Neither 1) System Information, 2) ioreg -p IOUSB -w0 -l, 3) system_profiler SPUSBDataType nor 4) jlhonora's "lsusb" for macOS (brew update && brew tap jlhonora/lsusb && brew install lsusb) tell me which kind of USB device is attached like the Linux command lsusb:

DESCRIPTION lsusb is a utility for displaying information about USB buses in the system and the devices connected to them.

Use case: I want to know what kind of USB device is attached (e.g. USB 2 or 3) - not which type of port the device is connected to. Per this answer on askubuntu:



1 Answer 1


This may take a bit of extrapolation, but use the value from "Speed" in system_profiler

For example, looking at the Logitech USB receiver (for my mouse and second keyboard):

$ system_profiler SPUSBDataType | grep Logitech -A5
          Vendor ID: 0x046d  (Logitech Inc.)
          Version: 12.01
          Speed: Up to 12 Mb/sec
          Manufacturer: Logitech
          Location ID: 0x14200000 / 3
          Current Available (mA): 1000
          Current Required (mA): 98
          Extra Operating Current (mA): 0

Looking at the "Speed" value, it tells me that it's a USB 1.1 device. Doing the same lookup for my Seagate FreeAgent Go USB disk, I get the following:

system_profiler SPUSBDataType | grep Seagate -A5
              Vendor ID: 0x0bc2  (Seagate LLC)
              Version: 1.48
              Serial Number: 2GE7WLWG
              Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec
              Manufacturer: Seagate
              Location ID: 0x14320000 / 23
              Current Available (mA): 1000
              Current Required (mA): 100
              Extra Operating Current (mA): 0
              Capacity: 500.11 GB (500,107,861,504 bytes)

It tells me it's got a speed of 480Mb/s which is a USB 2.0 device.

You don't have to output all that extra data, I am just using it for illustration purposes, instead you can just narrow it down to the line containing the speed value:

$ system_profiler SPUSBDataType | grep Seagate -A5 | grep Speed
              Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec

For reference, USB speeds/specs are as follows:

USB 1.x - 12Mb/sec
USB 2.0 - 480Mb/sec
USB 3.0 - 5Gb/s
USB 3.1 - 10Gb/s

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