The OVMS Console

Console Connections

OVMS v3 includes a powerful command line console that can be accessed in various ways:

  1. Using a micro USB cable to a host computer.

If the OVMS is not recognised via USB download the driver from SILABS website. You will also need a suitable terminal emulator. The baud rate is 115200, and you should not enable hardware flow control.

  1. TELNET (over wifi).

Note that for security reasons, the telnet server component is not enabled in the default production firmware (but may be available in custom builds). If Telnet is available telnet to the IP address of the module (or <vehicleid>.local MDNS address).

  1. SSH (over wifi).

SSH to the IP address of the module (or <vehicleid>.local MDNS address). Note that when first booted with a network connection, the module takes a minute or so to generate server side keys (which are stored in the config store).

  1. Web Console SHELL tab.

Use a web browser to connect to the IP address of the module (or <vehicleid>.local MDNS address). A SHELL tab is available for direct command line console access.

  1. Remote Apps.

The OVMS Android App currently includes a shell screen that can be used to issue command line console commands via the OVMS server v2. This functionality is not currently available in the iPhone/iPad App.

  1. SMS.

Console commands can be issued via SMS in the future (not yet implemented).

USB Console

Our recommendations for the USB console are as follows:

  1. You can use a Windows, Linux, Mac OSX workstation or an Android device with a USB OTG adapter cable.

  2. If your operating system does not have the SILABS USB driver, you can download the driver from SILABS website. If you use Linux and your distribution includes the braille display driver “brltty”, you may need to uninstall that, as it claims any CP2102 device to be a braille device. This applies e.g. to openSuSE 15.0.

  3. Plug in the module to your PC/laptop, using a micro USB cable. Check to ensure a serial port appears (using the SILABS driver). For OSX and Linux this will normally appear as /dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART or /dev/ttyUSB0 (or 1/2/… if other serial devices are connected). List your devices using “ls /dev/*USB*”.

  4. Once the serial port is available you will need a terminal emulator.

  • For OSX, the simplest is the built-in SCREEN utility. You run this as screen -L /dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART 115200 But note that the device path may be different for you - check with ‘ls /dev/*USB*’. You can use ‘control-a control-y’ or ‘control-a k y’ (three key sequences) to exit the screen. The “-L” option tells screen to capture a log of your session into the file “screenlog.<n>”.

  • For Linux, the SCREEN utility is also simple to get. If it is not included with your distribution, you can simply yum install screen, or apt-get install screen (depending on your distribution). From there, the command is the same as for OSX. Alternatively, you can use minicom (which is included with many linux distributions).

  • For Windows, a simple approach is to download the free PUTTY terminal emulator. This supports both direct ASYNC (over USB) connections, as well as SSH (network). You can download putty using this link.

  • For Android, there are multiple USB serial Apps in the Play store. A good recommendation is Serial USB Terminal by Kai Morich.

  1. Once you have established the connection, press ENTER to see the “OVMS>” prompt.

SSH Console

A workstation (Mac, Linux, Window), on the same wifi network as the OVMS module, can use the ssh protocol to connect. In Windows you can use the free PUTTY ssh client. In Linux and OSX ssh is built-in.

The syntax is simply:

ssh user@ip

Where ‘user’ is the username (normally ‘ovms’) and ‘ip’ is the IP address of the OVMS v3 module. In environments supporting mDNS networking, you should also be able to connect using the mDNS name <vehicleid>.local. The password you enter is the module password.

If you use ssh public/private key pairs, you can store your public key on the OVMS v3 module, to take advantage of passwordless login.

OVMS# config set ssh.keys <user> <public-key>

In this case, ‘user’ is the username you use to ssh, and the public key is your RSA public key (the long base64 blob of text you find in between ‘ssh-rsa’ and your username/comment).

You can also use SCP to copy files to and from the OVMS v3 VFS.


With OpenSSH version 8.8 (or later), the ssh-rsa algorithm has been disabled by default and needs to be enabled manually, either on the command line:

ssh -o HostkeyAlgorithms=+ssh-rsa -o PubkeyAcceptedAlgorithms=+ssh-rsa user@ip

…or by adding a host entry to your ~/.ssh/config file:

Host ovmsname.local
    HostkeyAlgorithms +ssh-rsa
    PubkeyAcceptedAlgorithms +ssh-rsa


With OpenSSH version 9.0 (or later), the scp protocol has been disabled by default and replaced by the sftp protocol. To be able to use the scp command with OVMS, you need to re-enable the scp protocol with option -O on the command line:

scp -O ....

Console Basics

Let’s use SSH to demonstrate this:

$ ssh ovms@ovms.local

Welcome to the Open Vehicle Monitoring System (OVMS) - SSH Console
Firmware: 3.1.003-2-g7ea18b4-dirty/factory/main
Hardware: OVMS WIFI BLE BT cores=2 rev=ESP32/1


When first connecting using USB, the console will be in non-secure mode (as indicated by the “OVMS>” prompt). Here, only a limited number of commands are available (such as viewing network status, modem status, or system time). To get to secure mode, enter the command ‘enable’, and provide the module password. The prompt will then change to “OVMS#”:

OVMS> enable
Secure mode

You can enter the ‘disable’ command to get out of secure mode, and ‘exit’ to exit the console completely.

When connecting via a pre-authenticated protocol such as SSH, you will be in secure mode automatically.

At any time, you can use “?” to show the available commands. For example:

.                    Run a script
boot                 BOOT framework
can                  CAN framework
charge               Charging framework
co                   CANopen framework
config               CONFIG framework
disable              Leave secure mode (disable access to most commands)
egpio                EGPIO framework
enable               Enter secure mode (enable access to all commands)
event                EVENT framework
exit                 End console session
help                 Ask for help
homelink             Activate specified homelink button
location             LOCATION framework
lock                 Lock vehicle
log                  LOG framework
metrics              METRICS framework
module               MODULE framework
network              NETWORK framework
notify               NOTIFICATION framework
obdii                OBDII framework
ota                  OTA framework
power                Power control
re                   RE framework
script               Run a script
sd                   SD CARD framework
server               OVMS Server Connection framework
modem                MODEM framework
stat                 Show vehicle status
store                STORE framework
test                 Test framework
time                 TIME framework
unlock               Unlock vehicle
unvalet              Deactivate valet mode
valet                Activate valet mode
vehicle              Vehicle framework
vfs                  Virtual File System framework
wakeup               Wake up vehicle
wifi                 WIFI framework

You can also use “?” as part of a command to expand on the available options within that command root:

OVMS# wifi ?
mode                 WIFI mode framework
scan                 Perform a wifi scan
status               Show wifi status

OVMS# wifi mode ?
ap                   Acts as a WIFI Access Point
apclient             Acts as a WIFI Access Point and Client
client               Connect to a WIFI network as a client
off                  Turn off wifi networking

OVMS# wifi mode client ?
Usage: wifi mode client <ssid> <bssid>

Command tokens can be abbreviated so long as enough characters are entered to uniquely identify the command. Optionally pressing TAB at that point will auto-complete the token. If the abbreviated form is not sufficient to be unique (in particular if no characters have been entered yet) then TAB will show a concise list of the possible subcommands and retype the portion of the command line already entered so it can be completed:

OVMS# wifi <TAB>
mode scan status
OVMS# wifi █

Pressing TAB is legal at any point in the command; if there is nothing more that can be completed automatically then there will just be no response to the TAB.