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USB Basic Support

Some images offered on the OpenWrt download page, come with the basic USB support already included, if yours does not, this page will explain how to install USB support. The OPKG packages needed to obtain a very basic USB support under OpenWrt are the following (please read about the different host controller interfaces on Wikipedia):

Name Size Required Desciption
kmod-usb-core 74274 yes Kernel support for USB.
kmod-usb-ohci 14935 specific Kernel support for USB OHCI controllers. Alternative to uhci.
kmod-usb-uhci 14897 specific Kernel support for USB UHCI controllers. Alternative to ohci.
kmod-usb2 24752 specific Kernel support for USB2 (EHCI) controllers.
kmod-ledtrig-usbdev 3502 no Kernel module to drive LEDs based on USB device presence/activity.
usbutils 187087 no USB devices listing utilities: lsusb,
kmod-leds-wndr3700-usb 2156 no Kernel module for the USB LED on the Netgear WNDR3700 board only.

By installing the correct kernel packages, your GNU/Linux system is able to address the bus. Now, depending on what you want to connect over the bus, you still need to install the drivers for that specific device. Please see "The USB Port: An Overview"


Modules for USB 1.1

An USB 1.1 chips either has an UHC or an OHC interface. You need not be afraid of installing the wrong one, just check:


For USB 1.1, try installing the UHCI drivers first and test them:

opkg update
opkg install kmod-usb-uhci
insmod usbcore
insmod uhci

If you see the message uhci: No such device then your hardware is not an UHCI device. Remove the package and try installing the alternative OHCI.


opkg update
opkg install kmod-usb-ohci
insmod usb-ohci

If you see the message usb-ohci: No such device then your hardware is not an OHCI device. Remove the package or try installing UHCI.

NOTE: Running Kernel 2.6.xx, you may need the kmod-usb2 module, even if you have only an USB 1.1 controller (this is the case for the Asus WL-500g router using Backfire brcm47xx)

NOTE: On NLSU2 running Chaos Calmer RC3 you will also need to install the following packages: kmod-usb-ohci-pci & kmod-usb2-pci

Modules for USB 2.0

Usually you can install both, uhci or ohci and usb2.

opkg update
opkg install kmod-usb2
insmod ehci-hcd

If you see messages like unresolved symbol usb_calc_bus_time try loading usbcore and then try ehci-hcd again:

opkg update
insmod usbcore
insmod ehci-hcd

Modules for USB 3.0

So far (2011-02) there is no device supported by OpenWrt with USB 3.0.


FIXME is this still needed? The max_scsi_luns=8 bit is needed for multi-card readers and should be added to the end of the scsi_mod line in the /etc/modules.d/60-usb-storage file.

dmesg output:

usb.c: registered new driver usbdevfs … usb.c: registered new driver usb-storage scsi0 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices Vendor: Apacer Model: Drive Rev: 1.05 Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02 Attached scsi removable disk sda at scsi0, channel 0, id 0, lun 0 SCSI device sda: 256000 512-byte hdwr sectors (131 MB) sda: Write Protect is off Partition check: /dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0: p1 WARNING: USB Mass Storage data integrity not assured USB Mass Storage device found at 2 USB Mass Storage support registered.
If you still have problems with USB have a look at the unfixed USB bugs FIXME better bugs since last release


doc/howto/usb.essentials.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/27 12:47 by tmomas