libusb and usbutils

Bruce Dubbs bruce.dubbs at
Mon Dec 29 00:14:14 PST 2008

We have a problem with libusb and usbutils.

libusb has released 1.0.0 on 2008-12-13.
usbutils is at version 0.73 released on 2007-10-24.

usbutils configure  wants a function, usb_get_string_simple(), that is not in 
libusb-1.0.0.  There are functions libusb_get_string_descriptor() and 
libusb_get_string_descriptor_ascii() vi in the new libusb.  The second seems to 
use the same parameters as usb_get_string_simple().

As I see it, there are a few things that we can do.

1.  Just leave out usbutils for now.
2.  Revert to the earlier version of libusb.
3.  Try to hack usbutils to use the new libusb.  Looking at the code, this is 
non-trivial and I don't have the time or inclination to do it.
4.  Try to install both the old and new versions simultaneously.
5.  There is a libusb-compat-0.1 compatibility layer.  It aims to look, feel and 
behave exactly like libusb-0.1. As it is a replacement, you cannot install it 
alongside libusb-0.1 on the same system.

There have only been about 4 messages since January in the usbutils mailing list 
(none since September) so it is not very active.  Waiting for a new release may 
take a long time.

The following packages use libusb:


It's unlikely that any use the new libusb.

Opinions on what to do?  I'm leaning toward #5.

   -- Bruce

More information about the lfs-dev mailing list