USB device support


The USB device stack is a hardware independent interface between USB device controller driver and USB device class drivers or customer applications. It is a port of the LPCUSB device stack and has been modified and expanded over time. It provides the following functionalities:

  • Uses the USB device controller driver API provided by the device controller drivers to interact with the USB device controller.

  • Responds to standard device requests and returns standard descriptors, essentially handling ‘Chapter 9’ processing, specifically the standard device requests in table 9-3 from the universal serial bus specification revision 2.0.

  • Provides a programming interface to be used by USB device classes or customer applications. The APIs is described in include/zephyr/usb/usb_device.h

The device stack and USB device controller driver API have some limitations, such as not being able to support more than one controller instance at runtime and only supporting one USB device configuration. We are actively working on new USB support, which means we will continue to maintain the device stack described here until all supported USB classes are ported, but do not expect any new features or enhancements.

Supported USB classes


There is an experimental implementation of the Audio class. It follows specification version 1.00 (bcdADC 0x0100) and supports synchronous synchronisation type only. See USB Audio microphone & headphones and USB Audio headset samples for reference.

Bluetooth HCI USB transport layer

Bluetooth HCI USB transport layer implementation uses HCI RAW channel to expose HCI interface to the host. It is not fully in line with the description in the Bluetooth specification and consists only of an interface with the endpoint configuration:

  • HCI commands through control endpoint (host-to-device only)

  • HCI events through interrupt IN endpoint

  • ACL data through one bulk IN and one bulk OUT endpoints

A second interface for the voice channels has not been implemented as there is no support for this type in Bluetooth. It is not a big problem under Linux if HCI USB transport layer is the only interface that appears in the configuration, the btusb driver would not try to claim a second (isochronous) interface. The consequence is that if HCI USB is used in a composite configuration and is the first interface, then the Linux btusb driver will claim both the first and the next interface, preventing other composite functions from working. Because of this problem, HCI USB should not be used in a composite configuration. This problem is fixed in the implementation for new USB support.

See Bluetooth: HCI USB sample for reference.


The CDC ACM class is used as backend for different subsystems in Zephyr. However, its configuration may not be easy for the inexperienced user. Below is a description of the different use cases and some pitfalls.

The interface for CDC ACM user is Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter (UART) driver API. But there are two important differences in behavior to a real UART controller:

  • Data transfer is only possible after the USB device stack has been initialized and started, until then any data is discarded

  • If device is connected to the host, it still needs an application on the host side which requests the data

  • The CDC ACM poll out implementation follows the API and blocks when the TX ring buffer is full only if the hw-flow-control property is enabled and called from a non-ISR context.

The devicetree compatible property for CDC ACM UART is zephyr,cdc-acm-uart. CDC ACM support is automatically selected when USB device support is enabled and a compatible node in the devicetree sources is present. If necessary, CDC ACM support can be explicitly disabled by CONFIG_USB_CDC_ACM. About four CDC ACM UART instances can be defined and used, limited by the maximum number of supported endpoints on the controller.

CDC ACM UART node is supposed to be child of a USB device controller node. Since the designation of the controller nodes varies from vendor to vendor, and our samples and application should be as generic as possible, the default USB device controller is usually assigned an zephyr_udc0 node label. Often, CDC ACM UART is described in a devicetree overlay file and looks like this:

&zephyr_udc0 {
        cdc_acm_uart0: cdc_acm_uart0 {
                compatible = "zephyr,cdc-acm-uart";
                label = "CDC_ACM_0";

Samples USB CDC-ACM and USB HID and CDC ACM have similar overlay files. And since no special properties are present, it may seem overkill to use devicetree to describe CDC ACM UART. The motivation behind using devicetree is the easy interchangeability of a real UART controller and CDC ACM UART in applications.

Console over CDC ACM UART

With the CDC ACM UART node from above and zephyr,console property of the chosen node, we can describe that CDC ACM UART is to be used with the console. A similar overlay file is used by the Console over USB CDC ACM sample.

