Show Your USB Devices In The Linux Terminal

Today’s article won’t be all that long or complicated because we’re just going to show your USB devices in the Linux terminal. This is something easily done and not something too unusual. You never know when you’ll want to show your USB devices, but this is your chance to do so.

We have covered the lsusb command in the past, but we’ll include that and go beyond that. Why? Because we can. It’s okay to revisit earlier material if we’re going to add to it.

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus and there are many versions. I’d like to think that my readers don’t need to be told what USB is. You’ve probably used USB devices in the past, including using a USB storage device to install Linux or use as an input device like your keyboard and mouse. 

Not having to explain that will save a lot of time!

Show Your USB Devices:

You can learn quite a bit about your USB devices in the terminal. You can learn what the devices are, maybe the product name, where it’s plugged in, and more. So, we’ll cover that in this article.

The two tools we’re going to use shouldn’t require any new software. Sweet!


The first tool we’ll cover is the lsusb application. You won’t need to install this. It will be installed by default. You can confirm that you have lsusb installed with the following command:

Sure enough, you can check the man page to see that this is a good tool for this task. That command is:

With that information, you can see that it’s described like this:

lsusb – list USB devices

See? It’s exactly the tool for the job!

To run this command, you simply run it in your terminal – like so:

That will output a bunch of USB information.


Now this is a command that I’ve not previously covered. It’s a simple command to operate but the output is different from the above. This command gives a great deal more information than the above lsusb command does. 

You can ensure that usb-devices is installed with this command:

If you want to check the man page, run this command:

You’ll see that this is a useful tool if you want to show USB devices. In fact, you’ll see that it’s possibly better than the plain lsusb command. It’s described like:

usb-devices – print USB device details

The important part is ‘details’. This command will show you a great deal of the details regarding the USB devices.

NOTE: This will only show the details for things that are active. If you have inactive USB devices it will not show them. That explains the difference between the lsusb command and the usb-devices command. Well, that and this command spits out a lot more information.

If you want to run this command in your terminal, it’s simply done like so:

That’s not very complicated at all and will reveal quite a bit more information than you’d get with the previous lsusb command. It’s worth running both in some situations, but run this usb-devices command if you need detailed information.


See? I told you that this one wouldn’t take all that long. I probably could have labeled this one as a short article, but I didn’t. It’s also written in a different format – not even telling you how to open your terminal. If you need to know that, you can figure it out – or you already know. I did mention the terminal in the headline.

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A Little About The ‘lsusb’ Command.

Today’s article will not be all that long or all that complicated, as we’ll just be learning a little about the ‘lsusb’ command. It seems like a good idea to cover it now, early in the year. I’ve been meaning to get to writing this article for a while.

Over the next few days, you will probably see some similar-looking articles. This is just the start. There are other similar commands and we’re going to cover those. Many of my readers will know some (or all) about these commands, and that’s okay. After all, our goal is getting people up to speed.

Today’s command will be the ‘lsusb’ command. If you check the man page, it’s described accurately – like so:

lsusb – list USB devices

As you can see, you use the ‘lsusb’ command when you want to learn about your system’s USB buses and the devices connected to them. You shouldn’t need to install anything. The ‘lsusb’ application is almost certainly available by default.

We probably won’t be covering all the ‘lsusb’ options. We’re just going to cover those options that you’re most likely to use. There’s always the man page for when you want more options. There’s really no need to get to deep in an article like this.

About The ‘lsusb’ Command:

The ‘lsusb’ command is a command that’s run only in the terminal. So, of course, you’ll need to have an open terminal available. If you just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open. Tada! It’s pure witchcraft!

With your terminal now open, the simplest form of ‘lsusb’ is to just run the command without any flags. Like so:

You’ll likely get an output similar to this:

output from the 'lsusb' command
This is just the ‘lsusb’ output from a handy laptop. It’s pretty basic, with nothing connected.

As you can see, it’s not always just the actual USB ports on the side of your device that are USB devices. In the above screenshot, you can see that the wireless card, webcam, and Bluetooth devices are all on the USB bus. They’re not actually connected to a physical USB port, they’re just using the same underlying tech without actually having physical ports.

There are other things you can do with ‘lsusb’, like view the output in tree format. This is great if you’ve got things like USB hubs with things attached to them. It’s good organization and the command is simply:

The only other ‘lsusb’ command you’re likely to use is the ‘verbose’ mode. Like oh so many other applications, that’s the -v flag. The command looks like:

This is not to be confused with lsusb -V – which will show you the version. If you do that, you’ll also learn that the ‘lsusb’ command is a part of the ‘usbutils’ package. 

There’s not all that much more to the ‘lsusb’ command. Those are the ‘lsusb’ commands I’ve found myself using more than any others. They’re also the most used commands I’d ask a user to run when diagnosing a problem with their USB devices. If you want, you can learn more by checking the man page:

There’s more information in the man page about running the ‘lsusb’ command. Feel free to check it out and ask any questions needed.


I’m going to cover some pretty basic stuff in the next few articles. I may intersperse them with other articles, so that folks don’t get bored. Don’t be bashful, leave a comment or two if you want. I love getting new comments and the site’s starting to grow quite nicely. Get your comments in early!

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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