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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How To: List USB Devices

Today’s article might look like a funny headline, where the subject would be how to list USB devices. Today, we’ll have a relatively short article. It’s not complicated and you’ve already learned how to list USB devices! Wait-a-minute!

After all, you’ve already been told how to do this. In fact, I’ve written an article on this very subject! See:

A Little About The ‘lsusb’ Command.

That article covered how to list USB devices, using the lsusb command. Right?

Yes. Yes, it did.

But, this is Linux and there’s another command that doesn’t get enough attention. In fact, I’d wager (a small amount) that many of you wouldn’t have used this command before. 

What is this mystery command? It’s really easy to remember. It’s not complicated, it’s simply “usb-devices”. On the man page, the command describes itself as:

usb-devices – print USB device details

Sure enough, that’s what it does. But, unlike the ‘lsusb’ command, this command spits out a whole lot more information by default. There’s not a whole lot more to say about it, and I’m making this article extra short. So…

List USB Devices:

As implied in the opening part of this article, you’re going to need an open terminal. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, simply run the command:

If you check the man page, you’ll find that that’s it. There’s nothing special to do with this command, you just run it. The man page contains this:

usb-devices is a (bash) shell script that can be used to display details of USB buses in the system and the devices connected to them.

It might be the easiest command you’ll ever run – and it’s also easy to remember. So, why is it so unknown? Well, we use ‘lsusb’ for listing USB devices and the command doesn’t rank well in search engines, but it’s at the bottom of many such articles. It also doesn’t do much more than list USB devices, as it’s just some sort of a built-in bit of shell scripting.


So, I figured I’d do an extra short article today. Why not? We’ve done some longer articles lately, so we might as well try the super-short format. It helps that I didn’t dive off-topic or the like, but simply explained how to list USB devices. Do you have any thoughts on articles in this shorter format?

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 site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.


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