A cross-platform Java Native Access (JNA) wrapper for the signal11/hidapi library. Works out of the box on Windows/Mac/Linux.
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gary-rowe Merge pull request #58 from madhephaestus/develop
Resolve #57 - Reviewed changes and they appear OK. Merging.
Latest commit 60b911c Jul 12, 2017


Status: Build Status

Project status

Release: Available for production work

Latest release: Maven Central Javadocs


The hid4java project supports USB HID devices through a common API which is provided here under the MIT license. The API is very simple but provides great flexibility such as support for feature reports and blocking reads with timeouts. Attach/detach events are provided to allow applications to respond instantly to device availability.

The wiki provides a guide to building the project.


  • hidapi - Native USB HID library for multiple platforms
  • JNA - to remove the need for Java Native Interface (JNI) and greatly simplify the project
  • Java 6+ - to remove dependencies on JVMs that have reached end of life

Maven dependency


  <!-- hid4java for cross-platform HID USB -->


Code example

Taken from UsbHidTrezorV1Example which provides more details. See later for how to run it from the command line.

// Get HID services
hidServices = HidManager.getHidServices();

// Provide a list of attached devices
for (HidDevice hidDevice : hidServices.getAttachedHidDevices()) {

// Open a Bitcoin Trezor device by Vendor ID and Product ID with wildcard serial number
HidDevice trezor = hidServices.getHidDevice(0x534c, 0x01, null);

// Send the Initialise message
byte[] message = new byte[64];
message[0] = 0x3f;
message[1] = 0x23;
message[2] = 0x23;

int val = trezor.write(message, 64, (byte) 0);
if (val != -1) {
  System.out.println("> [" + val + "]");
} else {

// Clean shutdown

Getting started

If you're unfamiliar with Maven and git the wiki provides an easy guide to creating a development environment.

The project uses the standard Maven build process and can be used without having external hardware attached. Just do the usual

cd <project directory>
mvn clean install

and you're good to go. If you're in an IDE then you can use src/test/java/org/hid4java/UsbHidTrezorV1Example) to verify correct operation. From the command line:

 mvn clean test exec:java -Dexec.classpathScope="test" -Dexec.mainClass="org.hid4java.UsbHidDeviceExample"

If you have a Trezor device attached you'll see a "Features" message appear as a big block of hex otherwise it will be just a simple enumeration of attached USB devices. You can plug various devices in and out to see messages.

Use CTRL+C to quit the example.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What platforms do you support ?

If you have a native version of hidapi for your platform then you'll be able to support it.

Pre-compiled versions for Windows (32/64), OS X (10.5+) and Linux (32/64) are provided and you must follow the JNA naming convention when adding new libraries.

Why not just use usb4java ?

The usb4java project, while superb, does not support HID devices on OS X and apparently there are no plans to introduce HID support anytime soon.

You will find that trying to claim the USB device on OS X will fail with permissions problems. If you apply a workaround (such as adding a kernel extension) then it will still fall over just a little later in the process. The bottom line is that you must use hidapi to communicate with HID devices on OS X.

Is the latest code in Maven Central ?

Yes but not the older versions at present. If you need to use the older code for some reason, you'll need to add this to your project's pom.xml.



  <!-- Only include the snapshot repo if you're working with the latest hid4java on develop -->
    <!-- These artifacts change frequently during development iterations -->



  <!-- hid4java for cross-platform HID USB -->


Can I just copy this code into my project ?

Yes. Perhaps you'd prefer to use

git submodule add https://github.com/gary-rowe/hid4java hid4java 

so that you can keep up to date with changes whilst still fixing the version.


The following are known issues and their solutions or workarounds.

I get a SIGSEGV (0xb) when starting up

This shouldn't occur unless you've been changing the code.

You have probably got the getFieldOrder list wrong. Use the field list from Class.getFields() to get a suitable order. Another cause is if a Structure has not been initialised and is being deferenced, perhaps in a toString() method.

There is also the possibility that using the built-in HidDeviceManager code can cause problems in some applications.

I get a "The parameter is incorrect" when writing

There is a special case on Windows for report ID 0x00 which can cause a misalignment during a hidapi write(). To compensate for this, hid4java will detect when it is running on Windows with a report ID of 0x00 and simply copy the data unmodified to the write buffer. In all other cases it will prepend the report ID to the data before submitting it to hidapi.

If you're seeing this then it may be that your code is attempting to second guess hid4java.

The hidapi library doesn't load

On startup hid4java will search the classpath looking for a library that matches the machine OS and architecture (e.g. Windows running on AMD64). It uses the JNA naming conventions to do this and will report the expected path if it fails. You can add your own entry under src/main/resources and it should get picked up. Ideally you should raise an issue on the hid4java repo so that the proper library can be put into the project so that others can avoid this problem.

The hidapi library loads but takes a long time on Windows

You have probably terminated the JVM using a kill -9 rather than a clean shutdown. This will have left the HidApi process lock on the DLL still in force and Windows will continuously check to see if it can share it with a new instance. Just detach and re-attach the device to clear it.

I'm seeing spurious attach/detach events occurring on Windows

This was a device enumeration bug in early versions of hid4java. Use 0.3.1 or higher.

My device doesn't work on Linux

Different flavours of Linux require different settings:


Out of the box Ubuntu classifies HID devices as belonging to root. You can override this rule by creating your own under /etc/udev/rules.d:

sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/99-myhid.rules

Make the content of this file as below (using your own discovered hex values for idProduct and idVendor):

# My HID device
ATTRS{idProduct}=="0001", ATTRS{idVendor}=="abcd", MODE="0660", GROUP="plugdev"

Save and exit from root, then unplug and replug your device. The rules should take effect immediately. If they're still not running it may that you're not a member of the plugdev group. You can fix this as follows (assuming that plugdev is not present on your system):

sudo addgroup plugdev
sudo addgroup yourusername plugdev

Edit the USB udev rules /etc/udev/rules.d as follows:

MODE="0666", GROUP="dialout"

Running on ARM machines you may encounter problems due to a missing library. This is just a naming issue for the udev library and can be resolved using the following command (or equivalent for your system):

sudo ln -sf /lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/libudev.so.1 /lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/libudev.so.0

Thanks to @MaxRoma for that one!

My device doesn't work on Windows

Check that the usage page is not 0x06 which is reserved for keyboards and mice. Windows opens these devices for its exclusive use and thus hid4java cannot establish its own connection to them. You will need to use the lower level usb4java library for this.

Closing notes

All trademarks and copyrights are acknowledged.

Many thanks to victorix who provided the basis for this library. Please see the inspiration on the mbed.org site.