Hint for installing APC USB UPS's on LFS.

Bryan Mason bmason at bmason.com
Thu Jan 23 12:33:56 PST 2003

Attached is a hint on how to set up a UPS with a USB interface using 
apcupsd.  Although there is already an apcupsd hint at 
<http://hints.linuxfromscratch.org/hints/apcupsd.txt>, it does not cover 

Please e-mail me with any questions or concerns.


-- Bryan
-------------- next part --------------
TITLE:          Installing an APC USB UPS using apcupsd
AUTHOR:         Bryan Mason bmason at bmason.com

        Describes how to install some of the new Uninterruptable Power
        Supplies (UPS's) from American Power Conversion (APC) that use a
        Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface to connect to the host.


Version 1.0.0
23 January 2003


        1. Introduction
        2. Configuring the LFS Kernel for USB and HID Support 
        3. Installing apcupsd with USB Support
        4. Configuring Apcupsd
        5. Testing the Installation
        6. Creating Scripts
        7. Advanced Testing
        8. Tested Configurations
        9. Troubleshooting

1. Introduction

        John McSwain's hint entitled "Apcupsd", which can be found at 
        <http://hints.linuxfromscratch.org/hints/apcupsd.txt> describes
        how to install an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) made by
        American Power Conversion (APC) using apcupsd as the software
        interface between the UPS and the LFS system.  Apcupsd monitors
        the UPS and informs the system when a power loss has occurred
        and can subsequently shutdown the system if power is not
        restored within a predetermined time.
        This hint works fine for those UPS's that use a serial cable to
        interface to the host computer, but many of APC's new UPS's use
        a Universal Serial Bus (USB) hardware interface to connect to
        the system that is being provided power by the UPS.  Although
        the latest stable version of apcupsd, version 3.8.5, does not
        support these USB interfaces, versions 3.9.4 and later provide
        direct support for USB UPS's.  This hint is based on version
        3.10.3 of apcupsd, the latest development version of apcupsd
        available at the time of writing.
        Installation of a USB UPS consists of the following basic steps,
        which are described in more detail below:
        1) Configuring the LFS Kernel for USB and HID support
        2) Installing apcupsd with USB support
        3) Configuring apcupsd
        3) Testing the installation
        4) Creating scripts
        If you have any comments or corrections to be made to this
        document, please send an e-mail message to the author at
        <bmason at bmason.com>.

2. Configuring the LFS Kernel for USB and HID Support 

        To enable the use of a USB UPS in Linux, not only USB support is
        required, but also support for Human Interface Devices (HIDs).
        The documentation on the apcupsd Web site states that Alan Cox's
        patch are required to enable HID support.  This may have been
        true on older kernels, but HID support now seems to be an
        integral part of kernel version 2.4.18 which is the version used
        in LFS 3.3.
        To enable USB and HID, make sure that the following items are
        enabled either as a module or as part of the kernel.  Generally
        it's easier to install these as part of the kernel; otherwise
        the modules will have to be loaded in the boot script and a delay
        will need to be made so that the USB drivers can recognize the
        - "Input Core Support" (CONFIG_INPUT)
        - "Support for USB" (CONFIG_USB)
        - "Preliminary USB File System" (CONFIG_USB_DEVICEFS)
        - "USB Human Interface Device (full HID) support" (CONFIG_USB_HID)
        - "/dev/hiddev raw HID device support" (CONFIG_USB_HIDDEV)
        - One of:
                "UHCI (Intel PIIX4, VIA, ...) support" (CONFIG_USB_UHCI)
                or "UHCI Alternate Driver (JE) support" (CONFIG_USB_UHCI_ALT)
                or "OHCI (Compaq, iMacs, OPTi, SiS, ALi, ...) support" 
          Which one of these options is enabled will depend on the
          chip set used in the system on which LFS is running.  See your
          motherboard documentation and the help system within
          menuconfig for additional information.
        After the kernel is configured, proceed with the normal process
        of building and installing a new Linux kernel (make bzImage,
        make modules, make modules_install, copy the bzImage file, etc.)