/ {
        chosen {
                zephyr,console = &cdc_acm_uart0;

&zephyr_udc0 {
        cdc_acm_uart0: cdc_acm_uart0 {
                compatible = "zephyr,cdc-acm-uart";
                label = "CDC_ACM_0";

Before the application uses the console, it is recommended to wait for the DTR signal:

const struct device *const dev = DEVICE_DT_GET(DT_CHOSEN(zephyr_console));
uint32_t dtr = 0;

if (usb_enable(NULL)) {

while (!dtr) {
        uart_line_ctrl_get(dev, UART_LINE_CTRL_DTR, &dtr);


CDC ACM UART as backend

As for the console sample, it is possible to configure CDC ACM UART as backend for other subsystems by setting Chosen nodes properties.

List of few Zephyr specific chosen properties which can be used to select CDC ACM UART as backend for a subsystem or application:

POSIX default tty ECHO mitigation

POSIX systems, like Linux, default to enabling ECHO on tty devices. Host side application can disable ECHO by calling open() on the tty device and issuing ioctl() (preferably via tcsetattr()) to disable echo if it is not desired. Unfortunately, there is an inherent race between the open() and ioctl() where the ECHO is enabled and any characters received (even if host application does not call read()) will be echoed back. This issue is especially visible when the CDC ACM port is used without any real UART on the other side because there is no arbitrary delay due to baud rate.

To mitigate the issue, Zephyr CDC ACM implementation arms IN endpoint with ZLP after device is configured. When the host reads the ZLP, which is pretty much the best indication that host application has opened the tty device, Zephyr will force CONFIG_CDC_ACM_TX_DELAY_MS millisecond delay before real payload is sent. This should allow sufficient time for first, and only first, application that opens the tty device to disable ECHO if ECHO is not desired. If ECHO is not desired at all from CDC ACM device it is best to set up udev rule to disable ECHO as soon as device is connected.

ECHO is particurarly unwanted when CDC ACM instance is used for Zephyr shell, because the control characters to set color sent back to shell are interpreted as (invalid) command and user will see garbage as a result. While minicom does disable ECHO by default, on exit with reset it will restore the termios settings to whatever was set on entry. Therefore, if minicom is the first application to open the tty device, the exit with reset will enable ECHO back and thus set up a problem for the next application (which cannot be mitigated at Zephyr side). To prevent the issue it is recommended either to leave minicom without reset or to disable ECHO before minicom is started.


USB DFU class implementation is tightly coupled to Device Firmware Upgrade and MCUBoot API. This means that the target platform must support the Flash Image API.

See USB DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) sample for reference.

USB Human Interface Devices (HID) support

HID support abuses Device Driver Model simply to allow applications to use the device_get_binding(). Note that there is no HID device API as such, instead the interface is provided by hid_ops. The default instance name is HID_n, where n can be {0, 1, 2, …} depending on the CONFIG_USB_HID_DEVICE_COUNT.

Each HID instance requires a HID report descriptor. The interface to the core and the report descriptor must be registered using usb_hid_register_device().

As the USB HID specification is not only used by the USB subsystem, the USB HID API reference is split into two parts, Human Interface Devices (HID) and USB HID Class API. HID helper macros from Human Interface Devices (HID) should be used to compose a HID report descriptor. Macro names correspond to those used in the USB HID specification.

For the HID class interface, an IN interrupt endpoint is required for each instance, an OUT interrupt endpoint is optional. Thus, the minimum implementation requirement for hid_ops is to provide int_in_ready callback.

#define REPORT_ID               1
static bool configured;
static const struct device *hdev;

static void int_in_ready_cb(const struct device *dev)
        static uint8_t report[2] = {REPORT_ID, 0};

        if (hid_int_ep_write(hdev, report, sizeof(report), NULL)) {
                LOG_ERR("Failed to submit report");
        } else {

static void status_cb(enum usb_dc_status_code status, const uint8_t *param)
        if (status == USB_DC_RESET) {
                configured = false;

        if (status == USB_DC_CONFIGURED && !configured) {
                configured = true;

static const uint8_t hid_report_desc[] = {
        HID_LOGICAL_MAX16(0xFF, 0x00),

static const struct hid_ops my_ops = {
        .int_in_ready = int_in_ready_cb,

int main(void)
        int ret;

        hdev = device_get_binding("HID_0");
        if (hdev == NULL) {
                return -ENODEV;

        usb_hid_register_device(hdev, hid_report_desc, sizeof(hid_report_desc),

        ret = usb_hid_init(hdev);
        if (ret) {
                return ret;

        return usb_enable(status_cb);

If the application wishes to receive output reports via the OUT interrupt endpoint, it must enable CONFIG_ENABLE_HID_INT_OUT_EP and provide int_out_ready callback. The disadvantage of this is that Kconfig options such as CONFIG_ENABLE_HID_INT_OUT_EP or CONFIG_HID_INTERRUPT_EP_MPS apply to all instances. This design issue will be fixed in the HID class implementation for the new USB support.

