USB emulation

QEMU can emulate a PCI UHCI, OHCI, EHCI or XHCI USB controller. You can plug virtual USB devices or real host USB devices (only works with certain host operating systems). QEMU will automatically create and connect virtual USB hubs as necessary to connect multiple USB devices.

Connecting USB devices

USB devices can be connected with the -device usb-... command line option or the device_add monitor command. Available devices are:


Virtual Mouse. This will override the PS/2 mouse emulation when activated.


Pointer device that uses absolute coordinates (like a touchscreen). This means QEMU is able to report the mouse position without having to grab the mouse. Also overrides the PS/2 mouse emulation when activated.


Mass storage device backed by drive_id (see the Disk Images chapter in the System Emulation Users Guide)


USB attached SCSI device, see usb-storage.txt for details


Bulk-only transport storage device, see usb-storage.txt for details here, too


Media transfer protocol device, using dir as root of the file tree that is presented to the guest.


Pass through the host device identified by bus and addr


Pass through the host device identified by vendor and product ID


Virtual Wacom PenPartner tablet. This device is similar to the tablet above but it can be used with the tslib library because in addition to touch coordinates it reports touch pressure.


Standard USB keyboard. Will override the PS/2 keyboard (if present).


Serial converter. This emulates an FTDI FT232BM chip connected to host character device id.


Braille device. This will use BrlAPI to display the braille output on a real or fake device referenced by id.


Network adapter that supports CDC ethernet and RNDIS protocols. id specifies a netdev defined with -netdev …,id=id. For instance, user-mode networking can be used with

qemu-system-x86_64 [...] -netdev user,id=net0 -device usb-net,netdev=net0

Smartcard reader device


USB audio device


Universal Second Factor device

Using host USB devices on a Linux host

WARNING: this is an experimental feature. QEMU will slow down when using it. USB devices requiring real time streaming (i.e. USB Video Cameras) are not supported yet.

  1. If you use an early Linux 2.4 kernel, verify that no Linux driver is actually using the USB device. A simple way to do that is simply to disable the corresponding kernel module by renaming it from mydriver.o to mydriver.o.disabled.

  2. Verify that /proc/bus/usb is working (most Linux distributions should enable it by default). You should see something like that:

    ls /proc/bus/usb
    001  devices  drivers
  3. Since only root can access to the USB devices directly, you can either launch QEMU as root or change the permissions of the USB devices you want to use. For testing, the following suffices:

    chown -R myuid /proc/bus/usb
  4. Launch QEMU and do in the monitor:

    info usbhost
      Device 1.2, speed 480 Mb/s
        Class 00: USB device 1234:5678, USB DISK

    You should see the list of the devices you can use (Never try to use hubs, it won’t work).

  5. Add the device in QEMU by using:

    device_add usb-host,vendorid=0x1234,productid=0x5678

    Normally the guest OS should report that a new USB device is plugged. You can use the option -device usb-host,... to do the same.

  6. Now you can try to use the host USB device in QEMU.

When relaunching QEMU, you may have to unplug and plug again the USB device to make it work again (this is a bug).