I'm using the RPI to create a program, but I need to disable the USB ports so that the end user cannot plug in a keyboard or mouse and mess with the device.

Is this possible, and if so how is it done?

  • 1
    I think this is what you are looking for: wpkg.org/Disable_/_enable_keyboard_and_mouse_in_Linux – Gerben Jul 15 '13 at 16:50
  • 1
    Super-gluing the USB ports also works. That's what the banks used to do. :-P – Gerben Jul 15 '13 at 16:57
  • What are you afraid of the user could do? – Zurechtweiser Jul 15 '13 at 18:15
  • @Gerben your link explaining disable mouse/keyboard in X Window System, not the USB mouse/keyboard hardware. – gurcanozturk Jul 16 '13 at 7:30
  • Are you using X, or just the console? By default the console is password protected. Could you explain a bit more about the situation you want to use it for? – Gerben Jul 16 '13 at 11:32

You may find luck with this command:

echo 0x0 > /sys/devices/platform/bcm2708_usb/buspower

This seems to disable the USB ports. I haven't tested it though.

  • 1
    The usb ports will still be available during boot, so if the user can reboot the PI, this solution won't work. – pim Aug 30 '17 at 9:55

Each USB host controller in Linux exposes a setting called authorized_default, which controls the state of any new connected devices. Setting it to 0 makes all new devices disabled by default:

for host in /sys/bus/usb/devices/usb*; do echo 0 > $host/authorized_default; done

A recommended way of running this script consists in using udev rules. This way, you're sure the script runs at the right time, when the host controller driver is already loaded, but none of the devices have yet been authorised. See this question for an example of this approach.

One thing you should understand is that software locks are only effective as long as the end user cannot unplug the SD card and remove the protections you have put in place.


I don't really know that it's directly possible... Why not just physically block the users ability to do so? Either by putting it where they can't get to, filling in the ports or by putting a locking mechanism over/around it.

sudo sh -c "echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/soc/3f980000.usb/buspower"

Will disable the USB ports but also the LAN port.

sudo sh -c "echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/soc/3f980000.usb/buspower"

Reativates them.


use SELinux, look up this online and you'll have great many resources. It was developed for this purpose. You can then disable/enable ports and other features of your Linux system.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.