See USB HID (Human Interface Device) or USB HID mouse sample for reference.

Mass Storage Class

MSC follows Bulk-Only Transport specification and uses Disk Access to access and expose a RAM disk, emulated block device on a flash partition, or SD Card to the host. Only one disk instance can be exported at a time.

The disc to be used by the implementation is set by the CONFIG_MASS_STORAGE_DISK_NAME and should be the same as the name used by the disc access driver that the application wants to expose to the host. SD card disk drivers use options CONFIG_MMC_VOLUME_NAME or CONFIG_SDMMC_VOLUME_NAME, and flash and RAM disk drivers use node property disk-name to set the disk name.

For the emulated block device on a flash partition, the flash partition and flash disk to be used must be described in the devicetree. If a storage partition is already described at the board level, application devicetree overlay must also delete storage_partition node first. CONFIG_MASS_STORAGE_DISK_NAME should be the same as disk-name property.

/delete-node/ &storage_partition;

&mx25r64 {
        partitions {
                compatible = "fixed-partitions";
                #address-cells = <1>;
                #size-cells = <1>;

                storage_partition: partition@0 {
                        label = "storage";
                        reg = <0x00000000 0x00020000>;

/ {
        msc_disk0 {
                compatible = "zephyr,flash-disk";
                partition = <&storage_partition>;
                disk-name = "NAND";
                cache-size = <4096>;

The disk-property “NAND” may be confusing, but it is simply how some file systems identifies the disc. Therefore, if the application also accesses the file system on the exposed disc, default names should be used, see USB Mass Storage sample for reference.


There are three implementations that work in a similar way, providing a virtual Ethernet connection between the remote (USB host) and Zephyr network support.

See zperf: Network Traffic Generator or Dumb HTTP server for reference. Typically, users will need to add a configuration file overlay to the build, such as samples/net/zperf/overlay-netusb.conf.

Applications using RNDIS support should enable CONFIG_USB_DEVICE_OS_DESC for a better user experience on a host running Microsoft Windows OS.

Binary Device Object Store (BOS) support

BOS handling can be enabled with Kconfig option CONFIG_USB_DEVICE_BOS. This option also has the effect of changing device descriptor bcdUSB to 0210. The application should register descriptors such as Capability Descriptor using usb_bos_register_cap(). Registered descriptors are added to the root BOS descriptor and handled by the stack.

See WebUSB sample for reference.

Implementing a non-standard USB class

The configuration of USB device is done in the stack layer.

The following structures and callbacks need to be defined:

  • Part of USB Descriptor table

  • USB Endpoint configuration table

  • USB Device configuration structure

  • Endpoint callbacks

  • Optionally class, vendor and custom handlers

For example, for the USB loopback application:

 1struct usb_loopback_config {
 2	struct usb_if_descriptor if0;
 3	struct usb_ep_descriptor if0_out_ep;
 4	struct usb_ep_descriptor if0_in_ep;
 5} __packed;
 7USBD_CLASS_DESCR_DEFINE(primary, 0) struct usb_loopback_config loopback_cfg = {
 8	/* Interface descriptor 0 */
 9	.if0 = {
10		.bLength = sizeof(struct usb_if_descriptor),
11		.bDescriptorType = USB_DESC_INTERFACE,
12		.bInterfaceNumber = 0,
13		.bAlternateSetting = 0,
14		.bNumEndpoints = 2,
15		.bInterfaceClass = USB_BCC_VENDOR,
16		.bInterfaceSubClass = 0,
17		.bInterfaceProtocol = 0,
18		.iInterface = 0,
19	},
21	/* Data Endpoint OUT */
22	.if0_out_ep = {
23		.bLength = sizeof(struct usb_ep_descriptor),
24		.bDescriptorType = USB_DESC_ENDPOINT,
25		.bEndpointAddress = LOOPBACK_OUT_EP_ADDR,
26		.bmAttributes = USB_DC_EP_BULK,
27		.wMaxPacketSize = sys_cpu_to_le16(CONFIG_LOOPBACK_BULK_EP_MPS),
28		.bInterval = 0x00,
29	},
31	/* Data Endpoint IN */
32	.if0_in_ep = {
33		.bLength = sizeof(struct usb_ep_descriptor),
34		.bDescriptorType = USB_DESC_ENDPOINT,
35		.bEndpointAddress = LOOPBACK_IN_EP_ADDR,
36		.bmAttributes = USB_DC_EP_BULK,
37		.wMaxPacketSize = sys_cpu_to_le16(CONFIG_LOOPBACK_BULK_EP_MPS),
38		.bInterval = 0x00,
39	},

