ser2net.yaml(5) File Formats Manual ser2net.yaml(5)

/etc/ser2net/ser2net.yaml - Serial to network proxy configuration file

ser2net used to be a program for connection network connections to serial ports. It's now a program for connecting accepter gensio to connecting gensios. See gensio(5) for details on gensios.

ser2net is configured with yaml, which is flexible and easy to use. Look at yaml documentation on the internet for how that works.

YAML has the ability to create aliases that can be used elsewhere in the configuration file. These can be used for tying things together between parts of the file, or (as an extension to YAML) for string subtitution.

You define an alias with the following:

define: &aliasname alias text

This will create an alias with the given name. Then you can use it elsewhere like:

banner: *aliasname

and the banner will be "alias text". Unlike standard YAML, you can also use this inside strings using

*(aliasname)

so if you have

banner: My banner *(aliasname) is here

The banner will be "My banner alias text is here". See the YAML documentation for how spaces are handled, but as a note, use quotes if you are not sure, like:

define: &aliasname "alias text" banner: "My banner *(aliasname) is here"

If you for some reason need "*(" in your text, use "*(*" for that.

You may want to store passwords and such in external files for better security. Putting "*{filename}" in a YAML scalar will put the file's contents into the scalar at that point. If you need a "*{" in the string for some reason, use "*{*".

A connection is a structure that describes how to connect an accepting gensio to a connecting gensio.

An accepter specification looks like:

connection: &<alias>
accepter: <accepter>
timeout: <number>
enable: on|off
connector: <connector>
options:
<option name>: <option value>
<option name>: <option value>...

An <accepter> is an accepting gensio specification. When ser2net receives a connection on the accepter, it attempts to make a connection to the <connector> gensio. The alias is required, it sets the name that is used for the connection in the admin interface and for referencing from rotators.

If the connection receive no activity in <timeout> seconds, ser2net will close the connection. Setting <timeout> to zero disables the timeout. The timeout field is optional and defaults to zero.

The connection may be enabled or disabled with the enable. The enable field is optional and defaults to on. This is useful for temporarily disabling port by setting enable to off and sending a SIGHUP. If there are users connected and you disable a port and send a SIGHUP, the users will be kicked off.

An option is a configuration setting that doesn't have anything to do with specific gensios, they are controls for ser2net in general. The option section is optional.

See gensio(5) for a lot of information about the specific gensios available.

To allow a TCP connection to a serial port and ignore modem control, you can do:

connection: &toS0tcp
accepter: tcp,1234
connector: serialdev,/dev/ttyS0,local

Both accepting and connecting gensios stack, so if you want to add telnet with RFC2217 support, you can do:

connection: &toS0telnet
accepter: telnet(rfc2217)tcp,1234
connector: serialdev,/dev/ttyS0,local

If you want to accept a telnet over SCTP connection only on IPv6 localhost and connect to a telnet connection with SSL over tcp, you can do:

connection: &tomyhost
accepter: telnet,sctp,::1,1234
connector: telnet,ssl,tcp,myhost.domain.org,1234

RFC2217 support only make sense with a serial-capable device as the connector. Also note that IPv6 is fully supported. Accepters will generally default to being both IPv4 and IPv6 unless otherwise specified. See gensio(5) for details.

And yes, SCTP is supported and is highly recommended if you can use it. Multi-homing alone is worth it.

You could create a secure login with telnet RFC2217 support that then connects to an IPMI sol connection. Notice how splitting the connector line is done with YAML.

connection: &authsol

accepter: telnet(rfc2217),mux,certauth,ssl,sctp,1234
connector: ipmisol,lan -U ipmiusr -P test -p 9001
ipmiserver.domain.org,9600
options:
banner: My banner

These are some examples. For SSL and certauth, I have ignored the authentication configuration, more on that later. Using authentication is strongly recommended, it's easy now with gtlssh and if you need to use it from a program, it's easy with gensio. There is even python support. Adding support for other scripting languages shouldn't be too hard.

Some string values, like banners, have special formatting for inserting various values. These are all prepended with '\'. This takes the standard "C" \x characters.

