Serial port programming for Windows and Linux OS

How is serial port programming used today?

Serial port programming

Serial programming is an important subset of application development when you are interacting with external devices through serial ports. It is concerned with serial communication, which is the sending of data sequentially over a communication channel or computer bus. Sending and receiving data between a peripheral device and a computer requires you to use serial programming methods. The device can range from a printer or keyboard to a portable cryptocurrency wallet or a remote surveillance camera. The complexity of the routines required will depend on the type of port you will be using. RS232 programming for older ports interacts with the hardware layer whereas when programming for USB you will be interacting with a complete software stack.

The Windows operating system is a prime target for applications due to its tremendous popularity. Windows serial port programming deals with the COM ports of the operating system through which all data flows in and out of the computer. Many languages can be used, but C is one of the main languages used for this type of programming. You will be called upon to use the WIN32 API and depending on your application may need to delve into the TAPI Windows telephony interface.

Linux is another very popular operating system with many variations in specific implementations. Your serial ports are named differently in Linux, with names such as /dev/ttys0 and /dev/ttyUSB0, so right away there are differences in how you approach Linux serial programming. C again is a popular language choice for serial programming and you will be interacting with devices that Linux treats as files. You will be using an API such as termios to communicate between your application and the serial ports.

The specialized nature of serial port programming may be outside the scope of your team’s expertise, and problems in communication between your application and its intended target devices can lead to a crippling delay in your development project. Problems such as unexpectedly corrupted text or connectivity issues can be hard to diagnose for programmers without extensive serial port experience.

Eltima Software can solve your serial port programming issues


The programmers at Eltima Software have over 15 years of experience with the intricacies of serial programming. One of the company’s specialties are utilities and applications that interact with, monitor, and emulate serial ports and connections. This has made them experts in the complexities involved in programming these devices.

Serial port programming

The specialists at Eltima Software can help with any of your Windows or Linux serial port programming needs. We are skilled in many programming languages and OS platforms and can work with you to seamlessly integrate your application and the external devices it needs to access. Eltima Port Virtualization Technology can be integrated to the projects of any size. If you need some problem procedures streamlined or want full scale project management and application development, Eltima Software has the skills you need to get your project up and running. Get in touch with them today and find out how they can help solve your serial programming issues and keep your project on schedule.