SPUG: Using Perl to drive a USB printer without Mac-specific drivers

Fred Morris m3047 at inwa.net
Wed May 27 23:41:21 PDT 2009

On Tuesday 26 May 2009 15:08, Michael R. Wolf wrote:
> [...]
> Do you have any technical suggestions for how to reverse engineer my  
> printer as a black-box, or any suggestions for how to put a "wire tap"  
> on the USB to learn enough to drive it?

Michael, there are a number of things which might help you monitor a USB 
device connected to a Linux box, but yes basically you're talking special 
sauce if you want to look at these proprietary protocol in a Windows 
environment... which is what you're going to need -- a working reference 
implementation -- if you're going to reverse engineer them. BTW, they're not 
always very pretty; come to think of it, USB is not very pretty and borders 
on a scam a lot of the time.

Here are a few handy things on Linux (which won't do you much good):

cat /proc/bus/usb/devices

You'll probably find some "directories" in there mapping to your USB busses, 
and in those you'll find some "files" mapping to your hubs and devices.

lsusb -- vendor and product i.d.s (really useful, hah!). they pay for these 
BTW, it ain't free.

/dev/usb will have entries for stuff which maps with an available driver.

Free advice is worth what you paid for it..



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