\a - bell
\b - backspace
\f - form feed
\n - newline
\r - carriage return
\t - tab
\v - vertical tab
\\ - \
\? - ?
\' - '
\" - "
\nnn - octal value for nnn
\xXX - hex value for XX
\d - The connector string (/dev/ttyS0, etc.)
\o - The name of the connection.
\p - Network port number
\B - The serial port parameters (eg 9600N81) if applicable
\Y -> year
\y -> day of the year (days since Jan 1)
\M -> month (Jan, Feb, Mar, etc.)
\m -> month (as a number)
\A -> day of the week (Mon, Tue, etc.)
\D -> day of the month
\e -> epoc (seconds since Jan 1, 1970)
\U -> microseconds in the current second
\p -> local port number
\I -> remote IP address (in dot format)
\H -> hour (24-hour time)
\h -> hour (12-hour time)
\i -> minute
\S -> second
\q -> am/pm
\P -> AM/PM

These sequences may be used to make the filename unique per open and identify which port/device the filename was for. Note that in filenames when using \d or \o, everything up to and including last / in the device name is removed, because you can't have a / in a filename. So in a filename /dev/ttyS0 would become just ttyS0.

Note that in banners and other strings going out (not filenames) you must use \r\n to send a new line; this is raw handling and \n will only go down one line, it will not return to the beginning of the line.

kickolduser: true|false sets the port so that the previous user will be kicked off if a new user comes in. Useful if you forget to log off from someplace else a lot.

banner: <banner string> displays the given banner when a client connects. It uses string handling as described in "SPECIAL STRING HANDLING" above.

signature: <signature string> sends RFC2217 signature on clients request. This may be an empty string.

openstr: <openstr name string> Send the given string to the device on first open. This may be an empty string. It uses string handling as described in "SPECIAL STRING HANDLING" above.

closestr: <closestr name> Send the given string to the device on final close. This may be an empty string. It uses string handling as described in "SPECIAL STRING HANDLING" above.

closeon: <closeon string> If the given string is seen coming from the connector side of the connection, close the connection. The comparison here is, for simplicity, simplistic. Complex expressions with repetative things may not compare correctly. For instance, if your closeon strings is "ababc" and your input strings is "abababc", the comparison will fail because the comparison algorithm will see "ababa" and will fail on the final "a" and start over at "abc", which won't match. This shouldn't cause a problem most cases, but if it does, contact the authors and it can be improved.

accepter-retry-time: <time in seconds> If the accepter does not come up at startup, wait this many seconds and retry it.

connector-retry-time: <time in seconds> On a connect-back port, if the connector does not come up or goes down. wait this many seconds and retry it.

trace-read: <filename> When the acceptor is opened, open the given file and store all data read from the physical device (and thus written to the client's network/acceptor port) in the file. If the file already exists, it is appended. The file is closed when the port is closed. The filename uses string handling as described in "SPECIAL STRING HANDLING" above.

trace-write: <filename> Like tr, but traces data written to the connecting gensio.

trace-both: <filename> trace both read and written data to the same file. Note that this is independent of tr and tw, so you may be tracing read, write, and both to different files.

trace-hexdump: true|false turns on/off hexdump output to all trace files. Each line in the trace file will be 8 (or less) bytes in canonical hex+ASCII format. This is useful for debugging a binary protocol.

trace-timestamp: true|false adds/removes a timestamp to all of the trace files. A timestamp is prepended to each line if hexdump is active for the trace file. A timestamped line is also recorded in the trace file when a remote client connects or disconnects from the port.

[trace-read-|trace-write-|trace-both-]hexdump: true|false turns on/off hexdump output for only one trace file. May be combined with hexdump. Order is important.

[trace-read-|trace-write-|trace-both-]timestamp: true|false adds/removes a timestamp to only one the trace files May be combined with [-]timestamp. Order is important.

telnet-brk-on-sync: true|false causes a telnet sync operation to send a break. By default data is flushed until the data mark, but no break is sent.

chardelay: true|false enables the small wait after each character received on the connecting gensio before sending data on the accepted gensio. Normally ser2net will wait the time it takes to receive 2 serial port characters, or at least 1000us, before sending. This allows more efficient use of network resources when receiving large amounts of data, but gives reasonable interactivity. Default is true.

chardelay-scale: <number> sets the number of serial port characters, in tenths of a character, to wait after receiving from the connection gensio and sending to the accepted gensio. So setting this to 25 will cause ser2net to wait the amount of time it takes to recieve 2.5 serial port characters before sending the data on to the TCP port. The default value is 20.

chardelay-min: <number> sets the minimum delay that ser2net will wait, in microseconds. If the calculation for chardelay-scale results in a value smaller than this number, this number will be used instead. The default value is 1000.

