One of the most common uses for an RS-232 serial port on a multiuser system is as a port for a terminal. A terminal is a device or computer that's used as a means of controlling another computer. Because most x86 computers have two RS-232 ports plus their normal keyboard and monitor, it's possible for three people to simultaneously use a single computer if two people access the computer via terminals. (Of course, you can add more serial ports or use networking connections to further increase that number, if you like.) Although most Linux distributions don't come preconfigured to use terminals, it's not difficult to add this capability to a system.
Note Terminal access is almost always performed through RS-232 ports. You can use a USB-to-RS-232 adapter, however, to connect RS-232 terminals to a Linux computer via the computer's USB ports.
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