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In a nutshell, the device I have is not a block device so blkid command doesn't suit me. But at least I can get some info about my device via lsusb -v command although it doesn't contain its UUID.

And I know my device does have UUID. The thing is I tried to run VBoxManage list usbhost command and it showed me some USB devices (including non-block devices) with their UUIDs. But for some reason the output of the command abruptly ceased (even without trailing newline symbol, although with 0 return code) in the beginning of the list so I didn't have a chance to see my device's UUID. I do not want to endevour finding out why it happened. Instead I want to know an alternate way to find out UUID of my device because I believe it should be easier to do.

And just in the case this information is interesting to someone: Gentoo, linux 3.7.10

/sys/kernel/debug/usb/devices

T:  Bus=02 Lev=00 Prnt=00 Port=00 Cnt=00 Dev#=  1 Spd=480  MxCh= 2
B:  Alloc=  0/800 us ( 0%), #Int=  1, #Iso=  0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=09(hub  ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=1d6b ProdID=0002 Rev= 3.07
S:  Manufacturer=Linux 3.7.10-gentoo-r1 ehci_hcd
S:  Product=EHCI Host Controller
S:  SerialNumber=0000:00:1d.0
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=e0 MxPwr=  0mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=09(hub  ) Sub=00 Prot=00 Driver=hub
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=   4 Ivl=256ms

T:  Bus=02 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#=  2 Spd=480  MxCh= 8
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=09(hub  ) Sub=00 Prot=01 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=8087 ProdID=0024 Rev= 0.00
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=e0 MxPwr=  0mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=09(hub  ) Sub=00 Prot=00 Driver=hub
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=   2 Ivl=256ms

T:  Bus=02 Lev=02 Prnt=02 Port=02 Cnt=01 Dev#=  3 Spd=480  MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=048d ProdID=1336 Rev= 1.00
S:  Manufacturer=Generic   
S:  Product=Mass Storage Device
S:  SerialNumber=00000000000006
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=80 MxPwr=100mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50 Driver=usb-storage
E:  Ad=01(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=125us
E:  Ad=82(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms

T:  Bus=01 Lev=00 Prnt=00 Port=00 Cnt=00 Dev#=  1 Spd=480  MxCh= 2
B:  Alloc=  0/800 us ( 0%), #Int=  4, #Iso=  0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=09(hub  ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=1d6b ProdID=0002 Rev= 3.07
S:  Manufacturer=Linux 3.7.10-gentoo-r1 ehci_hcd
S:  Product=EHCI Host Controller
S:  SerialNumber=0000:00:1a.0
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=e0 MxPwr=  0mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=09(hub  ) Sub=00 Prot=00 Driver=hub
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=   4 Ivl=256ms

T:  Bus=01 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#=  2 Spd=480  MxCh= 6
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=09(hub  ) Sub=00 Prot=01 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=8087 ProdID=0024 Rev= 0.00
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=e0 MxPwr=  0mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=09(hub  ) Sub=00 Prot=00 Driver=hub
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=   1 Ivl=256ms

T:  Bus=01 Lev=02 Prnt=02 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#=  3 Spd=12   MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS= 8 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=1366 ProdID=0101 Rev= 1.00
S:  Manufacturer=SEGGER
S:  Product=J-Link
S:  SerialNumber=000038000375
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=c0 MxPwr=100mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=ff Prot=ff Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=02(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=0ms

T:  Bus=01 Lev=02 Prnt=02 Port=03 Cnt=02 Dev#=  4 Spd=12   MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS= 8 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=0403 ProdID=6001 Rev= 6.00
S:  Manufacturer=FTDI
S:  Product=TTL232R-3V3
S:  SerialNumber=FTF5T2QJ
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=80 MxPwr= 90mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=ff Prot=ff Driver=ftdi_sio
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=02(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=0ms

T:  Bus=01 Lev=02 Prnt=02 Port=04 Cnt=03 Dev#=  5 Spd=12   MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 1.10 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS= 8 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=046d ProdID=0a01 Rev=10.13
S:  Manufacturer=Logitech
S:  Product=Logitech USB Headset
C:* #Ifs= 3 Cfg#= 1 Atr=80 MxPwr=100mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 0 Cls=01(audio) Sub=01 Prot=00 Driver=(none)
I:* If#= 1 Alt= 0 #EPs= 0 Cls=01(audio) Sub=02 Prot=00 Driver=(none)
I:  If#= 1 Alt= 1 #EPs= 1 Cls=01(audio) Sub=02 Prot=00 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=01(O) Atr=09(Isoc) MxPS= 192 Ivl=1ms
I:  If#= 1 Alt= 2 #EPs= 1 Cls=01(audio) Sub=02 Prot=00 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=01(O) Atr=09(Isoc) MxPS=  96 Ivl=1ms
I:* If#= 2 Alt= 0 #EPs= 0 Cls=01(audio) Sub=02 Prot=00 Driver=(none)
I:  If#= 2 Alt= 1 #EPs= 1 Cls=01(audio) Sub=02 Prot=00 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=84(I) Atr=09(Isoc) MxPS=  96 Ivl=1ms

T:  Bus=01 Lev=02 Prnt=02 Port=05 Cnt=04 Dev#=  6 Spd=480  MxCh= 7
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=09(hub  ) Sub=00 Prot=01 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=2001 ProdID=f103 Rev= 1.00
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=e0 MxPwr=  0mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=09(hub  ) Sub=00 Prot=00 Driver=hub
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=   1 Ivl=256ms