chardelay-max: <number> sets the maximum delay that ser2net will wait, in microseconds, before sending the data. The default value is 20000. This keeps the connection working smoothly at slow speeds.

sendon: <sendon string> If the given string is seen coming from the connector side of the connection, sends buffered data up to and including the string. Disabled by default. As an example, this can be set to \r\n with appropriate chardelay settings to send one line at a time. It uses string handling as described in "SPECIAL STRING HANDLING" above. See the notes on the closeon string for important information on how the comparison is done.

dev-to-net-bufsize: <number> sets the size of the buffer reading from the connecting gensio and writing to the accepted gensio.

net-to-dev-bufsize: <number> sets the size of the buffer reading from the accepted gensio and writing to the connecting gensio.

led-tx: <led-alias> use the previously defined led to indicate serial tx traffic on this port. This should be a YAML alias, like *led2.

led-rx: <led-alias> use the previously defined led to indicate serial rx traffic on this port. This should be a YAML alias, like *led2.

max-connections: <number> set the maximum number of connections that can be made on this particular TCP port. If you make more than one connection to the same port, each ports output goes to the device, and the device output goes to all ports simultaneously. See "MULTIPLE CONNECTIONS" below for details. The default is 1.

remaddr: <addr>[;<addr>[;...]] specifies the allowed remote connections, where the addr is a standard address, generally in the form <ip address>,<port>. Multiple addresses can be separated by semicolons, and you can specify remaddr more than once.

If you set the port for an address to zero, ser2net will accept a connection from any port from the given network host.

no-con-to-acc: true|false If true, do not transfer any data from the connector to the accepter. Throw any data recevied from the connecter away.

no-acc-to-con: true|false If true, do not transfer any data from the accepter to the connecter. Throw any data recevied from the accepter away.

connback: <connector>[;<connector>[;...]] specifies reverse connections that will be made when data comes in on the device. When data comes in on the device side (the connection's main connector) ser2net will connect to each connback specified. No connection is made until data comes in, and normal connection timeouts apply.

Note that this will use one of the connection's connections all the time. You may need to increase max-connections if you need more than one or want to accept incoming connections, too.

Connect back addresses must match the format of the accepter address. So, for instance, if your accepter is "telnet,tcp,1234" your connect back address must be something like "telnet,tcp,hostname,1123".

The port will send no data to any connect back unless all the connect backs are connected.

A connect back port can also have connections made to it if you set the number of connections larger than the number of connect backs specified. However, those connections will receive no data from the port uness all connect backs have been established.

authdir: <directory string> specified the authentication directory to use for this connection.

allowed-users: <space separated list of names> The users that are allowed to use this connections. This has no meaning if authentication is not enabled on the connections. If this is not set or defaulted, all users are allowed. If this is set to an empty set of users, then no users are allowed. This may be specified more than once, each one adds more users.

mdns: true|false Enables/disables mdns support for the connection. If you set this and mdns is available, ser2net will create a service on mdns for the port.

mdns-interface: <num> Sets the specific network interface to advertise the device. Defaults to -1, which means all network interfaces.

mdns-nettype: unspec|ipv4|ipv6 Sets which network type to provide for the device advertisement. Defaults to unspec, which means do ipv4 and ipv6.

mdns-name: <string> Sets the name in the mDNS advertisement. Defaults to the connection name.

mdns-type: <string> Sets the type in the mDNS advertisement. Defaults to "_iostream._xxx" where xxx is either tcp, udp # # or sctp base on the gensio type.

mdns-domain: <string> Sets the name in the mDNS advertisement. Defaults to the system setting. Don't set this unless you really know what you are doing.

mdns-host: <string> Sets the host in the mDNS advertisement. Defaults to the system setting. Don't set this unless you really know what you are doing.

mdns-txt: <string> Adds a text string to the mDNS advertisement. The string should be in the form "name=value". You can put anything you want in the strings. Two default strings are added by ser2net: "provider=ser2net" and "gensiostack=..." where the stack of gensios is added, like "telnet(rfc2217),tcp)". The idea of gensiostack is you can just tack on the address to the end an make a connection using str_to_gensio().

mdns-sysattrs: true|false On Linux adds system attributes from sysfs for USB serial ports to the mDNS txt fields. If the serial port is USB, it adds "devicetype=serialusb" and the following attributes from sysfs: bInterfaceNumber, interface, idProduct, idVendor, serial, manufacturer, product. If they are not present in sysfs, they are not added. If the serial port is not USB, then "devicetype=serial" is added.

