Thursday, March 17, 2022

PuTTY - Partial Garbled Text in Serial Terminal


Incorrect terminal encoding, incorrectly set options, and or terminal speed settings can cause garbled or missing text in a terminal window.

For reference I'm using a USB to Serial, 8 pin RJ45 adapter, between my laptop and a console port on a network appliance. This particular appliance is set to use VT100 and UTF-8 encoding.

The "q" and "x" characters displayed below should be horizontal and/or vertical lines made up from block or line type ASCII characters.


The first three images below show what happens when the wrong encoding settings are applied in PuTTY while using a serial connection.

As you can see above, if you're used to speeding through menus, this will immediately slow you down. Fortunately there is a simple fix for this.


Load in your previously saved session.

** Verify that your serial speed is correct. In this example it is '115200'.

Under 'Translation' make sure 'Enable VT100 line drawing even in UTF-8 mode' is checked.

Go back to 'Session' and verify the 'Serial Line' and 'Speed' are correct. Click 'Save'. If your previous terminal window is open in the background, do not click on 'Open' on the PuTTY configuration tab. Check the next image.

If your terminal window is still open, verify to the right of the word PuTTY that it does not say 'Inactive'. If it does not and you get a black screen as seen below after you make the Translation change, click in the terminal window and press enter once. You should be returned to your previous session.

What It Should Look Like:


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