I had a very difficult time finding a way to get a simple serial barcode scanner to work in Linux. USB barcode scanners are a cinch because they are basically like usb keyboards. However with a serial device there has to be something to direct the input from /dev/ttyS0 to the keyboard buffer.
I knew my scanner was working fine because cat /dev/ttyS0 would output the barcode I scanned. I knew I needed a way to direct the output to the keyboard but I didn’t want to write the little program to do it, so I searched and searched and searched. After trying a few outdated programs I finally found Softwedge. It’s very simple and easy to compile but if you don’t even want to go that far there is deb files for 32 bit and 64 bit Debian/Ubuntu.
softwedge -c /dev/ttyWhatever
to start capturing all your barcodes from your barcode scanner. It worke perfectly on an old IBM Surepos system.
Hopefully this will help someone who is looking to do the same thing.