Note: Be *very* careful when using a gensiostack with str_to_gensio(). Just blindly calling str_to_gensio() with it could result in significant security issues, as it can pass pty, stdio, trace, etc. gensios in it. You must either validate that the stack is a safe set or just use it for information. You have been warned. Be careful.

A rotator allows a single network connection to connect to one of a number of connections.

A rotator specification looks like:

rotator: &<alias>
accepter: <accepter>
connections: [
<connection alias>,
<connection alias>....
]
options:
<option name>: <option val>
<option name>: <option val>...

A rotator has three possible options, "authdir", "allowed-users", and "accepter-retry-time", both same as connections.

You should use YAML aliases for the connections.

Connections to the accepter will go through the set of connections and find the first unused one and use that. The next connection will start after the last connection used. Note that disabled connections are still accessible through rotators.

Note that the security of the connection is NOT used, only the security of the rotator.

To set a default, do:

default:

name: <default name>
value: <default value>
class: <default class>

The class is optional, if it is not there it sets the base default for all classes that is used unelss overridden for a specific class. If the class is there, it sets the default for a specific gensio class. There is also a ser2net class that is for ser2net specific options.

The class is useful if you want different values for different gensio types. For instance, if you wanted all serial ports to run at 9600 baud and all IPMI SOL connections to run at 115200 baud, you could do:

default:
name: speed
value: 9600
class: serialdev
default:
name: speed
value: 115200
class: ipmisol

The value is also optional, if it is not present a string value is set to NULL and an integer value is set to 0.

The order in the file is important, you must set a default before it is used, and you can change the value of the default. It will affect all uses following the setting.

To delete a default value for class (so it will use the base default), do:

delete_default:
name: <default name>,
class: <default class>

You must supply the class, you cannot delete base defaults.

The following default values are specific to ser2net, given with their default values:

If a telnet sync is received, send a break on the connected gensio (if applicable). By default data is flushed until the data mark, but no break is sent.
If a new user comes in on a connection that already has a user, kick off the previous user.
Enable asmall wait after each character received on the serial port before sending data on the TCP port. Normally ser2net will wait the time it takes to receive 2 serial port characters, or at least 1000us, before sending on the TCP port. This allows more efficient use of network resources when receiving large amounts of data, but gives reasonable interactivity.
sets the number of serial port characters, in tenths of a character, to wait after receiving from the serial port and sending to the TCP port. So setting this to 25 will cause ser2net to wait the amount of time it takes to recieve 2.5 serial port characters before sending the data on to the TCP port. This can range from 1-1000.
sets the minimum delay that ser2net will wait, in microseconds. If the calculation for chardelay-scale results in a value smaller than this number, this number will be used instead. The default value is 1000. This can range from 1-100000.
sets the size of the buffer reading from the network port and writing to the serial device.
sets the size of the buffer reading from the serial device and writing to the network port.
set the maximum number of connections that can be made on this particular TCP port. If you make more than one connection to the same port, each ports output goes to the device, and the device output goes to all ports simultaneously. See "MULTIPLE CONNECTIONS" below. for details.
specifies the allowed remote connections, where the addr is a standard address in the form (see "network port" above). Multiple addresses can be separated by semicolons, and you can specify remaddr more than once. If you set the port for an address to zero, ser2net will accept a connection from any port from the given network host. If a "!" is given at the beginning of the address, the address is a "connect back" address. If a connect back address is specified, one of the network connections (see max-connections) is reserved for that address. If data comes in on the device, ser2net will attempt to connect to the address. This works on TCP and UDP.
The authentication directory for ser2net. The AUTHENTICATION for more details.
The authentication directory for ser2net for admin connections. The "ADMIN_CONNECTIONS" for more details.
The default mDNS interface.
The default mDNS type.
The default mDNS domain.
The default mDNS host.

There is an admin accepter that you can define for ser2net, it lets you log in, look at status, and change some things. See "ADMIN INTERFACE" in ser2net(8) for detail on how to use it. The format is:

admin:
accepter: <accepter>
options:
<option name>: <option value>
<option name>: <option value>...

