[Discferret] Discferret questions

David Griffith dgriffi at cs.csubak.edu
Fri Dec 31 21:53:14 CST 2010

On Sat, 1 Jan 2011, Philip Pemberton wrote:

> On 31/12/10 23:44, David Griffith wrote:
>> Some more questions that I don't see the answers to on your page:
>> 1) How does the Discferret present itself to the operating system? A
>> mass-storage device?
> As a USB Vendor Class device. This translates as:
>  A device using a vendor-defined communications protocol not covered by an 
> applicable USB-IF standard.
> The entire control protocol is open, but not documented yet. I'd argue that 
> unless you've got a really good reason not to, you're better off using the 
> reference API implementation (libdiscferret).

So, as it is now, you cannot directly mount a disk?  See below for more 
ruminations on the subject.

>> 2) How does the user control the various aspects of the Discferret, like
>> what format to use, side to use, which drive to use, etc?
> You use the libdiscferret user-space API. On Linux, this doesn't require any 
> kernel drivers be installed, though you will need LibUSB 1.0 (which is 
> included in almost all recent Linux distributions). On Windows 32- and 
> 64-bit, you need to install a driver called "libusb0" which grants LibUSB 
> access to the device.
> There's a libusb-1.0 port for Darwin (Mac OS X) too, though I'm not sure 
> about other OSes. Libusb-0.1 has wider cross platform support, though it's 
> classed as "legacy, deprecated" and as such I'm not too keen on the idea of 
> using it.
> However, I'm still fairly early on in the development of the libdiscferret 
> library, so it could be ported to libusb-0.1 if necessary. The only OSes 
> unsupported by libusb-1.0 are FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD -- does anyone 
> here need BSD support?

*BSD have partial implementations of libusb.  I think it would be best if 
the control software is implemented as a FUSE sitting atop libusb.  We 
could then work around missing portions of libusb on *BSD to get support 

David Griffith
dgriffi at cs.csubak.edu

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