When I try to run lsusb I get the following error:

$ lsusb
unable to initialize libusb: -99

System details:

OS:         CentOS 6.5
Kernel:     2.6.32-431.
Installed:  libusb-0.1.12-23.el6.x86_64

These are all the standard installed packages. Why would this not work?


1 Answer 1


I failed to mention that this system is a VM running under ESXi. It turns out I didn't have any USB controllers configured for this machine, so /dev/bus/usb didn't even exist, which I believe is why lsusb was returning the error code.

The solution is simple: Add a USB controller to the system.

I would consider this a bug in libusb or lsusb. Wouldn't an error like "No USB controllers detected" be more helpful than some cryptic library-related error code?


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