The only option available is "authdir-admin", which sets the authentication directory for the admin port. This is different than the authdir for connections and rotators, though you can set it to the same value.

ser2net can flash LEDs during serial activity. To create an LED, do:

led: &<alias>
driver: sysfs
options:
<option name>: <option value>
<option name>: <option value>

The only supported driver is sysfs. Supported options are:

device: <sysfs device name> gives the name of the LED in /sys/class/led. These generally have ":" in them, so you will need to put the name in quotes. This is required.

duration: <time in ms> The time in milliseconds to flash the LED. Defaults to 10.

state: <number> The value to set the LED to to enable it. Defaults to 1, but may need to be a different value.

You reference the LED by alias in the connection options section, see that for details. Make sure you have "modprobe ledtrig-transient" done or the triggers will not work, they require the transient trigger.

You also probably need root access to access LED settings.

NOTE: yaml has it's own quoting mechanism, see below for more details.

Filenames, banners, open/close strings, closeon strings, and sendon strings may contain normal "C" escape sequences and a large number of other escape sequences, too:

\a - bell
\b - backspace
\f - form feed
\n - newline
\r - carriage return
\t - tab
\v - vertical tab
\\ - \
\? - ?
\' - '
\" - "
\nnn - octal value for nnn
\xXX - hex value for XX
\d - The connecting gensio string (serialdev,/dev/ttyS0, etc.)
\o - The device as specified on the config line (before DEVICE substitution)
\N - The port name
\p - The accepter string
\B - The serial port parameters (eg 9600N81)
\Y -> year
\y -> day of the year (days since Jan 1)
\M -> month (Jan, Feb, Mar, etc.)
\m -> month (as a number)
\A -> day of the week (Mon, Tue, etc.)
\D -> day of the month
\e -> epoc (seconds since Jan 1, 1970)
\U -> microseconds in the current second
\p -> local port number
\I -> remote address of the accepter gensio
\H -> hour (24-hour time)
\h -> hour (12-hour time)
\i -> minute
\S -> second
\q -> am/pm
\P -> AM/PM

In addition, for backwards compatibility because filenames and banners used to have different formatting, \s is the serial port parameters if in a banner and seconds if in a filename. Use of this is discouraged as it may change in the future.

These sequences may be used to make the filename unique per open and identify which port/device the filename was for. Note that in filenames when using \d or \o, everything up to and including last / in the device name is removed, because you can't have a / in a filename. So in a filename /dev/ttyS0 would become just ttyS0.

yaml will process "\" escape sequences in double quotes, so use of double quotes is note recommended for the above. If you put the values in single quotes, yaml will not process them and instead pass them through where they can be processed by ser2net.

YAML and the accepter/connector processing interact when dealing with quoting. By default, YAML ignores the number of spaces between elements separated by spaces. Lines that are indented after an element are considered a continuation of the element, so something like:

connector: serialdev,/dev/ttyUSB0,
9600n81
local nobreak
rtscts
is the same as
connector: serialdev,/dev/ttyUSB0, 9600n81 local nobreak rtscts

YAML has it's own standard quoting mechanisms, so if you do:

connector: "serialdev,/dev/ttyUSB0,9600n81 local"

the two spaces before "local" will be preserved when passed to the connector processing (though in this case it won't matter because the connector processing will ignore the extra spaces).

If you need a significant space, say in a filename passed to a key, You cannot do:

accepter: ssl(CA=/etc/ser2net/my CA/),tcp,3000

because the accepter processing will split the arguments at the space and won't recognize what "CA/" is. You also cannot do:

accepter: ssl(CA="/etc/ser2net/my CA/"),tcp,3000

because YAML will remove the quotes, this is functionally equivalent to the previous example. And

accepter: ssl(CA="/etc/ser2net/my\ CA/"),tcp,3000

also will not work, inside of double quotes YAML will convert "\ " to a space. You have a couple of options. You can do:

accepter: ssl(CA=/etc/ser2net/my\ CA/),tcp,3000

or

accepter: ssl(CA='/etc/ser2net/my\ CA/'),tcp,3000

because outside of quotes YAML will not process the "\ " and it will not process it in single quotes. Or if you have a lot of spaces or colons, too, you can do:

accepter: ssl(CA="\"/etc/ser2net/my CA/\""),tcp,3000

because inside the outside quotes YAML will convert the '\"' into a '"' and pass it on to the accepter processing which will interpret the quotes as you would expect.

