So after searching around I couldn't find a post that really covered my situation, I wanted to program a Kenwood TK-250 using the KPG-23 software on a machine running Linux. The computer, a netbook I keep in the shack, doesn't have any serial ports and I only have a USB programing cable anyway. I found plenty of threads where people were actually considering/recommending going out and buying a $20 brick of a laptop on ebay just to dedicate it to DOS software, hoping the old one they have doesn't crap out, or having endless problems getting virtual machines to recognize USB devices as COM1. After reading through a bunch of man pages and old forums that described their success as "spotty at best" I got everything working perfectly. Here is all you'll need to do:
1. Install DOSBOX.
2. Identify the port your USB programing cable, or USB to serial adapter is pluged into:ll /dev/ttyUSB* if it's the only USB device plugged in it's the only one that will come up.
3. Make sure that the USB port is r/w enabled for your user, or just make it r/w enabled for everyone: sudo chmod 666 /dev/ttyUSB(the number from step 2) That seems to be the easiest way to get DOSBOX to access USB reliably, even if it's not my first choice.
4. Edit your DOSBOX config file to read: serial1=directserial realport:ttyUSB(the number from step 2) in the section for serial ports.
5. Start up DOSBOX and run the programing software.
6. Connect your radio to a modern computer via USB and enjoy not having to dig out an old computer just to program a radio.
Hope this helps someone save a bit of time.