#usb #embedded-devices #libusb #macos #lsusb #system-profiler

bin+lib cyme

List system USB buses and devices; a modern cross-platform lsusb

23 releases (14 stable)

1.5.2 Oct 29, 2023
1.5.0 Aug 9, 2023
1.4.0 Apr 19, 2023
1.3.1 Feb 27, 2023
0.7.3 Nov 29, 2022

#336 in Command line utilities

Download history 2/week @ 2024-02-13 44/week @ 2024-02-20 3/week @ 2024-02-27 1/week @ 2024-03-05 6/week @ 2024-03-12 58/week @ 2024-04-02

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6.5K SLoC

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Crates.io docs.rs

List system USB buses and devices; a lib and modern cross-platform lsusb that attempts to maintain compatibility with, but also add new features. Includes a macOS system_profiler SPUSBDataType parser module and libusb profiler for non-macOS systems/gathering more verbose information.

The project started as a quick replacement for the barely working lsusb script and is my yearly Rust project to keep up to date! Like most fun projects, it quickly experienced feature creep as I developed it into a cross-platform replacement for lsusb. As a developer of embedded devices, I use a USB list tool on a frequent basis and developed this to cater to what I believe are the short comings of lsusb; verbose dump is too verbose, tree doesn't contain useful data on the whole, it barely works on non-Linux platforms and modern terminals support features that make glancing through the data easier.

It's not perfect as it started out as a Rust refresher but I had a lot of fun developing it and hope others will find it useful and can contribute. Reading around the lsusb source code, USB-IF and general USB information was also a good knowledge builder.

The name comes from the technical term for the type of blossom on a Apple tree: cyme - it is Apple related and also looks like a USB device tree 😃🌸.

cli tree output


  • Compatible with lsusb using --lsusb argument. Supports all arguments including --verbose output using libusb. Output is identical for use with no args (list), almost matching for tree (driver port number not included) and near match for verbose.
  • Filters like lsusb but that also work when printing --tree. Adds --filter_name, --filter_serial, --filter_class and option to hide empty --hide-buses/--hide-hubs.
  • Improved --tree mode; shows device, configurations, interfaces and endpoints as tree depending on level of --verbose.
  • Controllable block data like lsd --blocks for device, bus, configurations, interfaces and endpoints. Use --more to see more by default.
  • Modern terminal features with coloured output, utf-8 characters and icon look-up based device data. Can be turned off and customised. See --encoding (glyphs [default], utf8 and ascii), which can keep icons/tree within a certain encoding, --color (auto [default], always and never) and --icon (auto [default], always and never). Auto --icon will only show icons if all icons to be shown are supported by the --encoding.
  • Can be used as a library too with system_profiler parsing module, lsusb module using libusb and display module for printing amongst others.
  • --json output that honours filters and --tree.
  • --headers to show meta data only when asked and not take space otherwise.
  • --mask_serials to either '*' or randomise serial string for sharing dumps with sensitive serial numbers.
  • Auto-scaling to terminal width. Variable length strings such as descriptors will be truncated with a '...' to indicate this. Can be disabled with config option 'no-auto-width' and a fixed max defined with 'max-variable-string-len'.
  • Targets for Linux, macOS, perhaps Windows...



Future Development/Enhancements

  • Fully decode device class based base class and tables at USB-IF.
  • Open to ideas...



  • Linux/Windows and pre-compiled targets require libusb 1.0.0: brew install libusb, sudo apt install libusb-1.0-0-dev or one's package manager of choice.
  • Linux pre-compiled and --features udev requires 'libudev-dev': sudo apt install libudev-dev or one's package manager of choice.

For pre-compiled binaries, see the releases.

From crates.io with a Rust tool-chain installed: cargo install cyme. To do it from within a local clone: cargo install --path ..

