|| ||David Brownell <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|| ||ANNOUNCE: usbutils-0.70|
|| ||Sun, 30 Jan 2005 17:10:09 -0800|
The "usbutils" package is most useful for the "lsusb" utility, which
can provide considerable detail about the USB devices connected to
your Linux system. (It's like "pciutils" is for PCI.) When making
bug reports, or otherwise troubleshooting, "lsusb -v" output is very
useful; often more so than /proc/bus/usb/devices output.
For folk using Linux 2.4 kernels, this also provides "usbmodules"
which can help with the "coldplug" problem: setting up devices that
are connected before the OS is capable of running all of the necessary
The last official release was version 0.11 in August 2002. This version
should incorporate almost all of the bug fixes and patches that have been
floating around since then. If you're using patches that haven't been
merged, please resolve that.
This "lsusb" version is aware of USB 2.0 features; the 0.11 version only
understood USB 1.1 functionality.
This version understands many more types of descriptors; it previously
understood primarily audio and HID descriptors.
- Communications Device Class (CDC) descriptors, for USB Modems,
some Ethernet style links (such as cable modems), and many PDAs.
- Hub descriptor. Not all hubs are equal, and previously only
kernel CONFIG_USB_DEBUG messages showed how they differ. Older
versions of "lsusb" only showed descriptors for some hubs; this
shows them for all hubs, and also current status of each port.
- Device qualifier. If a device supports high speed USB, it has
one of these; otherwise, it doesn't.
- Chip Card and Smart Card interfacing devices.
- USB On-The-Go (OTG) devices. Starting to appear; some run Linux.
- USB Debug devices. Currently exotic.
- Unrecognized descriptors are dumped in hex; some previous versions
discarded them, which made troubleshooting painful.
Note that if the kernel HID driver is bound to a device, lsusb
can't show its descriptors. You can workaround this by removing the
"usbhid" module before running lsusb against that device.
This version uses the system's version of "libusb", rather than its
own private copy. That involved some API changes. It also accounted
for the only loss of functionality: lsusb doesn't currently list
the language strings supported by the device. Many devices don't
seem to bother with anything beyond English.
Download from one of the SourceForge mirrors for the Linux-USB project:
Also, current source is in CVS for the Linux-USB project at SourceForge.
If you have any patches (support for CJKV strings?), prepare them against
CVS and post them to the linux-usb-devel list.
It uses GNU autoconf, so configure and build it:
$ tar xf usbutils-0.70.tar.gz
$ cd usbutils-0.70
$ ./configure <-- see below for options
$ ./update-usbids.sh <-- optional
$ su -c "make install"
Significant options to "configure" include:
--prefix=/ To replace the normal /sbin version of
lsusb, rather than /usr/local.
--enable-usbmodules If you're using a Linux 2.4 based system
or otherwise not using "udev" for coldplug.
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