A virtual machine can use up to four virtual serial ports. You can connect the virtual serial port to a physical serial port or to a file on the host computer. You can also use a host-side-named pipe to set up a direct connection between two virtual machines or a connection between a virtual machine and an application on the host computer. In addition, you can use a port or a Virtual Serial Port Concentrator (vSPC) URI to connect a serial port over the network.


  • Familiarize yourself with the different media types that the port can access, vSPC connections, and any conditions that might apply. See vSphere Virtual Machine Administration.
  • To connect a serial port over a network, add a Firewall rule set. See vSphere Virtual Machine Administration.
  • Required privilege: Virtual Machine .Configuration.Add or Remove Device

    Power off the virtual machine.


  1. Click Virtual Machines in the VMware Host Client inventory.
  2. Right-click a virtual machine in the list and select Edit settings from the pop-up menu.
  3. On the Virtual Hardware tab, select Add other device and select Serial Port.
    The Serial Port appears in the hardware list.
  4. In the hardware list, expand the serial port and select the type of media port to access.
    Option Description
    Use output file

    Browse to the location of the file on the host to store the output of the virtual serial port.

    Use physical serial port

    Select the port from the drop-down menu.

    Use named pipe
    1. Type a name for the pipe in the Pipe name field
    2. Select the Near End and Far End of the pipe from the drop-down menus.
    Use network
    1. From the Direction drop-down menu, select Server or Client.
    2. Type the port URI.

      The URI is the remote end of the serial port to which the serial port of the virtual machine should connect.

    3. If vSPC is used as an intermediate step to access all virtual machines through a single IP address, select Use Virtual Serial Port Concentrator and enter the vSPC URI location.
  5. (Optional) Deselect Connect at power on if you do not want the parallel port device to connect when the virtual machine powers on.
  6. Click Save.

Example: Establishing Serial Port Network Connections to a Client or Server Without Authentication Parameters

If you do not use vSPC and you configure your virtual machine with a serial port connected as a server with a telnet://:12345 URI, you can connect to your virtual machine's serial port from your Linux or Windows operating system.
telnet yourESXiServerIPAddress 12345
Similarly, if you run the Telnet Server on your Linux system on port 23 ( telnet://yourLinuxBox:23), you configure the virtual machine as a client URI.
The virtual machine initiates the connection to your Linux system on port 23.