Endpoint configuration:

 1static struct usb_ep_cfg_data ep_cfg[] = {
 2	{
 3		.ep_cb = loopback_out_cb,
 4		.ep_addr = LOOPBACK_OUT_EP_ADDR,
 5	},
 6	{
 7		.ep_cb = loopback_in_cb,
 8		.ep_addr = LOOPBACK_IN_EP_ADDR,
 9	},

USB Device configuration structure:

 1USBD_DEFINE_CFG_DATA(loopback_config) = {
 2	.usb_device_description = NULL,
 3	.interface_config = loopback_interface_config,
 4	.interface_descriptor = &loopback_cfg.if0,
 5	.cb_usb_status = loopback_status_cb,
 6	.interface = {
 7		.class_handler = NULL,
 8		.custom_handler = NULL,
 9		.vendor_handler = loopback_vendor_handler,
10	},
11	.num_endpoints = ARRAY_SIZE(ep_cfg),
12	.endpoint = ep_cfg,

The vendor device requests are forwarded by the USB stack core driver to the class driver through the registered vendor handler.

For the loopback class driver, loopback_vendor_handler() processes the vendor requests:

 1static int loopback_vendor_handler(struct usb_setup_packet *setup,
 2				   int32_t *len, uint8_t **data)
 4	LOG_DBG("Class request: bRequest 0x%x bmRequestType 0x%x len %d",
 5		setup->bRequest, setup->bmRequestType, *len);
 7	if (setup->RequestType.recipient != USB_REQTYPE_RECIPIENT_DEVICE) {
 8		return -ENOTSUP;
 9	}
11	if (usb_reqtype_is_to_device(setup) &&
12	    setup->bRequest == 0x5b) {
13		LOG_DBG("Host-to-Device, data %p", *data);
14		/*
15		 * Copy request data in loopback_buf buffer and reuse
16		 * it later in control device-to-host transfer.
17		 */
18		memcpy(loopback_buf, *data,
19		       MIN(sizeof(loopback_buf), setup->wLength));
20		return 0;
21	}
23	if ((usb_reqtype_is_to_host(setup)) &&
24	    (setup->bRequest == 0x5c)) {
25		LOG_DBG("Device-to-Host, wLength %d, data %p",
26			setup->wLength, *data);
27		*data = loopback_buf;
28		*len = MIN(sizeof(loopback_buf), setup->wLength);
29		return 0;
30	}
32	return -ENOTSUP;

The class driver waits for the USB_DC_CONFIGURED device status code before transmitting any data.

Interface number and endpoint address assignment

In USB terminology, a function is a device that provides a capability to the host, such as a HID class device that implements a keyboard. A function constains a collection of interfaces; at least one interface is required. An interface may contain device endpoints; for example, at least one input endpoint is required to implement a HID class device, and no endpoints are required to implement a USB DFU class. A USB device that combines functions is a multifunction USB device, for example, a combination of a HID class device and a CDC ACM device.