        Strictly speaking, the "Preliminary USB File System" support
        isn't required, but it should make debugging easier if there are

3. Installing apcupsd with USB Support

        3.1 Review Existing Documentation

        Before you install apcupsd, it might be a good idea to review 
        the documentation for the latest version of apcupsd at
        Specifically, the following sections might be useful:
        - Quick Start for Beginners
        - Compiling and Installing
        - Using Apcupsd with a USB UPS
        Also, reviewing John McSwain's apcupsd hint at 
        <http://hints.linuxfromscratch.org/hints/apcupsd.txt> is also
        probably a good idea.

        Much of what follows is based on the documentation listed above
        -- I've just put it in a convenient, easy to swallow format (I

        3.2 Download and Unpack Apcupsd

        The source tarballs for apcupsd version 3.10.3 are located at
        the following sites:
        SourceForge: http://sourceforge.net/projects/apcupsd/
        Apcupsd Home:
        3.3 Create the HID Devices
        After the source has been unpacked, use the "make-hiddev" script
        in the "examples" directory of the apcupsd source tree to make
        the HID devices.  Make-hiddev performs the following commands:
        mkdir -p /dev/usb/hid
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev0 c 180 96
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev1 c 180 97
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev2 c 180 98
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev3 c 180 99
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev4 c 180 100
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev5 c 180 101
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev6 c 180 102
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev7 c 180 103
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev8 c 180 104
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev9 c 180 105
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev10 c 180 106
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev11 c 180 107
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev12 c 180 108
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev13 c 180 109
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev14 c 180 110
        mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev15 c 180 111
        After running make-hiddev, connect your UPS to your LFS system,
        and then build and run the "hid-ups" test program to test the
        connection between your system and the UPS.

        If you compiled USB and/or HID support into modules, make sure
        that you have loaded the modules before running hid- ups.  The
        following modules should be loaded:
        - "hid"
        - "input"
        - "usbcore"
        - "usb-uhci" (or "usb-ohci" or whatever module you created)

        To compile and execute hid-ups, execute the following commands
        (substituting "<apcupsd-src>" with the directory to which you
        unpacked the apcupsd source tarballs.
        cd <apcupsd-src>/examples
        make hid-ups
        If hid-ups is successful, the tail of the output from hid-ups
        should look similar to the following:
        FeatureReport 53
          Field 0, app UPS, phys PowerSummary
            Usage 0, APCPanelTest = 0 
        FeatureReport 28
          Field 0, app UPS, phys PowerSummary
            Usage 0, APCBattReplacementDate = 267777  2001-04-16
        FeatureReport 64
          Field 0, app UPS, phys APCGeneralCollection
            Usage 0, APCForceShutdown = 0 
        Waiting for events ... (interrupt to exit)

        Press Ctrl-C to exit hid-ups.

        3.4 Install Apcupsd

        Now configure, compile, and install apcupsd by running the
        following commands:

        ./configure --prefix=/usr --sbindir=/sbin \
                --with-serial-dev=/dev/usb/hid/hiddev[0-9] \
                --with-upstype=usb --with-upscable=usb --enable-usb \
                --enable-pthreads --enable-powerflute &&
        make &&
        make install
        Below are descriptions of the options passed to the configure
        --with-serial-dev=/dev/usb/hid/hiddev[0-9]: This is not a typo,
        and should be entered exactly as shown.  This syntax allows
        apcupsd to search all the USB devices to find the UPS.

        --with-upstype=usb: This tells apcupsd to default to a USB UPS.
        This option can be changed at runtime by modifying apcupsd's
        configuration file.
        --with-upscable=usb: This tells apcupsd to default to a USB
        cable.  This option can be changed at runtime by modifying
        apucpsd's configuration file.
        --enable-usb: This enables the USB support in apcupsd.
        --enable-pthreads: This option enables pthreads support causing
        apcupsd to be built as a threaded program rather than forking to
        create separate processes. This should cause apcupsd to be more
        efficient with memory and resources.  This is not strictly
        needed for USB support, but is a good idea.
        --enable-powerflute: This enables the building of powerflute,
        which is an ncurses-based program that can be used to monitor
        the UPS.  This is not strictly need for USB support or even to
        build apcupsd, but it could be a useful program.
4. Configuring Apcupsd      

