OS X equivalent to lsusb

This is one of the (not many) annoyances using a Mac computer :). Not all Linux/Unix terminal commands work. One of them is lsusb. I tried it and got "command not found". Then I tried to install it via MacPorts (sudo port install usbutils with no luck). Then I checked the web and found out that some people compiled the code and apparently it works (read comments). But I did not want to compile anything. I knew there should be a OS X equivalent. I found this French and this German page (both languages that I don't understand) and found this command:

$ system_profiler SPUSBDataType	

PCI Vendor ID: 0x8086 Bus Number: 0x3a USB Bus: Host Controller Location: Built-in USB Host Controller Driver: AppleUSBUHCI PCI Device ID: 0x2830 PCI Revision ID: 0x0003 PCI Vendor ID: 0x8086 Bus Number: 0x1d  ..........

I wanted to share this in English as well.

And yes, the output is not the same as with lsusb.

EDIT (26. 7. 2012): Takaite (comments) shared the tip to get this info graphically:

  1. Click on the Apple in the left top corner
  2. Select About this mac
  3. Click on the button More info
  4. In the contents select Hardware->USB

Or you can go to Applications->Utilities->System profiler


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Takaite Takehara on :

A good tip. Of course that you can use the OSX infos to know wich USB are connected: go to the (*"apple->about this mac->more info...->System Report...->Hardware->USB"*)

Best regards

mk on :

Thanks for sharing this tip. I added it to the post.

John Rehwinkel on :

If you install the XCode tools that come with the computer (or can be downloaded from Apple), the /Developer/Applications/Utilities/USB Prober app will give you a wealth of useful information on USB devices and their configuration and capabilities.

mkljun on :

Thank you John for sharing this! I'll have to install XCode to try it out.

Art Alexion on :

For an easy lsusb us bash's builtin alias command.

In the terminal type
alias lsusb='system_profiler SPUSBDataType'

Now, you can just type lsusb and you will run the wordier command.

Tony on :

Thanks for the tip.

tjt on :

'sudo port install usbutils'
will install 'lsusb'
on osx mavericks

mkljun on :

Thanks for sharing.

This solution WORKS ONLY if you have macports installed. By installing macports many linux programs can be added to and used on OS X (not only Maverics).


Wolf of SEO on :

Great article, exactly what I was looking for.

Graham Hoop on :

You can parse the output of system_profiler to get output that's easier to read. I saw a StackOverflow answer to that effect, here:


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