First of all you’ll need a USB to serial cable, mine came with a driver disk but I didn’t use it. I’m running debian jessie and it detected it without any issues. If you want to check to see the device is working and detected just run lsusb and look for your device in the list.
Look for something like this
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 063b:2837 Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2303 Serial Port
Next check the device is accessible run the following:
sudo ls /dev | grep USB
Look for something like this …
Next check you have screen installed by running
sudo apt-get install screen
Connect to the device over serial using :
sudo screen /dev/ttyUSB0
You should now be connected to your device.
This is what I used to configure a HP2626 Pro-Curve switch over serial.
When I first connected I had to hit enter a few times to establish a connection / shell.
Have fun hacking