How To Set Up A USB-Over-IP Server And Client With Ubuntu 10.04

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme
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This tutorial shows how to set up a USB-over-IP server with Ubuntu 10.04 as well as a USB-over-IP client (also running Ubuntu 10.04). The USB/IP Project aims to develop a general USB device sharing system over IP network. To share USB devices between computers with their full functionality, USB/IP encapsulates "USB I/O messages" into TCP/IP payloads and transmits them between computers. USB-over-IP can be useful for virtual machines, for example, that don't have access to the host system's hardware - USB-over-IP allows virtual machines to use remote USB devices.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

This tutorial is based on AliRezaTaleghani's tutorial How To Modify Your Gnu/Linux Box To Serve As A USB Over IP Server, but I've adjusted it for Ubuntu 10.04 (server and client). If you want to use a Windows client, please take a look at AliRezaTaleghani's tutorial - that part is still the same.

In this tutorial I use the server with the IP address and the client with the IP address, both running Ubuntu 10.04. These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.


2 Installing And Using USB/IP On The Server


We can install usbip as follows:

aptitude install usbip

Afterwards we load the usbip kernel modules:

modprobe usbip
modprobe usbip_common_mod

To check if they really got loaded, run:

lsmod | grep usbip

The output should be similar to this one:

[email protected]:~# lsmod | grep usbip
usbip                  15124  0
usbip_common_mod       13605  1 usbip
[email protected]:~#

To make sure that both modules get loaded automatically whenever you boot the system, you can add them to /etc/modules:

vi /etc/modules


Now we can start the usbip daemon:

usbipd -D

[email protected]:~# usbipd -D
Bind usbip.ko to a usb device to be exportable!
[email protected]:~#

Now attach a USB device that you want to export to the server - I'm using a SanDisk USB flash drive here.

Execute the command


to find the corresponding Vendor/Device ID which is in the form of:

Bus XXX Device YYY: ID VendorID:DeviceID

The output on my server is as follows:

[email protected]:~# lsusb
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0781:5151 SanDisk Corp. Cruzer Micro Flash Drive
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
[email protected]:~#

The Vendor/Device ID of my SanDisk USB flash drive is 0781:5151.

Now run

usbip_bind_driver --list

The output on my server is as follows:

[email protected]:~# usbip_bind_driver --list
List USB devices
 - busid 1-1 (0781:5151)
         1-1:1.0 -> usb-storage

[email protected]:~#

As you see, the Vendor/Device ID of my SanDisk USB flash drive (0781:5151) corresponds to the BUSID 1-1. We need this BUSID to attach the USB device to the server:

usbip_bind_driver --usbip 1-1

[email protected]:~# usbip_bind_driver --usbip 1-1
** (process:765): DEBUG:  1-1:1.0       -> usb-storage
** (process:765): DEBUG: unbinding interface
** (process:765): DEBUG: write "add 1-1" to /sys/bus/usb/drivers/usbip/match_busid
** Message: bind 1-1 to usbip, complete!
[email protected]:~#

That's it, we can now use the SanDisk USB flash drive on a remote usbip client.

BTW, if you run...

netstat -tap

... you should see that the usbip daemon is listening on port 3240 so please make sure that this port isn't blocked by your firewall:

[email protected]:~# netstat -tap
Active Internet connections (servers and established)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State       PID/Program name
tcp        0      0 *:ssh                   *:*                     LISTEN      537/sshd
tcp        0      0 *:3240                  *:*                     LISTEN      762/usbipd
tcp        0     52      ESTABLISHED 667/0
tcp6       0      0 [::]:ssh                [::]:*                  LISTEN      537/sshd
[email protected]:~#

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