Step 3: Set up a serial terminal

This page describes how to set up a terminal emulator on a Linux system to use with the Intel® Galileo board.

Install drivers

Intel® Galileo Gen 1 board:

Your computer should already have the USB converter drivers installed. If you have trouble establishing a connection, refer to the documentation provided by the manufacturer of the USB converter.

Intel® Galileo Gen 2 board:

Your computer should already have the FTDI and USB drivers installed. If the FTDI drivers are not installed, we recommend following Sparkfun’s helpful tutorial.


At the end of this section you will have connected to the Intel® Galileo board through a terminal, and checked whether your firmware is up to date.

  1. If you haven't already, install the screen shell session manager by entering the following in the Terminal:

    sudo apt-get install screen

  2. Launch the Terminal.
  3. Connect to your board by entering:

    sudo screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200

  4. You may be asked for your root password (within Linux). If so, type in your root password and press Enter.
  5. When you see a blank screen, press the Enter key twice.
  6. You should see a login screen.

    The standard login screen

  7. The password is empty, so press Enter. You should see the following:

    Prompt after logging in as root

    Note: By default the root password is blank. You can set the root password by entering the command passwd.

Testing your SD card image

  1. You can easily check the version of the image your board is using to boot up, as follows:
    1. Open a serial connection session with your board. Enter the following:

      cat /etc/version

    2. The image version is displayed in YYYYMMDDHHMM format. If your board is booting from its default image instead of the image you just downloaded, the version reflects an older date, such as 201410101603. You should see a more recent image version, such as 201502260041.

      Type cat /etc/version to check the version of your Yocto image.Type cat /etc/version to check the version of your Yocto image.

Next Steps

Now that you have set up serial communication with your board, continue to connecting to a network.

For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.