UDP handling is a bit different than you might imagine, because it's hard for ser2net to know where to send the data to. To handle this, UDP ports still have the concept of a "connection". If a UDP port is not connected, then if it receives a packet the remote address for that packet is set to the remote end of the "connection". It will do all the normal new connection operations. ser2net will accept new connections up to "max-connections" then ignore packets from other addresses until a disconnect occurs.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to know when to disconnect. You have two basic options:

  • Set a timeout, if the remote end isn't heard from before the timeout, then the port is disconnected and something else can connect. This means anything that is using the port must periodically send a packet (empty is fine) to ser2net to keep the connection alive.
  • Use the kickolduser option on the port, any new connection that comes in will replace the previous connection.

Note that UDP ports handle multiple connections just like TCP ports, so you can have multiple UDP listeners.

You also have a third option. If you set a remote address (remaddr) with a non-zero port and a connect back port (see discussion on remote addresses above), ser2net will take one of the connections and assign it to that port permanently. This is called a fixed remote address. All the traffic from the device will go to that port. Every fixed remote address on a UDP port has to have a corresponding connection, so if you have 3 fixed remote addresses, you must have at least 3 connections.

As mentioned earlier, you can set max-connections=<n> on a port to allow more than one connection at a time to the same serial port. These connections will share all the settings. You cannot have two separate TCP ports connect to the same port at the same time.

This has some significant interactions with other features:

flow control is not exactly a feature, but more an interaction between the different connections. If a TCP port stops receiving data from ser2net, all TCP ports connected will be flow-controlled. This means a single TCP connection can stop all the others.

closeon will close all connections when the closeon sequence is seen.

openstr is only sent when the port is unconnected and the first connections is made.

closestr is only sent when the last port disconnects and there are no more connections to the port.

Any monitor ("monitor start" from a control connections) will catch input from all network connections.

kickolduser will kick off all connections if a connection comes in on a port that already has a maximum number of connections.

tracing will trace data from all network connections.

rfc2217 (remote telnet serial control) will change the connection settings on the device and will be accepted from any network connection.

reconfig on SIGHUP See ser2net(8) "SIGHUP" section for details.

ROTATOR will only choose a port if there are no connections at all on the port. Note that the use of a rotator with a port with max-connections > 1 will result in undefined behavior.

timeout will be per TCP port and will only disconnect that TCP port on a timeout.

telnet_brk_on_sync will send a break for any TCP port that does a sync.

showport in the admin interface will show all possible connections, so if you say max-connections=3 you will get three entries.

showshortport in the admin interface will only show the first live connection, or if no connection is present it will show whatever the first one was the last time a connection was present.

ser2net uses the tcp wrappers interface to implement host-based security. See hosts_access(5) for a description of the file setup. Two daemons are used by ser2net, "ser2net" is for the data ports and "ser2net-control" is for the control ports.

ser2net supports SSL encryption using the ssl gensio. To enable encryption, use an accepter like:

telnet,ssl,tcp,1234

Then you can use gensiot to connect:

gensiot telnet,ssl,<server>,1234

or you can install telnet-ssl and do

telnet -z ssl,secure <server> 1234

The SSL connection is made using the provided keys. In this example ser2net uses the default keys (as set in the default, see those below). You can also set them using (key=<keyfile>,cert=<certfile>) after ssl above, or modify the defaults.

If you do not have genuine certificates from a certificate authority, the connection will fail due to certificate failure. Getting certificates this way is very inconvenient, so there is another way. You can do:

gtlssh-keygen --keydir /etc/ser2net --commonname "`hostname`-ser2net" serverkey ser2net

to generate the default keys in /etc/ser2net (or wherever). The certificate/key will be named /etc/ser2net/ser2net.crt|key.

NOTE: If you compile ser2net yourself, by default autoconf sets the system configuration directory (normally /etc) as /usr/etc. This is a major annoyance with autoconf. So if you don't change it, you would need /usr/etc above where it says /etc. However, generally the right way to do this is to add "--sysconfdir=/etc" to the configure command line when you configure ser2net. If a distro has compiled ser2net for you, that should have done that by default, so no worries in that case.

Then copy ser2net.crt over to the user system and provide it to connection commands, like:

gensiot telnet,ssl(CA=ser2net.crt),<server>,1234

or

telnet -z ssl,secure,cacert=ser2net.crt 1234

Then you will have an encrypted connection. Just make sure your certificates are valid.