        The apcupsd configuration file is located by default at
        /etc/apcupsd/apcupsd.conf.  There shouldn't be much of a need to
        change anything in this file, since most of the important
        settings have already been specified during the compilation of
        apcupsd in Section 3.4 above.
        The only thing that might be a good idea is to modify the
        behavior of apcupsd and syslogd so that apcupsd events are sent
        to their own file, /var/log/apcupsd.log. To do this, modify the
        following line in apcupsd.conf:
        From:   #FACILITY local0
        To:     FACILITY local1
        Then add the following lines to /etc/syslog.conf:
        # Logging for apcupsd
        local1.*                        -/var/log/apcupsd.log

        If the "local1" facility is already being used by another
        program, then change "local1" in the examples above to "local2"
        or another free local facility.

        After this is done, syslogd needs to be restarted by executing
        the following command:
        /etc/rc.d/init.d/sysklogd restart
5. Testing the Installation

        5.1 Running apcupsd
        The first step in testing is to run the apcupsd program itself.
        Simply execute:
        Wait for apcupsd to configure itself and establish contact with 
        the UPS, and then execute:
        tail /var/log/apcupsd.log
        The result should be something similar to the following:
        Jan  3 15:51:21 linux apcupsd[22825]: apcupsd 3.10.3 (12 \
        December 2002) unknown startup succeeded
        Jan  3 15:51:21 linux apcupsd[22827]: NIS server startup \

        If apcupsd generates an error code and then exits, see the
        "Testing" section of the apcupsd documentation, at 
        <http://www.apcupsd.com/beta_users_manual/testing.html>, for
        information on possible sources of problems.
        5.2 Getting UPS status
        Once apcupsd is successfully loaded, the next step is to get
        status from the UPS.  To do this, execute the following command:

        apcaccess status
        The result should be similar to the following:
        APC      : 001,034,0833
        DATE     : Fri Jan 03 15:53:21 PST 2003
        HOSTNAME : linux
        RELEASE  : 3.10.3
        VERSION  : 3.10.3 (12 December 2002) unknown
        UPSNAME  : linux
        CABLE    : USB Cable
        MODEL    : Back-UPS RS 1000
        UPSMODE  : Stand Alone
        STARTTIME: Fri Jan 03 15:51:20 PST 2003
        STATUS   : ONLINE
        LINEV    : 122.0 Volts
        LOADPCT  :   2.0 Percent Load Capacity
        BCHARGE  : 100.0 Percent
        TIMELEFT : 341.0 Minutes
        MBATTCHG : 10 Percent
        MINTIMEL : 10 Minutes
        MAXTIME  : 0 Seconds
        LOTRANS  : 097.0 Volts
        HITRANS  : 138.0 Volts
        ALARMDEL : Always
        BATTV    : 27.1 Volts
        NUMXFERS : 0
        TONBATT  : 0 seconds
        CUMONBATT: 0 seconds
        XOFFBATT : N/A
        SELFTEST : NO
        STATFLAG : 0x02000008 Status Flag
        MANDATE  : 2002-10-13
        SERIALNO : JB0241034799
        BATTDATE : 2001-09-25
        NOMBATTV :  24.0
        FIRMWARE : .g2 .D USB FW:g2
        APCMODEL : Back-UPS RS 1000
        END APC  : Fri Jan 03 15:54:04 PST 2003
6. Creating Scripts

        6.1 Creating the boot script
        The following boot script will start, stop, restart, etc. apcupsd.
        It is based on the LFS boot script template (/etc/rc.d/init.d/template) and
        the file apcupsd in the platforms/unknown directory of the apcupsd
        source tree.

        # Begin /etc/rc.d/init.d/apcupsd
        # Based on sysklogd script from LFS-3.1 and earlier.
        # Rewritten by Gerard Beekmans  - gerard at linuxfromscratch.org
        # Apcupsd version written by Bryan Mason - bmason at bmason.com
        source /etc/sysconfig/rc
        source $rc_functions
        case "$1" in
        #               Uncomment the following lines if the USB and HID 
        #               drivers were built as kernel modules
        #               echo "Installing modules for USB and HID..."
        #               modprobe usb-uhci &&
        #               modprobe hid
        #               evaluate_retval
        #               echo "Waiting for the UPS to be recognized..."
        #               sleep 5