If wishing to use only macOS system_profiler and not obtain more verbose information, remove the 'libusb' feature with cargo install --no-default-features cyme

Package Managers

  • Homebrew tap, which will also install a man page, completions and the 'libusb' dependency:
brew install tuna-f1sh/taps/cyme

More package managers to come/package distribution, please feel free to create a PR if you want to help out here.

Linux udev

To obtain device and interface drivers being used on Linux like lsusb, one must install 'libudev-dev' via a package manager and the --features udev feature when building. Only supported on Linux targets.

Alias lsusb

If one wishes to create a macOS version of lsusb or just use this instead, create an alias one's environment with the --lsusb compatibility flag:

alias lsusb='cyme --lsusb'


Will cover this more as it develops. Use cyme --help for basic usage or man ./doc/cyme.1. There are also autocompletions in './doc'.


For usage as a library for profiling system USB devices, the crate is 100% documented so look at docs.rs. The main useful modules for import are system_profiler, lsusb::profiler and usb

There are also some examples in 'examples/', these can be run with cargo run --example filter_devices.


cyme will check for a 'cyme.json' config file in:

  • Linux: "$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/cyme or $HOME/.config/cyme"
  • macOS: "$HOME/Library/Application Support/cyme"
  • Windows: "{FOLDERID_RoamingAppData}/cyme"

One can also be supplied with --config. Copy or refer to './doc/cyme_example_config.json' for configurables. Tthe file is essentially the default args; supplied args will override these. Use --debug to see where it is looking or if it's not loading.

Custom Icons and Colours

See './doc/cyme_example_config.json' for an example of how icons can be defined and also the docs. The config can exclude the "user"/"colours" keys if one wishes not to define any new icons/colours.

Icons are looked up in an order of User -> Default. For devices: VidPid -> VidPidMsb -> Vid -> UnknownVendor -> get_default_vidpid_icon, classes: ClassifierSubProtocol -> Classifier -> UndefinedClassifier -> get_default_classifier_icon. User supplied colours override all internal; if a key is missing, it will be None.

Icons not Showing/Boxes with Question Marks

Copied from lsd: For cyme to be able to display icons, the font has to include special font glyphs. This might not be the case for most fonts that you download. Thankfully, you can patch most fonts using NerdFont and add these icons. Or you can just download an already patched version of your favourite font from NerdFont font download page. Here is a guide on how to setup fonts on macOS and Android.

To check if the font you are using is setup correctly, try running the following snippet in a shell and see if that prints a folder icon. If it prints a box, or question mark or something else, then you might have some issues in how you setup the font or how your terminal emulator renders the font.

echo $'\uf115'

If one does not want icons, provide a config file with custom blocks not including the any 'icon*' blocks - see the example config. Alternatively, to only use standard UTF-8 charactors supported by all fonts (no private use area) pass --encoding utf8 and --icon auto (default). The --icon auto will drop the icon blocks if the charactors matched are not supported by the --encoding.

For no icons at all, use the hidden --no-icons or --icon never args.

Known Issues

  • sudo is required to open and read Linux root_hub string descriptors. The program works fine without these however, as will use 'usb-ids' like lsusb. What will be missing are 'name', 'manufacturer' and 'serial' descriptors for example. Use debugging -z to see what devices are missing this data. The env CYME_PRINT_NON_CRITICAL_PROFILER_STDERR can be used or 'print-non-critical-profiler-stderr' config key to print these to stderr. --lsusb --verbose will print a message to stderr always to match the 'lsusb' behaviour.
  • Version major BCD Device difference between libusb and macOS system_profiler: If the major version is large, libusb seems to read a different value to macOS. I don't think it's a parsing error but open to ideas.
  • libusb cannot read special non-user Apple buses; T2 chip for example. These will still be listed by system_profiler. The result is that when merging for verbose data, these will not print verbose information. Use --force-libusb to ignore them.
  • Tested with macOS 13 ->. I'm not sure when the -json flag was added to system_profiler; whether it exists on all macOS versions.


~217K SLoC