Projects / PPort


PPort is a simple yet handy automation program and its documented counterpart for interfacing a PC with external electronic devices. Using its two programs, a daemon and a client, it aims to control external apparatus by reading and writing through common computer ports. Using this bundle, one can successfully control any household appliance or electronic device with minimal hassle and practically no changes.

Operating Systems

Recent releases

  •  21 Apr 2005 10:33

    Release Notes: This release changes ioperm() calls to iopl() calls, to provide access to higher port ranges.

    •  04 Nov 2004 14:15

      Release Notes: Sending raw data through the parallel port has been implemented. The documentation was brought up to date. Some necessary modifications to the autoconf system were made.

      •  19 Sep 2004 05:33

        Release Notes: A persistent problem was fixed, the man page short option was removed, some useless code was dumped, and a bootstrapping script was added. Minor cleanups were made to the source code.

        •  25 Aug 2004 14:54

          Release Notes: This release fixes some problems with the daemon checking the syslog option. The manual page was moved to section 1, and the contextual help was enhanced. Port selection was removed, since it has been implemented automatically. The strobe funtion was also removed, since it proved to be redundant.

          •  08 Jul 2004 17:12

            Release Notes: Conditionals were inserted in order to break compilation in case certain required libraries are not found. The functions were generalised and the help system detailed. The documentation was updated including man pages and the howto. Most notably, pport now has experimental code for serial (RS232) ports.

            Recent comments

            19 Aug 2004 08:08 justinpryzby

            Applications of PPort
            Hi all,

            I recently used pport to automate the dome at the club's astronomical observatory. Last winter, we built a warmroom building which is 50 feet away; this allows us to do take pictures away from the cold and the bugs.

            The problem is, we can't move the telescope much, because otherwise we'd just be pointing at the dome. Also, if we wanted to take a long exposure, we'd have to manually rotate the dome.

            So, I took apart the switch that controlled manual rotation of the dome, and added a three connections which allowed me to close the "rotate-right" circuit with a relay from Radioshack. I ran a signal cable from the dome to the warmroom, and used pport to control the relay. So, I was able to rotate the dome remotely. Now, with a bit of software magic, the dome is kept in-sync with the telescope, so the two are always pointing to the same place.

            If I were to spend more time on the project, I would implement bi-directional rotation, which would require a second relay. Also, I think I need a different kind of transistor, because right now, the dome rotates until I tell it to stop (so I have to have an initial "toggle-rotation" command to stop it, then it works as expected).

            By the way, I have made .debs of pport, which can be found at




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