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You have connected a USB flash drive, keyboard or mouse to your Linux PC. But nothing happens.
What happens? Why is your flash drive not found in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS or any other distribution? Is it a Linux problem or has the USB stopped working? See what to do in Linux if the USB drive is not detected or recognized.
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USB device not working on Ubuntu?
Disk drives, card readers, phones, media players and media devices... they're all useful, but if there's a problem with the USB port or system drivers, they won't work. This can be especially frustrating if you're using a Bluetooth keyboard or a Bluetooth mouse (with a USB dongle), as it means you have to find wired USB alternatives.
However, it cannot be the gate that is down. Maybe the USB device you are using has an error and cannot be detected. If you are trying to connect your Android phone with a USB cable, see herehow to setup adb and fastboot on linux.
USB troubleshooting can be difficult, but diagnosing the error and making the necessary fixes is not impossible.
There are five steps to follow to troubleshoot USB issues on Linux:
- Confirm that the USB port has been found
- Make the necessary repairs at the port
- Repair or repair USB devices
- Restart the Linux operating system
- Verify the presence of device drivers
Let's look at each one in turn and learn how to deal with Linux not recognizing USB devices. While the steps below are for a USB device not found on Ubuntu, they should work on Linux.
1. The USB device was not detected by Linux
The first thing to check when inserting a USB device into a Linux PC is whether it has been detected. If your USB drive doesn't show up in Linux, you can troubleshoot.
USB device detection is usually not as verbal or audible as Windows or macOS, which means you often have to manually check if the device has been picked up by the operating system.
Fortunately, it's easy.
First, remove the desired USB device. Then open a terminal window and enter the "list usb" command:
Note the results, connect the USB device and restart lsusb.
This time you should see an additional device with Bus ID, Device ID, USB ID and Description. If you can't figure out what the extra device is (you might have an internal USB device, like ethernet), try another command.
dmesg | grep -i USB
The dmesg command displays the connected USB devices on your system. It will also include non-USB hardware and unfortunately offers an overwhelming amount of information. To resolve this issue, try the following:
dmesg | less
Finally, you can just rely on the more user-friendly:
It's like a cross between the dmesg and lsusb commands, showing the connected USB hardware with enough information to identify it.
Is the USB you plugged in listed here? If not, the port may be damaged or there is a problem with the device. Similarly, the device may not be compatible with your operating system, so the USB may not be detected on Linux.
2. Linux not recognizing USB? How to check the USB port
If USB is not found in Ubuntu or other distributions, it may be due to a problem with the USB port.
The best way to check this quickly is to simply use a different USB port on the same computer. If the USB hardware is now detected, you have a problem with another USB port.
If no other USB port is available, try the USB device on another computer or laptop. However, this may not be ideal as you may only have a Windows or macOS computer as an alternative. Since you cannot use some USB devices on Linux, it will be difficult to determine whether it is the USB device or the USB port that is causing the problems.
For best results, if possible, look for Linux-compatible hardware when troubleshooting USB devices. This should solve the problem of Ubuntu or other distros not recognizing your USB stick.
3. Ubuntu USB device not showing up? How to repair broken USB hardware
If your USB drive doesn't show up in Ubuntu and you suspect it's damaged, you have two options: repair or rollback.
Repair usually consists of checking the USB port as well as the device that is currently not working.
For peripherals, fixes will almost always focus on the computer's cable and USB port. However, USB cables can usually be replaced and ports repaired.
Physically checking your USB hardware is a good idea. The cables must be strong without cracks. the plugs must be solid, with the metal part attached.
Meanwhile, USB ports should be checked with the computer turned off and disconnected from the network. Check that the ports are securely attached. Shaky USB ports indicate worn hardware.
If the USB port comes loose, you may be able to glue it back together. Of course you already know thatbasic welding; Never attempt DIY tasks without prior experience.
Also check the USB ports for dust and dirt, especially those on the back of the computer where dust regularly collects. Dust is the computer's enemy, so it pays to keep your system in a dust-free environment to boost performance.
Since dust can enter your computer through USB ports, take the time to keep these ports clean. Use a can of compressed air to disperse dust and dirt.
Can you return your USB device? If it's new, it probably is. The problem is that the seller is unlikely to accept returns unless they are clearly labeled as running Linux. You may have to be a little selective about the facts you share with them.
4. Restart Linux to repair the USB port
In some cases - such as when using a laptop - power issues can affect the ability to detect USB devices. The auto-suspend setting is intended to reduce power consumption on Linux laptops, but it can be counterproductive.
So what can you do?
First, check if the auto-suspend is causing the problem. You can do this by restarting your computer. if the USB device works, it means the USB port is powered. The problem occurs when the power management software decides to stop sending power to the USB port.
The next step is to make sure this doesn't happen again. In Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, you can open a terminal and type:
udiksctl disable -b /dev/sdX
If you are using an older version of Ubuntu, different commands are required.
Check the correct steps for your preferred Linux distribution.
5. Check the Linux USB device drivers
Once upon a time, USB devices often did not work on Linux. Only devices made by OEMs that care about Linux (maybe used it for development) will offer a Linux driver.
Today, the situation is completely different, with most manufacturers supporting Linux. In most cases, the driver will already be available in the Linux operating system via the kernel. No need to install any USB driver.
If a driver is not available, you can probably find one by contacting the manufacturer of the USB device.
USB device not found in Linux? Try this
Troubleshooting is different for USB flash memory devices. Flash memory is prone to failure, especially if the device is dropped or used frequently.
In this case, try using the memory on another computer. If that doesn't work, try data recovery and reformat. Here it iswhat to do if you can't format a usb drive in ubuntu.
However, a damaged USB flash drive can be a symptom of a damaged USB port on your computer. For example, an incorrect port can overload USB drives, and improper power fluctuations can corrupt data. Therefore, it is important to follow the steps above to rule out a problem with your computer or laptop.
Most importantly, don't rely on flash memory to back up data. Although slower, mechanical hard drives are more reliable.
Linux USB Debugging: Fixed!
With built-in drivers and extensive support for many types of USB devices, diagnosing problems with your computer's USB hardware should be easy.
Although damaged hardware may need to be repaired or replaced, software fixes are also available.
If you recently switched from Windows, USB issues on Linux can be a problem. Fortunately, these problems are usually easy to fix.