With Zephyr RTOS USB support, various combinations are possible with built-in USB classes/functions or custom user implementations. The limitation is the number of available device endpoints. Each device endpoint is uniquely addressable. The endpoint address is a combination of endpoint direction and endpoint number, a four-bit value. Endpoint number zero is used for the default control method to initialize and configure a USB device. By specification, a maximum of 15 IN and 15 OUT device endpoints are also available for use in functions. The actual number depends on the device controller used. Not all controllers support the maximum number of endpoints and all endpoint types. For example, a device controller might support one IN and one OUT isochronous endpoint, but only for endpoint number 8, resulting in endpoint addresses 0x88 and 0x08. Also, one controller may be able to have IN/OUT endpoints on the same endpoint number, interrupt IN endpoint 0x81 and bulk OUT endpoint 0x01, while the other may only be able to handle one endpoint per endpoint number. Information about the number of interfaces, interface associations, endpoint types, and addresses is provided to the host by the interface, interface specifiec, and endpoint descriptors.

Host driver for specific function, uses interface and endpoint descriptor to obtain endpoint addresses, types, and other properties. This allows function host drivers to be generic, for example, a multi-function device consisting of one or more CDC ACM and one or more CDC ECM class implementations is possible and no specific drivers are required.

Interface and endpoint descriptors of built-in USB class/function implementations in Zephyr RTOS typically have default interface numbers and endpoint addresses assigned in ascending order. During initialization, default interface numbers may be reassigned based on the number of interfaces in a given configuration. Endpoint addresses are reassigned based on controller capabilities, since certain endpoint combinations are not possible with every controller, and the number of interfaces in a given configuration. This also means that the device side class/function in the Zephyr RTOS must check the actual interface and endpoint descriptor values at runtime. This mechanism also allows as to provide generic samples and generic multifunction samples that are limited only by the resources provided by the controller, such as the number of endpoints and the size of the endpoint FIFOs.

There may be host drivers for a specific function, for example in the Linux Kernel, where the function driver does not read interface and endpoint descriptors to check interface numbers or endpoint addresses, but instead uses hardcoded values. Therefore, the host driver cannot be used in a generic way, meaning it cannot be used with different device controllers and different device configurations in combination with other functions. This may also be because the driver is designed for a specific hardware and is not intended to be used with a clone of this specific hardware. On the contrary, if the driver is generic in nature and should work with different hardware variants, then it must not use hardcoded interface numbers and endpoint addresses. It is not possible to disable endpoint reassignment in Zephyr RTOS, which may prevent you from implementing a hardware-clone firmware. Instead, if possible, the host driver implementation should be fixed to use values from the interface and endpoint descriptor.

Testing over USPIP in native_sim

A virtual USB controller implemented through USBIP might be used to test the USB device stack. Follow the general build procedure to build the USB sample for the native_sim configuration.

Run built sample with:

west build -t run

In a terminal window, run the following command to list USB devices:

$ usbip list -r localhost
Exportable USB devices
        1-1: unknown vendor : unknown product (2fe3:0100)
           : /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.2/usb1/1-1
           : (Defined at Interface level) (00/00/00)
           :  0 - Vendor Specific Class / unknown subclass / unknown protocol (ff/00/00)

In a terminal window, run the following command to attach the USB device:

$ sudo usbip attach -r localhost -b 1-1

The USB device should be connected to your Linux host, and verified with the following commands:

$ sudo usbip port
Imported USB devices
Port 00: <Port in Use> at Full Speed(12Mbps)
       unknown vendor : unknown product (2fe3:0100)
       7-1 -> usbip://localhost:3240/1-1
           -> remote bus/dev 001/002
$ lsusb -d 2fe3:0100
Bus 007 Device 004: ID 2fe3:0100

USB Vendor and Product identifiers

The USB Vendor ID for the Zephyr project is 0x2FE3. This USB Vendor ID must not be used when a vendor integrates Zephyr USB device support into its own product.

Each USB sample has its own unique Product ID. The USB maintainer, if one is assigned, or otherwise the Zephyr Technical Steering Committee, may allocate other USB Product IDs based on well-motivated and documented requests.

The following Product IDs are currently used:





USB CDC-ACM composite




Console over USB CDC ACM


USB DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) (Run-Time)


USB HID (Human Interface Device)


USB HID mouse


USB Mass Storage


USB testing application




Bluetooth: HCI USB


Bluetooth: HCI H4 over USB


802.15.4 USB


USB Audio asynchronous explicit feedback sample


USB DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) (DFU Mode)


The USB device descriptor field bcdDevice (Device Release Number) represents the Zephyr kernel major and minor versions as a binary coded decimal value.