This content relates to a deprecated version of Mbed

Mbed 2 is now deprecated. For the latest version please see the Mbed OS documentation.

For the latest information about terminals, please see Getting the most out of the USB connection.

Terminal Applications

Terminal applications run on your host PC, and provide a window for your mbed Microcontroller to print to, and a means for you to type characters back to your mbed Microcontroller.

Serial configuration

The standard setup for the USB Serial Port is 9600 baud, 8 bits, 1 stop bit, no parity (aka 9600-8-N-1)

Windows users

1. Install a Terminal Application

Download and install a Terminal application.

In this example we recommend the latest version of Teraterm:

Other terminal applications are available:

Some Windows PCs come with ''Hyperterminal'' installed; you can use this too, but we have found Tera Term is just a bit more friendly to use.

2. Configure the Connection

Open and Setup Teraterm

  • File -> New Connection (or just press Alt+N)
  • Select the ''Serial'' radio button and choose the ''mbed Serial Port'' from the drop down menu.
  • Click ''OK''

Setup New-line format (to print out new line characters correctly)

  • Setup -> Terminal...
  • Under "New-line", set Receive to "LF"

Your terminal program is now configured and connected.

To change the baud rate, go to Setup -> Serial Port...

Mac/Linux Users

1. Install a Terminal Application

If you do not already have it, install GNU Screen

2. Setup the Connection

  • Connect using screen by typing the command screen /dev/<devicename> in your console window
  • To find the device name of your mbed Serial Port, see the SerialPC Host Interface section
  • To exit screen, press Ctrl-A, then ":quit"


You can check the connection is working by typing keys in the terminal application; nothing useful will happen, but the Status light on the mbed Microcontroller should flicker as the characters are received.

If you have any problems, or think this tutorial could be improved, please tell us in the Forum!

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