07 /sys/class/tty/ttyS1/device/driver -> ../../../bus/pnp/drivers/serial/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2012-03-28 19:07 /sys/class/tty/ttyS2/device/driver -> ../../../bus/platform/drivers/serial8250/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2012-03-28 19:07 /sys/class/tty/ttyS3/device/driver -> ../../../bus/platform/drivers/serial8250/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2012-03-28 20:43 /sys/class/tty/ttyUSB0/device/driver -> ../../../../../../../../bus/usb-serial/drivers/ftdi_sio/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2012-03-28 21:15 /sys/class/tty/ttyUSB1/device/driver -> ../../../../../../../../bus/usb-serial/drivers/ftdi_sio/