I have an Ubuntu server version (14.04 up to date LTS). I mostly use this machine over SSH.

Yesterday I typed in lsusb and the machine gave me the following error:

unable to initialize libusb: -99

I searched on the web, but did not get any answers on this problem.

Question: What does this error mean and how can I solve it?

Note: The machine is installed on an ESXI machine and the usb devices are passed through ESXI.

  • Probably this server does not have usb. What do you want to get from that command? – Pilot6 May 29 '15 at 9:16
  • It is running in an ESXI server enviroment could that be the problem? Well, what lsusb does list the inserted usb drives. – user3892683 May 29 '15 at 9:19
  • So it has no direct access to usb – Pilot6 May 29 '15 at 9:20
  • I added the usb via ESXI so it could be possible, right? But, yes Ubuntu is not installed on the bare metal and has unlimited access to the USB ports. – user3892683 May 29 '15 at 9:23

unable to initialize libusb could be because there is no USB controllers present on the Server. You can check it out by executing the following command:

lspci | grep USB

In your case, there would be no output, indicating the absence of USB controllers. If so, then add one. I have not worked much on VMs, so I can't tell anything about that, but upon googling, I found several pages that might help you, including this .

  • Of course adding an USB controller!! Thanks mate – user3892683 May 29 '15 at 19:08

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