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Posted 15 Feb 2008

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Termie: A Simple RS232 Terminal

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4.83/5 (46 votes)
13 Oct 2008BSD2 min read
Termie opens a serial port and allows you to communicate with it in a chat-like interface.


Termie opens a serial port and logs data received to a window. It is useful for embedded software development. It can also send data so it is actually a RS232 terminal with a chat-like interface.

An embedded system is a special-purpose computer such as a Wii, MP3 player, or cell phone. To develop for such a system, you need a development "kit" which allows you to download software and debug. Communication between your PC and the embedded system is often a serial cable (RS-232).

In my case, I get output from the embedded system (a game console) via an RS-232 cable. So if I want to see my printfs, I need a program that will display anything that comes in the COM port on my PC.


Termie is an open source clone of Termite from ITB CompuPhase.

What I liked about Termite is that it is simple and fast. Hyperterminal is clunky. I wanted something similar to Termite that was open source. Writing it in C# turned out to be easy; a weekend project. Once done, I can add new features as needed and get great suggestions here!


Settings are stored in an INI file in the application startup folder:



  • Multiple select, select all, and copy to the clipboard
  • Hex Output (not in Termite)
  • Output filter (not in Termite)
  • Partial line output (so you can see "..." one dot at a time)
  • Click status to close/open with current port settings
  • Toggle Scrolling button
  • Send File button
  • Color coded lines (green=received, blue=sent)
  • Send escape sequences (\n, \x7f)
  • Send history

Using the Code

System.IO.Ports has a SerialPort class that does everything we want. I wrapped it in a singleton class with delegates for status and data events.


  • February-2008: Original submission
  • March-2008: Added clipboard, output filter, hex output, monospace font, and all settings
  • May-2008: Added read thread, partial output, color coding, and "send file"
  • October-2008: Fixed thread bug, added history and escape sequences to send (\n, \x7f), and upgraded project files to Visual C# 2008 Express


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The BSD License

Written By
Software Developer Buzz Monkey Software
United States United States
David McClurg is a game programmer from Oregon, USA. He is currently interested in C#, xna for zune, and steering behaviors. When not coding, David enjoys tennis, kayaking, and botany.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralThanks Pin
syd kahn12-May-08 7:32
syd kahn12-May-08 7:32 
QuestionHow do I install the program? Pin
Yomero7-Mar-08 16:36
Yomero7-Mar-08 16:36 
AnswerRe: How do I install the program? Pin
milkplus15-May-08 7:17
milkplus15-May-08 7:17 
GeneralNice. Pin
thompsons23-Feb-08 8:49
thompsons23-Feb-08 8:49 
GeneralRe: Nice. Pin
milkplus25-Feb-08 7:37
milkplus25-Feb-08 7:37 
GeneralSystem.IO.Ports Pin
faulty17-Feb-08 3:17
faulty17-Feb-08 3:17 
GeneralRe: System.IO.Ports Pin
milkplus19-Feb-08 9:18
milkplus19-Feb-08 9:18 
GeneralDelegate vs. IObserver interface Pin
unitrunker15-Feb-08 12:20
unitrunker15-Feb-08 12:20 
You may want to consider replacing the IObserver interface with a pair of delegates.
GeneralRe: Delegate vs. IObserver interface Pin
milkplus19-Feb-08 9:19
milkplus19-Feb-08 9:19 

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