T:  Bus=01 Lev=03 Prnt=06 Port=01 Cnt=01 Dev#=  7 Spd=480  MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=13fe ProdID=3600 Rev= 1.00
S:  Manufacturer=        
S:  Product=                
S:  SerialNumber=90B217007BC11098
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=80 MxPwr=200mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50 Driver=usb-storage
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=02(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms

T:  Bus=01 Lev=03 Prnt=06 Port=03 Cnt=02 Dev#= 12 Spd=1.5  MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS= 8 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=045e ProdID=071d Rev= 2.50
S:  Manufacturer=Microsoft
S:  Product=Microsoft�� 2.4GHz Transceiver V1.0
C:* #Ifs= 2 Cfg#= 1 Atr=a0 MxPwr=100mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=03(HID  ) Sub=01 Prot=01 Driver=usbhid
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=   8 Ivl=10ms
I:* If#= 1 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=03(HID  ) Sub=00 Prot=00 Driver=usbhid
E:  Ad=82(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=   8 Ivl=10ms

The device of interest is:
T: Bus=01 Lev=02 Prnt=02 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#= 3 Spd=12 MxCh= 0

UUIDs of existing non-block devices:

[krokoziabla@ktulhu]:0:/home/krokoziabla> VBoxManage list usbhost

Host USB Devices:

UUID:               f864c487-2a25-4649-84cd-39dc67be695a
VendorId:           0x0403 (0403)
ProductId:          0x6001 (6001)
Revision:           6.0 (0600)
Port:               3
USB version/speed:  2/1
Manufacturer:       FTDI
Product:            TTL232R-3V3
SerialNumber:       FTF5T2QJ
Address:            sysfs:/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1a.0/usb1/1-1/1-1.4//device:/dev/vboxusb/001/004
Current State:      Busy

UUID:               b03a6680-ecc5-4f48-8103-3e387cf4cb28
VendorId:           0x045e (045E)
ProductId:          0x071d (071D)
Revision:           2.80 (0280)
Port:               3
USB version/speed:  2/1
Manufacturer:       Microsoft
Product:            Microsoft[krokoziabla@ktulhu]:0:/home/krokoziabla> 
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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Devices do not have UUIDs. Partitions do. UUIDs are created when a filesystem is formatted. This is why they can be changed, and why they do change when you reformat.

In other words, a UUID is not a characteristic of piece of hardware, and there is no way to "find" information that does not exist.

There may be one or more partitions on the device that have UUIDs, so if you have seen one before associated with it, it's the UUID of a partition. If there is more than one partition, there may be a UUID for each one (there also may not, since none are required), but none of them are characteristics of the hardware (they're just mutable pieces of data stored on it). USB keys usually come with one big pre-formatted FAT32 or NTFS partition. If you reformat this, the UUID will change.

To find the UUID of a partition, you do need to find its identity as a block device. cat /proc/partitions should list everything the kernel is aware of, mounted or not. Presuming there aren't dozens of drives attached to your system, it should be simple enough to figure out which one is the USB. /proc/partitions actually lists the drive too, you can tell this apart from its partitions because the drive won't have a number at the end (sda vs. sda1), and file -s output will be different:

> file -s /dev/sda
/dev/sda: x86 boot sector; partition 1: ID=0x83, active, starthead 32, startsector 2048, 134217728 sectors; 
partition 2: ID=0x83, starthead 202, startsector 134219776, 58720256 sectors; 
partition 3: ID=0x83, starthead 245, startsector 192940032, 46137344 sectors; 
partition 4: ID=0x82, starthead 223, startsector 239077376, 10992304 sectors, code offset 0x63

> file -s /dev/sda1
/dev/sda1: Linux rev 1.0 ext4 filesystem data, UUID=cd8e11b5-07ac-7741-ae0c-36e63eacf8a1, volume name "_Fedora-17-x86_6/" (needs journal recovery) (extents) (large files) (huge files)

Sometimes the preformatted drives are just one big device, eg:

> file -s /dev/sdb
/dev/sdb: x86 boot sector, Microsoft Windows XP Bootloader NTLDR, code offset 0x3c, 
OEM-ID "MSDOS5.0", sectors/cluster 64, root entries 512, 
Media descriptor 0xf8, sectors/FAT 246, heads 255, sectors 4026368 (volumes > 32 MB) , reserved 0x1, serial number 0xe06de56f, 
unlabeled, FAT (16 bit)

Notice this one is in fact "unlabelled" and appears to have no UUID (they are not mandatory).

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you... But how do you explain the output of VBoxManage list usbhost command? I've put it in the question. –  krokoziabla May 2 '13 at 14:12
    
Hm. You've given me a hint. Maybe those UUIDs are internal Virtualbox IDs... –  krokoziabla May 2 '13 at 14:20
    
@krokoziabla If you mean, "how can I get the UUID of a/the partition", then you have to identify it as a block device. I've add a bit about this. –  goldilocks May 2 '13 at 14:25
    
No, my device is SEGGER JLink JTAG debugger. It's not a storage device at all. :-) But thank you for the excursus. –  krokoziabla May 2 '13 at 14:35
    
@krokoziabla : Ah, neat. I just assumed we were discussing storage, sorry (although you did say it "was not a block device"). Anyway, UUIDs are conceptual and could be used for a lot of different purposes -- what I'm saying just pertains to their use as filesystem IDs, and that they shouldn't be confused with permanent hardware serial numbers or some such. –  goldilocks May 2 '13 at 14:42
udevadm info --name=/dev/bus/usb/$BUS_NUMBER/$DEV_NUMBER --query=property

gives you ID_SERIAL and ID_SERIAL_SHORT. I don't know whether USB devices have an additional UUID.

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