This idea came about as my Xbox 360 Controller does not work on Archlinux without re-plugging the device after booting the system.

I wanted a way to reset the device in linux cli to save physically unplugging the device.
I found a C example from 2008 on linux-usb mailing list which required a few steps & had a few drawbacks.

In the end I used libusb to implement the same reset function using vendorid & productid.


This can also be useful for resetting a usb device after updating the firmware.

Basic Example (usbfs) #

Fri, 27 Jun 2008 - linux-usb - Re: re-enumerating the device

To use this example you need to:

  • run lsusb (read device bus id & device id)
  • use the above for path of device (/dev/bus/usb/<bus id>/<device id>)
  • run command using the path above
$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 006: ID 045e:028e Microsoft Corp. Xbox360 Controller
$ sudo ./usbreset /dev/bus/usb/001/006


This example uses the bus id which ties to the usb port the device is plugged into.

I wanted to use the vendor id + product id to make it easier & also to eliminate the problem of being tied to a specific usb port.

Using libusb #

libusb allows connecting to usb devices using vendor id & product id.

libusb: Device handling and enumeration

Test App #

libusb_open_device_with_vid_pid() is good for creating a test app.

    libusb_device_handle *handle = libusb_open_device_with_vid_pid(NULL, vid, pid);
    result = libusb_reset_device(handle);

This function is intended for those scenarios where you are using libusb to knock up a quick test application

Final Implementation #

Use libusb_get_device_list() to check the device exists in the system before calling libusb_open() to open the connection.

Returns a list of USB devices currently attached to the system.
This is your entry point into finding a USB device to operate.

Open a device and obtain a device handle.
This is a non-blocking function; no requests are sent over the bus.

    int deviceCount = libusb_get_device_list(context, &device_list);
    int i;
    for (i = 0; i < deviceCount; i++)
        struct libusb_device *device = device_list[i];
        struct libusb_device_descriptor desc;
        libusb_get_device_descriptor(device, &desc);
        if (desc.idVendor == venid && desc.idProduct == devid)
            libusb_open(device, &handle);

If no handle is opened give cli feedback to user.

    if (handle == NULL)
        fprintf(stderr, "ERROR: USB device not found [%04x:%04x]\n", vid, pid);
        return 1;

Adding CLI Arguments #

To make the tool usable for any device I added arguments for vendor id & product id.

    if (argc != 3)
        printf("USB Device Reset\n");
        printf("No input given or input invalid\n\n");
        printf("Usage: %s <vid> <pid>\n", argv[0]);
        return 1;
    int vid, pid;
    sscanf(argv[1], "%04x", &vid);
    sscanf(argv[2], "%04x", &pid);

Final CLI App #

The final implementation has error handling, cli feedback & takes in cli arguments to allow it to be used for different devices.
It also requires root access due to connecting over usb.

Example #

Here is an example output for Microsoft Xbox360 Controller reset.

$ sudo usbreset 045e 028e
Checking USB Device Connected ...
Resetting USB Device [045e:028e]
USB Device reset [045e:028e]

Source Code #

The source for this project is available on github.


📝 January 23, 2016 - BlackWidow Macro Keys In Linux (libusb)

Xbox 360 Controller Info #

On Archlinux startup the controller blinks all 4 LEDs & does not work.
An example can be seen on the external site below (Slow Blink).

Xbox 360 Controller LED Animations Information - Parts Not Included

On resetting the controller LED1 blinks 3 times, then stays illuminated.
The controller then works as exprected.

Not sure if this is a bug with xpad or something with the kernel.