USB Device Support

Tom Spear speeddymon at
Tue Sep 21 08:54:51 CDT 2010

I have a USB pedometer that uploads the data to the internet. I could get
another one and the driver software for you to play with. You have to be a
registered member for a monthly fee to get one otherwise, but my job
sponsors anyone that wants to get/stay in shape that works for them, so
getting an extra pedometer is fine by me. I have been hoping for an
opportunity to mention that it doesn't work, and this seems like as good as
any. :-)



On Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 5:03 AM, Damjan Jovanovic <damjan.jov at>wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 1:39 AM, Eric Durbin <eadurbin at> wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 10:48 AM, Damjan Jovanovic <damjan.jov at
> >
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> When last I heard from Alexander Morozov (October 2009), he wasn't
> >> working on those patches much, and had no interest in sending them to
> >> wine-patches.
> >>
> >> I did some work on USB since then, and sent some patches starting from
> >> around March 2010 (too many attempts to list, search for them). Most
> >> were rejected.
> >>
> >> The USB story goes as follows:
> >>
> >> My libusb patch was rejected IIRC because the libusb situation was
> >> unclear. There's the old libusb-0.1 and the new more powerful
> >> libusb-1.0. IIRC each *nix hacked up its own specific variation of
> >> libusb that had to be detected specifically, and some *nixes didn't
> >> support the libusb-1.0 interface yet (libusb-1.0 itself only supports
> >> Linux and MacOS when last I checked, and they were doing a Windows
> >> port).
> >>
> >> The ntoskrnl that Wine currently emulates is total bogus: one process
> >> per driver, drivers all in separate processes from each other. On
> >> Windows there's a single address space for all drivers and they can
> >> communicate amongst themselves. I don't think inter-driver
> >> communication is that crucial initially, but it will be eventually
> >> (eg. last I heard, the iPod driver stacks on top of USBSTOR.SYS, and
> >> multi-function USB devices can use a different driver for each
> >> interface - these may communicate among themselves with private ioctl
> >> requests). The big problem with the multi process situation is
> >> hardware sharing: how do you set it up so each driver accesses its own
> >> and only its own hardware?
> >>
> >> Drivers either start on system startup (Wine starts those with the
> >> first process that starts), or get loaded on-demand as the hardware is
> >> plugged in. Most drivers should install themselves to be loaded
> >> on-demand. Who loads those and how?
> >>
> >> Windows uses USBHUB.SYS to do device I/O and load drivers on demand.
> >> Alexandre didn't want that dll because it exports nothing (all its
> >> features are accessible via internal ioctls), and suggested adding the
> >> features to USBD.SYS instead, which we already have and which has
> >> exports. Now USBD.SYS is linked to by most (but not all) USB drivers
> >> so (most of the time) it automatically gets loaded into each one -
> >> great right? - but it has no idea which driver it got loaded with, nor
> >> a straightforward way to determine which device(s!) that driver wants
> >> to drive. Also, since most drivers only load on-demand, the driver
> >> will never load, and thus this won't work unless we load those drivers
> >> on startup instead. The other approach, which I tried, was to get
> >> Wine's mountmgr.sys to detect USB devices using HAL, then pass them to
> >> a loaded-on-startup instance of USBHUB.SYS using a Wine-private ioctl,
> >> which would detect the driver for the device and launch a new instance
> >> of itself that would make a device object and load the driver to
> >> attach to it. This was all a bit a hack (USBHUB.SYS uses environment
> >> variables to tell the child which device and driver to run) and
> >> Alexandre also didn't the the Wine-private ioctls. Alexander Morozov's
> >> patch did things the Windows way: all drivers in one ntoskrnl process
> >> - this won't work properly in Wine for years, if ever, since ntoskrnl
> >> is so incomplete and one bad driver will crash them all. Another
> >> possibility could be to keep drivers in separate processes, but allow
> >> inter-process communication, but I see serializing IRPs between
> >> processes as being complex and very slow.
> >>
> >> Driver installation is also quite a mission. Windows detects that the
> >> hardware doesn't have a driver installed, and then generates the
> >> device ID and compatible IDs and searches .INF files for one that can
> >> support it. Our setupapi needs to be substantially improved to be able
> >> to do the same, and some newdev.dll and manual INF parsing work to
> >> install the driver may also be necessary, and I can already think of
> >> cases where even class installers will be necessary too :-(.
> >>
> >> Wine only sends DeviceIoControl to drivers. For anything non-trivial,
> >> other file-related user-space functions (at least ReadFile, WriteFile)
> >> need to go to the driver too. The infrastructure for this does not
> >> even exist yet, and would probably affects wineserver as well.
> >>
> >> Regression tests for ntosnkrl.exe and kernel drivers don't exist, and
> >> are difficult to come up with, since we'd have to compile and load
> >> drivers on Windows and run tests that don't crash Windows :-).
> >>
> >> So the architecture for USB support is tricky to say the least. But
> >> I'd still like to resume work on my USB patches some time soon, would
> >> you like to help?
> >
> > I'd be willing to help if you want some assistance. I don't know much
> about
> > the subject yet, but I'm reading  programming the wdm atm.
> Firstly I'd like to find a cheap simple USB device that we can
> actually get working quickly. Earlier I was experimenting with my
> Blackberry driver, but that's not going far quickly, since it's a
> multi-protocol device (modem, mass storage, and proprietary protocols,
> etc.). I've got a USB scanner that's unsupported by SANE, but that
> needs ReadFile/WriteFile which is a lot of work by itself. Same with
> USB flash sticks. I can get hold of an iPod but that's probably the
> most complex, needing to stack on top of USBSTOR.SYS IIRC. Ironically
> drivers for the easy hardware (USB mice) are unnecessary anyway, since
> the Linux drivers are good enough, and the Windows drivers probably
> need to be driven from user-space by bits Wine doesn't have. Maybe I
> should give up and just get something partially working, add the rest
> later gradually. Any ideas?
> Then it's largely a matter of design. I think Alexandre's idea
> (process per driver, host all USB code in USBD.SYS) is good enough
> initially.
> Essentially the first steps would be:
> 1. libusb integration
> 2. driver loading hacks
> 3. driver -> devices lookup
> 4. usb bus enumeration for devices
> 5. create pdo and fdo for each device
> 6. AddDevice to driver
> 7. perform I/O for IRPs coming down from the driver using libusb I/O
> functions
> That should get a very basic driver (that only uses the control pipe)
> working. I'll try to get some of this done later this week/weekend.
> Damjan
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