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USBHIDCTL(1) NetBSD General Commands Manual USBHIDCTL(1)
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usbhidctl -- manipulate USB HID devices
usbhidctl -f device [-t table] [-lv] -a
usbhidctl -f device [-t table] [-v] -r
usbhidctl -f device [-t table] [-lnv] item [...]
usbhidctl -f device [-t table] [-z] -w item=value [...]
usbhidctl can be used to output or modify the state of a USB HID (Human
Interface Device). If a list of items is present on the command line,
then usbhidctl prints the current value of those items for the specified
device. If the -w flag is specified usbhidctl attempts to set the speci-
fied items to the given values.
The options are as follows:
-a Show all items and their current values. This option fails if
the device does not support the GET_REPORT command.
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-
-l Loop and dump the device data every time it changes. Only
'input' items are displayed in this mode.
-n Suppress printing of the item name when querying specific items.
Only output the current value.
-r Dump the USB HID report descriptor.
Specify a path name for the HID usage table file.
-v Be verbose. Repeating this option increases verbosity.
-w Change item values. Only 'output' and 'feature' kinds can be set
with this option.
-z Reset all feature and output flags to zero before attempting to
change them. May be required for changing item values (via -w)
on devices that don't implement GET_REPORT.
/usr/share/misc/usb_hid_usages The default HID usage table.
usbhidctl parses the names of items specified on the command line against
the human interface items reported by the USB device. Each human inter-
face item is mapped from its native form to a human readable name, using
the HID usage table file. Command line items are compared with the gen-
erated item names, and the USB HID device is operated on when a match is
Each human interface item is named by the "page" it appears in, the
"usage" within that page, and the list of "collections" containing the
item. Each collection in turn is also identified by page, and the usage
within that page.
On the usbhidctl command line the page name is separated from the usage
name with the character `:'. The collections are separated by the char-
As an alternative notation in items on the command line, the native
numeric value for the page name or usage can be used instead of the full
human readable page name or usage name. Numeric values can be specified
in decimal, octal or hexadecimal.
Some devices give the same name to more than one item. usbhidctl sup-
ports isolating each item by appending a `#'. character and a decimal
item instance number, starting at zero.
On a standard USB mouse the item
reflects the current status of button 2. The "button 2" item is encapsu-
lated within two collections, the "Mouse" collection in the "Generic
Desktop" page, and the "Pointer" collection in the "Generic Desktop"
page. The item itself is the usage "Button_2" in the "Button" page.
An item can generally be named by omitting one or more of the page names.
For example the "button 2" item would usually just be referred to on the
command line as:
usbhidctl -f /dev/mouse Mouse.Pointer.Button_2
Items can also be named by referring to parts of the item name with the
numeric representation of the native HID usage identifiers. This is most
useful when items are missing from the HID usage table. The page identi-
fier for the "Generic Desktop" page is 1, and the usage identifier for
the usage "Button_2" is 2, so the following can be used to refer to the
"button 2" item:
usbhidctl -f /dev/mouse 1:Mouse.1:Pointer.Button:2
Devices with human interface outputs can be manipulated with the -w
option. For example, some USB mice have a Light Emitting Diode under
software control as usage 2 under page 0xffff, in the "Mouse" collection.
The following can be used to switch this LED off:
usbhidctl -f /dev/mouse -w Mouse.0xffff:2=0
The output below is from a device that uses the same name repeatedly.
% usbhidctl -f /dev/uhid0 -a
The "Consumer_Control.Unassigned" name is used twice. Each can be indi-
vidually accessed by providing an instance number. For example, to set
the value for the first item:
usbhidctl -f /dev/uhid0 -w 'Consumer_Control.Unassigned#0=1'
Another example is configuring multimedia keys on a keyboard. First you
would look in the dmesg(8) output, which uhid(4) devices are attached to
the keyboard's uhidev(4) device and use usbhidctl to see how the controls
usbhidctl -f /dev/uhidX -lv -a
Then press the special keys; you should see something like
Consumer:Volume_Up etc. Then create a configuration file containing the
Consumer:Volume_Up 1 /usr/pkg/bin/dcop amarok player volumeUp &
Consumer:Volume_Down 1 /usr/pkg/bin/dcop amarok player volumeDown &
Consumer:Mute 1 /usr/pkg/bin/dcop amarok player mute &
usbhidaction -c /path/to/file -f /dev/uhidX
once during your X startup.
usbhidaction(1), usbhid(3), uhid(4), usb(4)
The usbhidctl command first appeared in NetBSD 1.4.
David Sainty <David.Sainty@dtsp.co.nz>
NetBSD 8.1 March 30, 2011 NetBSD 8.1