Bus Pirate: Connecting with MAC, OSX

Posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 in Bus Pirate by Ian


Brettinman got a Bus Pirate from Hack a Day’s preorder, but he couldn’t get it working with the default MAC serial terminal. He used ZTerm and documented how to use the Bus Pirate with a MAC.

Don’t forget that you can also do firmware updates from a MAC or Linux. Read our guide to the Python firmware quick programmer.

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16 Responses to “Bus Pirate: Connecting with MAC, OSX”

  1. Dave Findlay says:

    I mentioned it on Brett’s site too, but the easiest way on a Mac is to use screen. You just have to pass the baud rate as the 2nd param. For example:

    screen /dev/ttySOMETHING 115200

    You’ll need to do an ‘ls /dev/tty*’ to find the serial port that’s been created for your Bus Pirate first, obviously.

    Oh, and to get out of screen you type CTRL-A to get into its command mode, then type ‘quit’ and press ENTER.

  2. Also check out CoolTerm an os x serial port terminal application.

  3. Riley says:

    I went ahead and posted a few things about using mac and the bus pirate V3 here:

    Nothing special just some information and pictures..


  4. Mike says:

    Note that it’s not “MAC” but “Mac”, “Macintosh” or “Mac OS X” depending on whether you’re talking about the hardware or software.

    It’s also not necessary to use screen or ZTerm; the equivalent native command to the above is:

    # cu -s 115200 -l /dev/ttySOMETHING

    To exit, hit enter, then type ~q

  5. Steve says:

    I had a hell of a job setting up the bus pirate v3 under OSX, maybe i’m just slow or getting old. :-( (also I suspect a pre-existing FTDI installation messed it up)

    Anyway I have written a How to Guide, which i’m going to expand to cover RFID, plus some other interesting uses.
    (I rather stupidly modified the BP manual index to point to the information, rather than linking from here :-O)

    • Ian says:

      Thanks Steve – I’ll post up your guide, it’s great. I have to admit, I saw that change come across (whole index to a url in a common spammer .tld) and I figured vandalism. I removed the block for you ip.

  6. steve says:

    Yep sorry bout that Ian……..

    I’m currently trying to write up a guide for a sections of the market the BP is not normally seen in.

  7. Jon says:

    I had to install the virtual com port driver from FTDI to get it to show up on my Mac:

  8. Hardcore says:

    if you read the installation guides you would see that the FTDI drivers are clearly mentioned on most installation guides for OS X
    See point 2
    Once the new 6.2 firmware is finished I will be updating the OS X guide and just doing a sanity check to ensure it still works under the latest OS X

  9. Rva says:

    Does someone have a copy of the post/article from Steve? The link/domain mentioned above is not working anymore.
    Thank you.

  10. Rva says:

    Does someone have a copy/ new link of the post from Steve bove? The link/domain doesn’t work anymore.
    Thank you.

  11. rva says:

    Hi HardCore,

    I ment the link from steve.

    BTW, Moderator one of my post above may removed. When I did send it the first one, I did get an error.

  12. Ferenc says:

    Screen does work, you need to put 8N1 after 115200, though.

    screen /dev/tty.usbserial-A661hwe 115200 8N1

  13. jlf says:

    Emacs users can simply `M-x serial-term’, select the appropriate /dev/tty*, and 115200 bps.

  14. lokori says:

    Apple store also offers application named “Serialtools”, free of charge. A crude terminal program, but works.

    For whatever reason, I had serious difficulties with my previous mac. Now, using the same software, same USB cable, same BP board, everything seems to work much more reliably.

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