Go to main content

man pages section 7: Device and Network Interfaces

Exit Print View

Updated: July 2017



pcser - PCMCIA serial card device driver




The pcser PCMCIA serial card device driver supports asynchronous serial I/O access to any PCMCIA card that that complies with Revision 2.1 of the PCMCIA standard and which represents an 8250-type UART interface.


If a PC card modem or serial device is recognized, the pcser device driver is automatically loaded, ports and IRQs allocated, and special files created (if they don't already exist).


Configuration steps include initial installation and configuration, identifying an unrecognized device and misidentifying a recognized device.

Initial Installation and Configuration

  1. Install the Solaris software.

  2. Boot the system.

  3. Insert the modem or serial device.

Identifying an Unrecognized Device

If you insert a PC card modem or serial device and it is not recognized (that is, no special files are created under /dev/cua or /dev/term), use the prtconf command to find the problem:

  1. Become root.

  2. Run the prtconf -D command to see if your modem or serial device is recognized. An unrecognized device will appear at the end of the prtconf output. For example:

    # prtconf -D
    .  .  .
    pcic, instance #0 (driver name: pcic)
       .  .  .
        pccard111.222 (driver not attached)
  3. If your device is not recognized, use the add_drv command to add the name of your device as another known alias for pcser devices. For example, type the following at the command line:

    # add_drv -i'"pccard111.222"' pcser

    Note - Include the double quotes in single quotes to keep the shell from stripping out the double quotes. Use the identification string listed in the prtconf output. Use the entire string in the add_drv command. See add_drv(1M).

Misidentifying a Recognized Device

  1. Run the prtconf -D command to see if your modem or serial device is erroneously recognized as a memory card. If the device is incorrectly recognized as a memory card, the output of the prtconf command could show:

    # prtconf -D
    .  .  .
    pcic, instance #0 (driver name: pcic)
       .  . . 
        memory, instance #0 (driver name: pcmem)
        pcram, instance #0 (driver name: pcram)
  2. Use the Configuration Assistant to identify the memory resource conflict, and add correct information for the device on the View/Edit Devices menu. Typically, the problem may be a resource conflict between device memory settings. A PC Card adapter chip that is not fully supported may also be the cause of the problem.

  3. To work properly with the Solaris operating environment, all devices must be accounted for, even those the Solaris environment does not support. The Configuration Assistant software accounts for all devices in your system.

Additional Configuration

When adding a new serial port or modem to the system, you often need to edit configuration files so that applications can use the new communications port. For example, the /etc/uucp/Devices file needs to be updated to use UUCP. See Overview of UUCP in the System Administration Guide. For PPP on the serial port, see pppd(1M) and Solaris PPP Overview in the System Administration Guide.

Special Files

The serial devices in /dev/term and /dev/cua are named by socket number. A card inserted in socket 0 is pc0, and socket 1 is pc1.

Hot Plugging

If a PC Card modem or serial device is unplugged while in use, the device driver returns errors until the card is replaced in the socket.

The device must be closed and reopened with the card reinserted before the device begins working again. The restart process depends on the application. For example, a tip session automatically exits when a card in use is unplugged. To restart the system, you must restart the tip session.



pcser driver


dial-in devices


dial-out devices where: n is the PCMCIA physical socket number.

See Also

cu(1C), tip(1), uucp(1C), autopush(1M), ports(1M), ioctl(2), open(2), pcmcia(7D), termio(7I), ldterm(7M), ttcompat(7M)


pcser: socketn soft silo overflow

The driver's character input ring buffer overflowed before it could be serviced.

pcser: socketn unable to get CIS information

The CIS on the card has incorrect information or is in an incorrect format. This message usually indicates a non-compliant card.