OS - Linux

From Phidgets Support

Getting Started with Linux

Welcome to using Phidgets with Linux!

If you are ready to go, the first step in creating Linux applications with Phidgets is installing our libraries.


The first step to using Phidgets with Linux is installing the Phidget22 libraries.

Supported Distros / Archs
Debian 6 (Squeeze) i386 armel
Debian 7 (Wheezy)
Debian 8 (Jessie) armhf
Debian 9 (Stretch)
Debian 10 (Buster) amd64 arm64
Debian 11 (Bullseye)
Debian 12 (Bookworm)
Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 LTS i386 armhf
Ubuntu Bionic 18.04 LTS amd64 arm64
Ubuntu Focal 20.04 LTS
Ubuntu Jammy 22.04 LTS
Ubuntu Noble 24.04 LTS

If you're running one of the supported distros, we recommend using the Package Install. For other systems, you can use the Source Install.

Install Script

To run the install script and install phidget22, enter the following command in the terminal:

curl -fsSL https://www.phidgets.com/downloads/setup_linux | bash -
apt-get install -y libphidget22

curl -fsSL https://www.phidgets.com/downloads/setup_linux | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt-get install -y libphidget22

Manual Install

To install our package repository manually, enter the following command in the terminal, replacing distro with your distro codename:

wget -qO /usr/share/keyrings/phidgets.gpg \
echo deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/phidgets.gpg] \
  http://www.phidgets.com/debian distro main \
  > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/phidgets.list

sudo wget -qO /usr/share/keyrings/phidgets.gpg \
echo deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/phidgets.gpg] \
  http://www.phidgets.com/debian distro main | sudo tee \
  /etc/apt/sources.list.d/phidgets.list > /dev/null

We support Debian releases from 6 to current, and Ubuntu LTS releases from 14.04 to current. If you are using another flavour of Linux (such as Mint), which is based on Ubuntu or Debian, use the corresponding Ubuntu or Debian codename.

Update your package lists:

apt-get update

sudo apt-get update

Finally, install the Phidget package by entering the command below:

apt-get install libphidget22

sudo apt-get install libphidget22

Additional Packages

You may also want to apt-get install the following optional packages:

  • libphidget22-dev: The C development libraries for Phidget22
  • libphidget22extra: Extra runtime library required for the Network Server and Admin tools
  • phidget22networkserver: The Phidget Network Server, which enables use of Phidgets over your network
  • libphidget22java: The Java libraries for Phidget22
  • phidget22admin: An administrator utility for listing Phidgets and upgrading firmware
  • phidget22wwwjs: The JavaScript libraries for Phidget22. This package also installs the HTML examples which can be accessed through the web interface

The libraries are now installed on your machine. Next, set up the UDev rules below.

Source Install

To install our libraries, first install libusb-1.0 development libraries. The exact command and package name will vary depending on distribution. For Debian based distributions, including Ubuntu and Mint, the command would be:

apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev

Next, download and unpack the following files:

Open the README file that is included at the top of each directory. This file will give you important information about how to properly install the files.

Libraries are installed in /usr/local/lib by default. If you run into trouble finding the libraries during linking or at runtime, this probably means that /usr/local/lib is not on the library path for your distribution.

You can handle this in a number of ways:

Specify a different install folder during compile

./configure --prefix=/usr && make && sudo make install

OR Add /usr/local/lib to the system-wide library path

echo /usr/local/lib >> /etc/ld.so.conf && sudo ldconfig

OR Add /usr/local/lib in your local shell every time

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/lib

The libraries are now installed on your machine. Next, you should set the UDev Rules.

Setting UDev Rules

By default, Linux will not grant permission to regular users to access physical hardware as a security feature. This means that in order to run Phidgets code from user space you must grant yourself root privileges via sudo. For example:

sudo ./HelloWorld

You can grant access manually or, more commonly, set up a rules file to do it automatically keying off of the vendor code for Phidget USB devices. To do this, create a text file called "99-libphidget22.rules" with the following contents:

  1. All current and future Phidgets - Vendor = 0x06c2, Product = 0x0030 - 0x00af

SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{idVendor}=="06c2", ATTRS{idProduct}=="00[3-a][0-f]", MODE="666"

Where mode 666 means every user has permission to read and write to the specified file/device. You need to then move this file to "/etc/udev/rules.d". Now you can run Phidget related code as a regular user without the OS denying permission.


The best way to verify that your libraries are working properly is to compile and run an example program.

First, download and unpack this C example:

Note: If using the Debian intallation methods, you will need to install the libphidget22-dev package to use the C libraries for Phidget22

Next, open the terminal at the example location. Compile the example by entering the following command:

 gcc HelloWorld.c -o HelloWorld -lphidget22

Run the HelloWorld example:


Your terminal should look something like this:

Linux helloworld.PNG

The HelloWorld program will simply communicate when a Phidget has been attached or detached, as can be seen in the image above.

Your Phidget is now able to communicate with your development machine. The next step is selecting a programming language so you can start to write some code!


Ready to write some code? Select one of the programming languages below:

Core Languages Mobile Languages Other Languages
C Sharp C# Objective C Objective C LabVIEW LabVIEW
C/C++ C/C++ Swift Swift Max/MSP Max/MSP
Python Python Android Android Java
Java Java
Visual Basic .NET Visual Basic .NET
JavaScript JavaScript

Older Versions

If you need older versions of the Phidget22 Linux libraries, click here.

If you need Phidget21 Linux Libraries, click here.