Old Windows and DOS programs working on modern PC USB serial port

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Old Windows/DOS devices using RS232 or USB→RS232 connection may work on Linux using WINE or DOSBox. The examples assume a USB→RS232 adapter.

Windows RS232 on WINE

  1. from Linux terminal
    adduser $(whoami) dialout

    Logout and login again.

  2. Plug in USB-RS232 adapter.
    ls /dev/ttyUSB*

    It will probably show up as /dev/ttyUSB0

  3. Type in Terminal:
    ln -s /dev/ttyUSB0 ~/.wine/dosdevices/com1

    And your device will be available on the COM1 port in WINE.

DOSBox RS232

You can use DOSBox on Linux, Mac, Windows or Android.

  • setup serial port DOSBox on Linux
  • TODO: do Bluetooth to serial port adapters work from DOSBox?

Physical serial ports on Linux

For computers with 9-pin / 25-pin RS232/RS485 port. StarTech makes good PCI cards with 2, 4, or 8 RS232 ports that are Linux-friendly.

apt install setserial
setserial -g /dev/ttyS* | grep -v unknown


  • If you’re not currently running Linux you can use an Ubuntu Live USB stick.

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