Note that the "-ser2net" at the end of the key is important because it make the subject name of the certificate more unique. You can really put anything you want for what you provide to keygen, as long as you rename it properly. That will be the subject name of the certificate.

ser2net provides a way to authenticate with SSL. It's not the greatest, but it does work. You must enable clientauth on ssl:

telnet,ssl(clientauth),tcp,1234

or set it in the default. Then you must create a certificate with the username as the common name. You can do this with:

gtlssh-keygen --keydir outdir --commonname username keygen keyname

which will generate keyname.crt and keyname.key in outdir. Then put keyname.crt in ser2net's <authdir>/username/allowed_certs. By default <authdir> is /usr/share/ser2net/auth, but you can change that with the authdir default in the ser2net config file or by setting authdir on individual connections (in case you want differet ones for different ports). You then must rehash the allowed_certs directory:

gtlssh-keygen rehash <authdir>/username/allowed_certs

Then restart/reload ser2net and use one of these very long lines to telnet into it:

gensiot telnet,ssl(CA=ser2net.crt,cert=username.crt,key=username.key),<server>,1234

telnet -z ssl,secure,cacert=ser2net.crt,cert=username.crt,key=username.key server 1234

All of the above is a big pain. Fortunately there is an easier way. gtlssh is a ssh-like program, but runs over TLS and it implements a ssh-like authentication protocol using the certauth gensio.

ser2net supports this authentication system running on top of the ssl and certauth gensios. Those gensios provide the framework for handling authentication, ser2net itself controls it.

This uses the same authdir and allowed keys directory as before, and still requires a server certificate, but the self-signed one generated with gtlssh-keygen works fine without doing anything special. Add certauth to the port line:

telnet,mux,certauth,ssl,tcp,1234

and *make sure* clientauth is disabled for ssl (or ssl will still attempt to authenticate the client). Disabled is the default but in case you changed, the default...

The mux entry is because gtlssh uses the mux gensio to allow multiple channels on the same session. It wasn't there with older (pre 1.2) version of gtlssh, but is required for newer one. gtlssh also has a --nomux option, just in case.

The gtlssh program does its own certificate handling. Look at the gtlssh man page for detail on that. Take the certificate for gtlssh and put it in the authdir/username/allowed_certs directory and reshash it as before. gtlssh will *not* use the common name provided in the certificate, instead it users a username provided by gtlssh. Then connect with gtlssh:

gtlssh --nosctp --telnet username@server 1234

The --nosctp thing keep gtlssh from trying sctp, which will fail because we put tcp in the port line. You could use sctp there and get all its advantages for free! Then --nosctp would no longer be required to avoid the nagging.

The username is optional if it's the same as your current user. If you have not connected to that server/port before, gtlssh will ask you to verify it, much like ssh does. If certificates, IP address, etc. change, gtlssh will tell you about it.

If you do not want to use a certificate (certificates are certainly preferred, but may not alway be workable) you can use a password login, too. Put a password in authdir/username/password. When you connect with gtlssh, if certificate validate fails, you will be prompted for the password. If it matches the first line in the password file, then authentication will succeed. You must set enable-password in the certauth gensio options for passwords to work.

Rotators are a special case. BE CAREFUL. A rotator has its own authentication. If you set up authentication on a port that is part of a rotator, that port's authentication is not used. Only the rotator's authentication is used.

ser2net expects default certificates and public keys in /etc/ser2net, and these are set as gensio defaults. This means that any outgoing connection from ser2net, whether in a connector or in a connback, will use these keys. If they aren't there or have expired or something you will get confusing errors about not being able to open the certificates.

To solve this, you can disable the certificates by adding "cert=" to the gensio specification for ssl and certauth on outgoing connections. This will disable the certificates for the specific gensio, and is probably what you want. If you are making connections and authenticating to the remote server, the default certificate and private key are probably not what you want, either.

If ser2net receives a SIGHUP, it will reread it configuration file and make the appropriate changes. If an inuse port is changed or deleted, the actual change will not occur until the port is disconnected.

Almost all error output goes to syslog, not standard output.

/etc/ser2net/ser2net.yaml, /etc/ser2net/ser2net.key, /etc/ser2net/ser2net.crt, /usr/share/ser2net

ser2net(8) telnet(1), hosts_access(5), gensio(5), gtlssh(1), gtlssh-keygen(1)

If they were known, they would be fixed :).

Corey Minyard <minyard@acm.org>

06/02/01 Serial to network proxy configuration file