The usb ports on my macbook pro are broken, so I thought that it would be possible to connect it to my raspberry pi over a local wifi network (or something like that) so that I can use usb devices, specifically usb storage devices and wired usb mouses, with my laptop again.

Think it's possible? I've done a bit of research, but I don't know where to look.

note: I've asked the same question here - https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=128375&e=0

Edit - tough crowd! If you're going to downvote my question, please tell me why so that I can try to improve :)

I've done some digging based on suggestions to check out NFS, and came across this tutorial, which will allow me to transfer files from a usb drive to my pi, then to my computer: http://www.instructables.com/id/Turn-Raspberry-Pi-into-a-Network-File-System-versi/

Fingers crossed for a solution that lets me use a usb mouse!

  • This isn't a bad question in concept, but "USB devices" is a bit broad for a question on an SE site. For any specific well-understood device without severe bandwidth or latency requirements the pi end of the problem is relatively solvable - what is actually tricky is coming up with some sort of proxy USB-over-Network type of driver to fool the utilizing computer's operating system into using the remote peripheral instead of local one. Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 3:43
  • Thanks for the feedback, Chris. I'm going to modify my question to specify what kinds of devices I had in mind. Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 4:14
  • Sure - but note that something like imitating a mouse to OSX with data sourced over the network is a mac question, not a pi question. Grabbing the mouse data to send is a linux question rather than a pi question, and probably a comparatively simple one. Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 4:16
  • 1
    USB-over-IP software does exist , but i can not vouch for stability or low latency (also no Mac support with this particular libre solution) : usbip.sourceforge.net
    – flakeshake
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 7:32

5 Answers 5


You could mount USB keys as NFS drives and thus, access it over your network.


The easiest way (and probably the fastest) would be to mount USB drive on Raspberry Pi and set up some FTP server and then connect do it from MacBook.

Of course NFS or samba will probably work too ;)



The USB Over IP project might be a good place to start.
That should let you share arbitrary USB devices from your Pi to your Windows computer, such as a USB mouse.

Bluetooth Mice

Your Macbook Pro probably has a bluetooth radio inside it.
If you are just after using a mouse, you could get a bluetooth mouse and pair it with your computer.
No USB ports required!

If that covers the mouse, then you can share out the USB storage devices from your Pi using a variety of systems: NFS, FTP, CIFS, SFTP, HTTP, etc.

  • The question specified that the user was using a Mac.
    – Jacobm001
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 2:06
  • 1
    @Jacobm001 Yes, and Windows runs on Macbook Pros. He didn't specify his OS.
    – Hydraxan14
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 5:59

A general solution to this would be to use a usb-over-ip solution such as https://www.virtualhere.com

VirtualHere has usb-over-ip servers specifically built for the RPi 1, and the RPi 2 and 3.
VirtualHere also has clients for Windows, OS X, and Linux.


For the mouse/keyboard over a network, I'#ve used synergy. This isn't quite it's intended application but it's quite configurable. It's designed to use one mouse/keyboard to control multiple machines, and is cross-platform. I haven't tried compiling on ARM, but the source is available at http://synergy-project.org/download/free/ although the latets version is commercial.

Sharing storage across a network on a Pi is the topic of many tutorials, it's basically being a fileserver.

You may want wired ethernet if you've got it on your mac.

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