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4.7.0 • Public • Published

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usb-detection allows you to listen for insert/remove events of USB devices on your system.



npm install usb-detection


var usbDetect = require('usb-detection');
// Detect add/insert
usbDetect.on('add', function(device) { console.log('add', device); });
usbDetect.on('add:vid', function(device) { console.log('add', device); });
usbDetect.on('add:vid:pid', function(device) { console.log('add', device); });
// Detect remove
usbDetect.on('remove', function(device) { console.log('remove', device); });
usbDetect.on('remove:vid', function(device) { console.log('remove', device); });
usbDetect.on('remove:vid:pid', function(device) { console.log('remove', device); });
// Detect add or remove (change)
usbDetect.on('change', function(device) { console.log('change', device); });
usbDetect.on('change:vid', function(device) { console.log('change', device); });
usbDetect.on('change:vid:pid', function(device) { console.log('change', device); });
// Get a list of USB devices on your system, optionally filtered by `vid` or `pid`
usbDetect.find(function(err, devices) { console.log('find', devices, err); });
usbDetect.find(vid, function(err, devices) { console.log('find', devices, err); });
usbDetect.find(vid, pid, function(err, devices) { console.log('find', devices, err); });
// Promise version of `find`:
usbDetect.find().then(function(devices) { console.log(devices); }).catch(function(err) { console.log(err); });
// Allow the process to exit



Start listening for USB add/remove/change events. This will cause the Node.js process to stay open until you call usbDetect.stopMonitoring() (see below).


Stop listening for USB add/remove/change events. This will also allow the Node.js process to exit.

This is really only meant to be called once on exit. No guarantees if you start/stop monitoring multiple times, see

usbDetect.on(eventName, callback)

  • eventName
    • add: also aliased as insert
      • add:vid
      • add:vid:pid
    • remove
      • remove:vid
      • remove:vid:pid
    • change
      • change:vid
      • change:vid:pid
  • callback: Function that is called whenever the event occurs
    • Takes a device
var usbDetect = require('usb-detection');
usbDetect.on('add', function(device) {
/* Console output:
    locationId: 0,
    vendorId: 5824,
    productId: 1155,
    deviceName: 'Teensy USB Serial (COM3)',
    manufacturer: 'PJRC.COM, LLC.',
    serialNumber: '',
    deviceAddress: 11

usbDetect.find(vid, pid, callback)

Note: All find calls return a promise even with the node-style callback flavors.

  • find()
  • find(vid)
  • find(vid, pid)
  • find(callback)
  • find(vid, callback)
  • find(vid, pid, callback)


  • vid: restrict search to a certain vendor id
  • pid: restrict search to s certain product id
  • callback: Function that is called whenever the event occurs
    • Takes a err and devices parameter.
var usbDetect = require('usb-detection');
usbDetect.find(function(err, devices) {
    console.log(devices, err);
// Equivalent to:
// usbDetect.find().then(function(devices) { console.log(devices); }).catch(function(err) { console.log(err); });
/* Console output:
        locationId: 0,
        vendorId: 0,
        productId: 0,
        deviceName: 'USB Root Hub',
        manufacturer: '(Standard USB Host Controller)',
        serialNumber: '',
        deviceAddress: 2
        locationId: 0,
        vendorId: 5824,
        productId: 1155,
        deviceName: 'Teensy USB Serial (COM3)',
        manufacturer: 'PJRC.COM, LLC.',
        serialNumber: '',
        deviceAddress: 11


The script/process is not exiting/quiting

var usbDetect = require('usb-detection');
// Do some detection
// After this call, the process will be able to quit

usbDetect.find() always returns the same list of devices, even after removal.

Make sure you call usbDetect.startMonitoring() before any calls to usbDetect.find().

Development (compile from source)

This assumes you also have everything on your system necessary to compile ANY native module for Node.js. This may not be the case, though, so please ensure the following requirements are satisfied before filing an issue about "Does not install". For all operating systems, please ensure you have Python 2.x installed AND not 3.0, node-gyp (what we use to compile) requires Python 2.x.


If you are having problems building, please read this.

npm run rebuild -> The system cannot find the path specified.

If you are running into the The system cannot find the path specified. error when running npm run rebuild, make sure you have Python 2 installed and on your PATH.

You can verify node-gyp is configured correctly by looking at the output of node-gyp configure --verbose.

$ node-gyp configure --verbose
gyp verb check python checking for Python executable "python2" in the PATH
gyp verb `which` succeeded python2 C:\Python27\python2.EXE

If you already have Python 3 installed, you can install Python 2 alongside and create a symlink called python2.exe via mklink "C:\Python27\python2.exe" "C:\Python27\python.exe" and add the directory to your path.

Mac OS X:

Ensure that you have at a minimum, the xCode Command Line Tools installed appropriate for your system configuration. If you recently upgraded your OS, it probably removed your installation of Command Line Tools, please verify before submitting a ticket.


You know what you need for you system, basically your appropriate analog of build-essential. Keep rocking!

To compile and install native addons from npm you may also need to install build tools (source):

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential

Also install libudev:

sudo apt-get install libudev-dev


We have a suite of Mocha/Chai tests.

The tests require some manual interaction of plugging/unplugging a USB device. Follow the cyan background text instructions.

npm test


npm i usb-detection

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