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dfu-util - Device firmware update (DFU) USB programmer


dfu-util -l [-v] [-d vid:pid[,vid:pid]] [-p path] [-c configuration] [-i interface] [-a alt-intf] [-S serial[,serial]]

dfu-util [-v] [-d vid:pid[,vid:pid]] [-p path] [-c configuration] [-i interface] [-a alt-intf] [-S serial[,serial]] [-t size] [-Z size] [-w] [-s address] [-R] [-D|-U file]

dfu-util [-hV]


dfu-util is a program that implements the host (computer) side of the USB DFU (Universal Serial Bus Device Firmware Upgrade) protocol.

dfu-util communicates with devices that implement the device side of the USB DFU protocol, and is often used to upgrade the firmware of such devices.


List the currently attached DFU capable USB devices.
Specify run-time and/or DFU mode vendor and/or product IDs of the DFU device to work with. VENDOR and PRODUCT are hexadecimal numbers (no prefix needed), "*" (match any), or "-" (match nothing). By default, any DFU capable device in either run-time or DFU mode will be considered.

If you only have one standards-compliant DFU device attached to your computer, this parameter is optional. However, as soon as you have multiple DFU devices connected, dfu-util will detect this and abort, asking you to specify which device to use.

If only run-time IDs are specified (e.g. "--device 1457:51ab"), then in addition to the specified run-time IDs, any DFU mode devices will also be considered. This is beneficial to allow a DFU capable device to be found again after a switch to DFU mode, since the vendor and/or product ID of a device usually changes in DFU mode.

If only DFU mode IDs are specified (e.g. "--device ,951:26"), then all run-time devices will be ignored, making it easy to target a specific device in DFU mode.

If both run-time and DFU mode IDs are specified (e.g. "--device 1457:51ab,:2bc"), then unspecified DFU mode components will use the run-time value specified.


Work with a device in run-time mode with vendor ID 0x1457 and product ID 0x51ab, or in DFU mode with vendor ID 0x0951 and product ID 0x0026

Work with a device in run-time mode with vendor ID 0x1457 and product ID 0x51ab, or in DFU mode with vendor ID 0x1457 and product ID 0x02bc

Work with a device in run-time mode with vendor ID 0x1457 and product ID 0x51ab, or in DFU mode with any vendor and product ID

Work with a device in DFU mode with vendor ID 0x0951 and product ID 0x0026

Work with any device in run-time mode, and ignore any device in DFU mode

Ignore any device in run-time mode, and Work with any device in DFU mode
Specify the path to the DFU device.
Specify the configuration of the DFU device. Note that this is only used for matching, the configuration is not set by dfu-util.
Specify the DFU interface number.
Specify the altsetting of the DFU interface by name or by number.
Specify the run-time and DFU mode serial numbers used to further restrict device matches. If multiple, identical DFU devices are simultaneously connected to a system then vendor and product ID will be insufficient for targeting a single device. In this situation, it may be possible to use this parameter to specify a serial number which also must match.

If only a single serial number is specified, then the same serial number is used in both run-time and DFU mode. An empty serial number will match any serial number in the corresponding mode.

Specify the number of bytes per USB transfer. The optimal value is usually determined automatically so this option is rarely useful. If you need to use this option for a device, please report it as a bug.
Specify the expected upload size, in bytes. Note that the value is only used for scaling the progress bar, the actual upload size is determined by the device.
Read firmware from device into FILE.
Write firmware from FILE into device. When FILE is -, the firmware is read from stdin.
Issue USB reset signalling after upload or download has finished.
Request that the device re-enumerate out of run-time mode and into DFU mode as when uploading or downloading, but exit immediately after sending the request.
When uploading or downloading, wait SECONDS seconds for the device to re-enumerate after sending the detach request before giving up. Defaults to 5 seconds. This option has no effect with -e, since that causes dfu-util to immediately exit after sending the detach request.
Wait until matching device appears on the USB bus.
Specify target address for raw binary download/upload on DfuSe devices. Do not use this option for downloading DfuSe (.dfu) files. A length can be specified for uploads. Modifiers can be added after the address, separated by a colon, to perform special DfuSE commands such as "leave" DFU mode, "unprotect" and "mass-erase" flash memory. If the device can be expected to reset itself after the operation, "will-reset" should be added. The "force" modifier will override some sanity checks, and is also needed for the "unprotect" and "mass-erase" operations.
Print more information about dfu-util's operation. A second -v adds more details. A third -v activates verbose logging of USB requests (libusb debug output).
Show a help text and exit.
Show version information and exit.


Using dfu-util in the OpenMoko project

(with the Neo1973 hardware)

Flashing the rootfs:
$ dfu-util -a rootfs -R -D /path/to/openmoko-devel-image.jffs2

Flashing the kernel:
$ dfu-util -a kernel -R -D /path/to/uImage

Flashing the bootloader:
$ dfu-util -a u-boot -R -D /path/to/u-boot.bin

Copying a kernel into RAM:
$ dfu-util -a 0 -R -D /path/to/uImage

Once this has finished, the kernel will be available at the default load address of 0x32000000 in Neo1973 RAM. Note: You cannot transfer more than 2MB of data into RAM using this method.

Using dfu-util with a DfuSe device

Flashing a .dfu (special DfuSe format) file to the device:
$ dfu-util -D /path/to/dfuse-image.dfu

Reading out 1 KB of flash starting at address 0x8000000:
$ dfu-util -a 0 -s 0x08000000:1024 -U newfile.bin

Flashing a binary file to address 0x8004000 of device memory and ask the device to leave DFU mode:
$ dfu-util -a 0 -s 0x08004000:leave -D /path/to/image.bin


Please report any bugs to the dfu-util bug tracker at Please use the --verbose option (repeated as necessary) to provide more information in your bug report.


The dfu-util home page is


dfu-util was originally written for the OpenMoko project by Weston Schmidt <> and Harald Welte <>. Over time, nearly complete support of DFU 1.0, DFU 1.1 and DfuSe ("1.1a") has been added.


dfu-util is covered by the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2 or later.


This manual page was originally written by Uwe Hermann <>, and is now part of the dfu-util project.

September 2021 dfu-util 0.11