I am trying to get my pi zero to act as a HID USB keyboard when plugged in to a computer, following this guide.

I finished the configuration, and I get to the "Keyboard / Mouse / Joystick (HID)" section. I added these commands to the bottom of /etc/rc.local:

sudo echo -ne "\0\0\x4\0\0\0\0\0" > /dev/hidg0
sudo echo -ne "\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0" > /dev/hidg0

When I plug the pi zero into the target computer, it recognizes the USB device, as shown by dmesg:

[26919.807536] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 48 using xhci_hcd
[26919.828689] usb 1-1: New USB device found, idVendor=1d6b, idProduct=0104
[26919.828698] usb 1-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[26919.828704] usb 1-1: Product: iSticktoit.net USB Device
[26919.828709] usb 1-1: Manufacturer: Tobias Girstmair
[26919.828713] usb 1-1: SerialNumber: fedcba9876543210
[26919.831132] input: Tobias Girstmair iSticktoit.net USB Device as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:15.0/usb1/1-1/1-1:1.0/0003:1D6B:0104.0007/input/input21
[26919.888595] hid-generic 0003:1D6B:0104.0007: input,hidraw1: USB HID v1.01 Keyboard [Tobias Girstmair iSticktoit.net USB Device] on usb-0000:00:15.0-1/input0

But the computer does not receive any keystrokes at all. I am really struggling to figure this out, and I would apreciate any help. Thanks!

  • 1
    Please take note that using /etc/rc.local has limitations due to Compatibility with SysV. Following the recommendation of the developers from systemd you should avoid using it. Maybe writing to /dev/hidg0 comes to early? – Ingo Dec 15 '18 at 19:09
  • @Ingo Thanks for the suggestion. How would you recommend I do it instead? I was thinking maybe cron, but that might also come too early. – eeze Dec 15 '18 at 19:23
  • I have made an answer. – Ingo Dec 15 '18 at 19:45

I don't know if this helps but it reduces one possible source of error. Doing what the developers from systemd suggest is using a Unit file. Here is a very generic one for your problem. Create a new unit file with:

rpi ~$ sudo systemctl edit --force --full hid-keyboard.service

In the empty editor insert these statements, save them and quit the editor:

Description=HID keyboard emulator

ExecStart=/bin/bash -c 'echo -ne "\0\0\x4\0\0\0\0\0" > /dev/hidg0'
ExecStart=/bin/bash -c 'echo -ne "\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0" > /dev/hidg0'


Enable the new service with:

rpi ~$ sudo systemctl enable hid-keyboard.service

On boot/startup/poweron it is executed one time. You can manual restart it and show its status with

rpi ~$ sudo systemctl restart hid-keyboard.service
rpi ~$ sudo systemctl status hid-keyboard.service
  • "On reboot it should be executed one time." Does this mean it will only work when I reboot with reboot, or will it also run on startup, if I plug it in to power? – eeze Dec 15 '18 at 19:53
  • I tried the steps in the answer, and still nothing happens – eeze Dec 15 '18 at 19:55
  • @eeze I have updated my answer about reboot. I suspected that nothing happens. I had just a quick view at the tutorial you have linked. Just on Step 0 I stopped reading. The tutorial is made for Raspbian Jessie so it seems a bit outdated. Do you use Jessie? I wouldn't like to investigate it anymore. – Ingo Dec 15 '18 at 20:35
  • Alright, thanks for the help. I will look more into it. Thanks again for the help! – eeze Dec 15 '18 at 20:42

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