uhubctl - USB hub per-port power control
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README.md

uhubctl

uhubctl is utility to control USB power per-port on smart USB hubs. Smart hub is defined as one that implements per-port power switching.

Original idea for this code was inspired by hub-ctrl.c by Niibe Yutaka: http://www.gniibe.org/development/ac-power-control-by-USB-hub

Compatible USB hubs

Note that very few hubs actually support per-port power switching. Some of them are no longer manufactured and can be hard to find.

This is list of known compatible USB hubs:

Manufacturer Product Ports USB VID:PID Release EOL
AmazonBasics HU3641V1 (RPi issue) 4 3.0 2109:2811 2013
AmazonBasics HU3770V1 (RPi issue) 7 3.0 2109:2811 2013
Apple Thunderbolt Display 27" (internal USB hub) 6 2.0 2011 2016
Apple USB Keyboard With Numeric Pad (internal USB hub) 3 2.0 2011
Asus Z87-PLUS Motherboard (onboard USB hub) 4 3.0 2013 2016
B&B Electronics UHR204 4 2.0 2013
Belkin F5U701-BLK 7 2.0 2008 2012
Circuitco Beagleboard-xM (internal USB hub) 4 2.0 0424:9514 2010
CyberPower CP-H420P 4 2.0 0409:0059 2004
Cypress CY4608 HX2VL development kit 4 2.0 04B4:6570 2012
D-Link DUB-H4 rev D1 (black edition) 4 2.0 05E3:0608 2012
D-Link DUB-H7 rev A (silver edition) 7 2.0 2001:F103 2005 2010
D-Link DUB-H7 rev D1 (black edition) 7 2.0 05E3:0608 2012
Delock 87445 4 2.0 05E3:0608 2009 2013
Elecom U2H-G4S 4 2.0 2006 2011
Hawking Technology UH214 4 2.0 2003 2008
j5create JUH470 (works only in USB2 mode) 3 3.0 05E3:0610 2014
Lenovo ThinkPad EU Ultra Dockingstation (40A20090EU) 6 2.0 17EF:100F 2015
Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Ultrabase 42X4963 3 2.0 17EF:1005 2008 2011
Lindy USB serial converter 4 port 4 1.1 058F:9254 2008
Linksys USB2HUB4 4 2.0 2004 2010
Maplin A08CQ 7 2.0 0409:0059 2008 2011
Microchip EVB-USB2517 7 2.0 2008
Moxa Uport-407 4 2.0 2017
Plugable USB3-HUB7BC 7 3.0 2109:0813 2015
Plugable USB3-HUB7C 7 3.0 2109:0813 2015
Plugable USB3-HUB7-81X 7 3.0 2109:0813 2012
Plugable USB2-HUB10S 10 2.0 2010
Raspberry Pi Model B+, 2 B, 3 B (port 2 only) 4 2.0 2011
Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+ 6 2.0 0424:2514 2018
Renesas uPD720202 PCIe USB 3.0 host controller 2 3.0 2013
Rosewill RHUB-210 4 2.0 0409:005A 2011 2014
Sanwa Supply USB-HUB14GPH 4 1.1 2001 2003
StarTech ST4200USBM 4 2.0 0409:005A 2004
Sunix SHB4200MA 4 2.0 0409:0058 2006 2009
Targus PAUH212U 7 2.0 2004 2009

This table is by no means complete. If your hub works with uhubctl, but is not listed above, please report it by opening new issue at https://github.com/mvp/uhubctl/issues, so we can add it to supported table. In your report, please provide exact product model and add output from uhubctl.

Note that quite a few modern motherboards have built-in root hubs that do support this feature - you may not even need to buy any external hub. WARNING: turning off built-in USB ports may cut off your keyboard or mouse, so be careful what ports you are turning off!

USB 3.0 duality note

If you have USB 3.0 hub connected to USB3 upstream port, it will be detected as 2 independent virtual hubs: USB2 and USB3, and your USB devices will be connected to USB2 or USB3 virtual hub depending on their capabilities and connection speed. To control power for such hubs, it is necessary to turn off/on power on both USB2 and USB3 virtual hubs for power off/on changes to take effect. uhubctl will try to do this automatically (unless you disable this behavior with option -e).

Unfortunately, while most hubs will cut off data USB connection, some may still not cut off VBUS to port, which means connected phone may still continue to charge from port that is powered off by uhubctl.

Compiling

This utility was tested to compile and work on Linux (Ubuntu/Debian, Redhat/Fedora/CentOS, Arch Linux, Gentoo, OpenSUSE, Buildroot), FreeBSD and Mac OS X.

While uhubctl compiles on Windows, USB power switching does not work on Windows because libusb is using winusb.sys driver, which according to Microsoft does not support necessary USB control requests. This may be fixed if libusb starts supporting different driver on Windows.

First, you need to install library libusb-1.0 (version 1.0.12 or later):

  • Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev
  • Redhat: sudo yum install libusb1-devel
  • MacOSX: brew install libusb, or sudo port install libusb-devel
  • FreeBSD: libusb is included by default
  • Windows: TBD?

To compile, simply run make - this will generate uhubctl binary.

Also, for Mac OS X you can install uhubctl with Homebrew custom tap:

brew tap mvp/uhubctl https://github.com/mvp/uhubctl
brew install --HEAD uhubctl

Usage

You can control the power on a USB port(s) like this:

uhubctl -a off -p 2

This means operate on default smart hub and turn power off (-a off, or -a 0) on port 2 (-p 2). Supported actions are off/on/cycle (or 0/1/2). cycle means turn power off, wait some delay (configurable with -d) and turn it back on.

On Linux, you may need to run it with sudo, or to configure udev USB permissions.

If you have more than one smart USB hub connected, you should choose specific hub to control using -l (location) parameter. To find hub locations, simply run uhubctl without any parameters. Hub locations look like b-x.y.z, where b is USB bus number, and x, y, z... are port numbers for all hubs in chain, starting from root hub for a given USB bus. This address is semi-stable - it will not change if you unplug/replug (or turn off/on) USB device into the same physical USB port (this method is also used in Linux kernel).

Notable projects using uhubctl

Project Description
Morse code USB light Flash a message in Morse code with USB light
Webcam USB light Turn on/off LED when webcam is turned on/off
Cinema Lightbox Turn on/off Cinema Lightbox from iOS Home app
Build Status Light Create a build status light in under 10 minutes
Weather Station Reset Weather Station when it freezes
sysmoQMOD Reset cellular modems when necessary
Smog Sensor Raspberry Pi based smog sensor power reset
Terrible Cluster Power on/off Raspberry Pi cluster nodes as needed
Ideal Music Server Turn off unused USB ports to improve audio quality

Copyright

Copyright (C) 2009-2018 Vadim Mikhailov

This file can be distributed under the terms and conditions of the GNU General Public License version 2.