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USBHIDACTION(1) NetBSD General Commands Manual USBHIDACTION(1)
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usbhidaction -- perform actions according to USB HID controls
usbhidaction -c config-file [-d] [-i] -f device [-p pidfile] [-t table]
[-v] [arg ...]
usbhidaction can be used to execute commands when certain values appear
on HID controls. The normal operation for this program is to read the
configuration file and then become a daemon and execute commands as the
HID items specify. If a read from the HID device fails the program dies;
this will make it die when the USB device is unplugged.
The options are as follows:
Specify a path name for the config file. When running as a dae-
mon this needs to be an absolute path for the HUP signal to work.
-d Toggle the daemon flag.
-i Ignore HID items in the config file that do not exist in the
Specify a path name for the device to operate on. If device is
numeric, it is taken to be the USB HID device number. If it is a
relative path, it is taken to be the name of the device under
/dev. An absolute path is taken to be the literal device path-
Writes a file containing the process ID of the program. The file
name has the form /var/run/usbhidaction.pid. If the option is
not given, pidfile defaults to usbhidaction.
Specify a path name for the HID usage table file.
-v Be verbose, and do not become a daemon.
The config file will be re-read if the process gets a HUP signal.
The configuration file has a very simple format. Each line describes an
action; if a line begins with a whitespace it is considered a continua-
tion of the previous line. Lines beginning with `#' are considered as
Each line has three parts: a name of a USB HID item, a value for that
item, and an action. There must be whitespace between the parts.
The item names are similar to those used by usbhidctl(1), but each part
must be prefixed by its page name (use the -v flag to usbhidctl(1) to see
the page name). Replace spaces in the item name by underscores.
The value is simply a numeric value. When the item reports this value
the action will be performed. If the value is `*' it will match any
The action is a normal command that is executed with system(3). Before
it is executed some substitution will occur: `$n' will be replaced by the
nth argument on the command line, `$V' will be replaced by the numeric
value of the HID item, `$N' will be replaced by the name of the control,
and `$H' will be replaced by the name of the HID device.
/usr/share/misc/usb_hid_usages The HID usage table.
The following configuration file can be used to control a pair of Philips
USB speakers with the HID controls on the speakers.
# Configuration for various Philips USB speakers
mixerctl -f $1 -n -w outputs.master++
mixerctl -f $1 -n -w outputs.master--
mixerctl -f $1 -n -w outputs.mute++
mixerctl -f $1 -n -w outputs.bass++
mixerctl -f $1 -n -w outputs.bass--
A sample invocation using this configuration would be
usbhidaction -f /dev/uhid1 -c conf /dev/mixer1
This configuration file can be used for various keyboards with extra
# Configuration for extra keyboard keys
mixerctl -n -w outputs.master++
mixerctl -n -w outputs.master--
mixerctl -n -w outputs.mute++
And this configuration can be used with, e.g.,
usbhidaction -f /dev/uhid0 -c conf -i
usbhidctl(1), usbhid(3), uhid(4), usb(4)
The usbhidaction command first appeared in NetBSD 1.6.
NetBSD 9.3 May 14, 2018 NetBSD 9.3