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Universal Serial Bus

This page provides global information for running USB on RISC OS. USB has gradually replaced older computer interfaces like PS-2, Centronics, RS-232 and SCSI. It provides a universal interface for a wide variety of peripherals and is supported by nearly all operating systems in the world.

USB devices are divided into classes, and each class requires a dedicated driver to allow the connected peripheral to work under the operating system. Some classes are readily supported by RISC OS, but others require a third-party driver. The table below shows which drivers are available for RISC OS and where they can be found. Support for the HID-class can be found on this website. This class consists of Human Interface Devices, like keyboard, mouse and joystick.

USB software available from this website
!USBInfo helper application - provides graphical display of the computer's USB subsystem
USBHID drivers - full support for Human Interface Devices (HID) under RISC OS
USB devices are categorised in so-called classes that are numbered from 1 to 255, with class 255 being the unspecified vendor specific class. The following classes are currently known:

Class Description RISC OS Info  
1 Audio Control - -  
2 Communication device - -  
3 Human Interface Devices (HID) e.g. keyboard, mouse !HID Info  
6 Imaging devices, such as scanners and cameras - -  
7 Printing Standard Info  
8 Mass Storage Devices Standard Info  
9 HUB Standard Info  
10 Data Interface - -  
11 Smart cards and chip cards - -  
255 Vendor Specific Class - -  

 USB classes in more detail

If you are interested in writing USB drivers, you are advised to read the extensive documentation available from the USB Forum, as listed below. In addition you need to know how RISC OS works in general, and in particular how USB is implemented under RISC OS. As the USB Application Programming Interface (API) may seem complex in the beginning, we have created a small application that may help you understanding the underlying structures. It is available freely.

 Get the USBinfo application

  1. Documentation about the USB standard
    These documents decribe the official USB standard as published by the USB Forum. Several documents are available about the USB standard in general and various device classes in particular.

  2. API (Application Programming Interface)
    This document describes the way in which RISC OS expects a USB card to work and how drivers should communicate with the low-level USB hardware.
     Overview of the various USB classes and RISC OS compatibility

  3. Overview of the various USB classes
    We have created an overview of all USB classes currently recognised by the RISC OS hardware and software.
     Supported Mass Storage Devices

  4. Report a new USB Device
    We would like to keep our website and the !USBinfo application us to date. For that, we need your help. If you come across a new device that is not recognised by !USBinfo (i.e. it shows no vendor logo, or it shows the generic class icon), please report to us.
Further information
Any links shown in red are currently unavailable. X-Ample Technology BV.
Last changed: Monday, 15 June 2020 - 06:35 CET.
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