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


Authors gravatar

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

Authors gravatar


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

Authors gravatar

John Rehwinkel

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.

Authors gravatar


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

Authors gravatar


‘sudo port install usbutils’
will install ‘lsusb’
on osx mavericks

Authors gravatar


Per the answer to: https://apple.stackexchange.com/q/285371/216401 …if you need to find out which kind of USB device is connected (as opposed to just knowing which kind of USB port has a device), then system_profiler will indicate the USB speed, from which the type of USB device connected can be inferred:
USB 1.x – 12Mb/sec
USB 2.0 – 480Mb/sec
USB 3.0 – 5Gb/s
USB 3.1 – 10Gb/s
…still not as precise as lsub :\

Leave a Reply