                        echo "Starting APC UPS Daemon (apcupsd)..."
                        rm -f /etc/apcupsd/powerfail
                        rm -f /etc/nologin
                        loadproc /sbin/apcupsd
                        echo "Stopping APC UPS Daemon (apcupsd)..."
                        killproc /sbin/apcupsd
        #               Uncomment the following lines if the USB and HID 
        #               drivers were built as kernel modules
        #               echo "Removing modules for USB and HID..."
        #               rmmod usb-uhci hid input usbcore
        #               evaluate_retval
                        # Sometimes killproc can't kill apcupsd, which
                        # interrupts the shutdown process.  
                        # That isn't good.  So lets make sure to always
                        # exit with a status of 0.
                        exit 0            
                        echo "Reloading APC UPS Daemon (apcupsd)..."
                        reloadproc /sbin/apcupsd
                        $0 stop
                        sleep 1
                        $0 start
                        statusproc /sbin/apcupsd
                        echo "Usage: $0 {start|stop|reload|restart|status}"
                        exit 1
        # End /etc/rc.d/init.d/apcupsd
        This file can be made by copying /etc/rc.d/init.d/template to 
        /etc/rc.d/init.d/apcupsd or made from scratch.  If it is made
        from scratch, be sure to set the correct permissions on the 
        file by running "chmod 750 /etc/rc.d/init.d/apcupsd".
        6.2 Creating the links for the boot script
        Apcupsd should be started as soon as possible during the boot
        process, right after sysklogd is started.  Since sysklogd 
        uses S10, apcupsd can be started at S15 or S20.  Apcupsd
        should also be one of the last things to be stopped, right 
        before sysklogd is stopped.  Create the symbolic links by
        executing the following commands:
        cd /etc/rc.d &&
        cd rc0.d &&
        ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd K35apcupsd &&
        cd ../rc1.d &&
        ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd K75apcupsd &&
        cd ../rc2.d &&
        ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd S15apcupsd &&
        cd ../rc3.d &&
        ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd S15apcupsd &&
        cd ../rc4.d &&
        ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd S15apcupsd &&
        cd ../rc5.d &&
        ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd S15apcupsd &&
        cd ../rc6.d &&
        ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd K35apcupsd
        Of course, if you've renumbered your boot scripts, then you'll
        need to link the apcupsd boot script accordingly.
        6.3 Creating the UPS Powerdown Script
        Normally, the last thing that needs to happen before the system
        shuts down is to power off the UPS.  Unfortunately, one of the
        known limitations of apcupsd interfacing to a USB UPS is that
        the "--killpower" option to apcupsd doesn't work, which means
        that it is not possible to power off a USB UPS.  Although the
        apcupsd documentation states that the UPS should shut itself
        down one to two minutes after the system, I did not observer
        this in my testing.  In my case, the UPS continued to supply
        power to the computer until the batteries drained to a critically
        low level.  Of course, this wasn't a problem because the system
        had already been shut down.

7. Advanced Testing
        Many tests that should be run on the system before the
        installation is considered complete and stable.  The "Testing"
        section of the apcupsd documentation, located at 
        <http://www.apcupsd.com/beta_users_manual/testing.html>, contains
        a list of such tests.  Briefly, the test sequence runs as
        - Remove the USB cable from the UPS to make sure communications
          is working
        - Modify some of the scripts used by apcupsd so that they are
          "safe" (i.e. they won't actually shut down the system) and
          disconnect the UPS from utility power.
        - Perform a full shutdown test, but do not allow the UPS to
          power down.
        - Perform a full shutdown test, allowing the UPS to cut power to
          the system.

8. Tested Configurations

        The following configuration has been tested and is fully
        functional after following the instructions in this hint:
        * APC Back-Ups XS 1000 
          Note: Apcupsd reports this as a Back-UPS RS 1000
        If you have successfully installed another APC USB UPS on your
        LFS system, please send an e-mail message to <bmason at bmason.com>
        so I can add your model number to the above list.
9. Troubleshooting

        The installation of my USB UPS went very smoothly.  I didn't
        have to do much troubleshooting, so I don't have any
        troubleshooting steps to report.  If you experience problems
        with your installation and have a way to overcome them, please
        send an e-mail message to bmason at bmason.com with your
        experience, and I'll add it to this section.

More information about the hints mailing list