Python USB access module

hardware, python, usb
pip install pyusb==1.0.2


PyUSB 1.0 - Easy USB access from Python


Due for personal reasons, I can no longer maintain PyUSB. If you are willing to take PyUSB maintainance role, please contact me.


The PyUSB module provides for Python easy access to the host machine's Universal Serial Bus (USB) system.

Until 0.4 version, PyUSB used to be a thin wrapper over libusb. With 1.0 version, things changed considerably. Now PyUSB is an API rich, backend neutral Python USB module easy to use.

As with most Python modules, PyUSB's documentation is based on Python doc strings and can therefore be manipulated by tools such as pydoc.

You can also find a tutorial at:

PyUSB is being developed and tested on Linux and Windows, but it should work fine on any platform running Python >= 2.4, ctypes and at least one of the builtin backends.

PyUSB supports libusb 0.1, libusb 1.0 and OpenUSB, but the user does not need to worry about that, unless in some corner cases.

If you have any question about PyUSB, you can use the PyUSB mailing list hosted in the SourceForge. In the PyUSB website ( you can find instructions on how to subscribe to the mailing list.

Installing PyUSB on GNU/Linux Systems

These instructions are for Debian-based systems. Instructions for other flavors of GNU/Linux should be similar.

You will first need to install the following packages:

  1. python (PyUSB is useless without it), version >= 2.4
  2. At least one of the supported libraries (libusb 1.0, libusb 0.1 or OpenUSB)
  3. If your Python version is < 2.5, you have to install ctypes as a separate package, because these versions of Python does not ship it.

For example, the command:

$ sudo apt-get install python libusb-1.0-0

should install all these packages on most Debian-based systems with access to the proper package repositories.

Once the above packages are installed, you can install PyUSB with the command:

$ sudo python install

Run it as root from within the same directory as this README file.

You can also use pip to install PyUSB:

$ sudo pip install pyusb --pre

Just bear in mind that you still follow to procedure to install the libusb library.

For pure Debian variants

For pure Debian systems you are advised to install either the python-usb or python3-usb packages. These are prebuilt based on PyUSB and libusb-1.0:

$ sudo apt-get install python-usb python3-usb

You may wish to get the backported version 1.0, since PyUSB doesn't depend upon any truly unstable packages.

Installing PyUSB on Windows

Now that PyUSB is 100% written in Python, you install it on Windows in the same way you do on Linux:

python install

If you get some kind of "command not found" error, make sure to add the Python install directory to your PATH environment variable or give the complete path to the Python interpreter.

Remember that you need libusb (1.0 or 0.1) or OpenUSB running on your system. For Windows users, libusb 0.1 is provided through libusb-win32 package. Check the libusb website for updates (

Reporting bugs/Submitting patches

Some people have been sending patches and reporting bugs directly at my email. Please, do it through github, I had a hardtime tracking their names to put them in the acknowledgments file. ;-)

PS: this README file was based on the great Josh Lifton's one... ^_^