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#1 2019-11-29 15:34:57

Registered: 2019-07-21
Posts: 30

USB 3 Crosslink

The USB 3 specification supports PC to PC direct connections over "crosslink" cables, allowing for high speed data transfer in both directions.
However, is this supported by Archlinux or Linux in general?

And from what I found on the webs, it seems there are 2 types of USB 3 cables, those that also have compatibility pins linked and can potentially cause harm when used as cross-cables and cables that don't have such wires and are safe to use, but it seems unclear what kind of cable you are buying as this is basically nowhere mentioned in the specs. And then there are again two types of cables, those that seem to have some "intelligence" built in, as you can see some black box in the middle of the cable looking similar to some sort of repeater, and there are those that are really just looking like a "normal" USB cable, yet are supposed to work cross-link..
To make it even more confusing it seems some cables require extra vendor drivers while others don't.
And then some cables are called "crosslink", others "data cables", "data transfer cables" and others just "link cables"...

I just tried googling this stuff for an hour but couldn't really find out clear details about this, and only two discussions on superuser from 2014 and 2015. Since I'm now thoroughly confused - does anyone know of an actually working cable for Archlinux? I was hoping someone has maybe already some experience with USB crosslinking to share.

Last edited by millus (2019-11-29 16:01:09)


#2 2019-12-01 05:37:19

Registered: 2019-07-21
Posts: 30

Re: USB 3 Crosslink

Ok then, I guess this isn't a practical thing on Arch yet, back to USB-sticks for the time being..

Last edited by millus (2019-12-01 05:39:50)


#3 2019-12-01 17:33:13

From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 17,265

Re: USB 3 Crosslink

I've not seen this in the wild. 
I don't think you can do any physical harm if you get the wrong cable.

Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine. -- Alan Turing
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way


#4 2019-12-01 17:42:18

Registered: 2012-05-17
Posts: 3,758

Re: USB 3 Crosslink

There is no real software support for direct crossover links anyway, you'd have to write your own drivers or try to set up usb storage (the available implementation is exclusive, so you cannot write to a mounted partition.) … sover.html

The USB 3.0 spec also indicates that this cable can be used to connect two PCs together; however, the unfortunate reality is that no operating system currently supports this feature. [...]
While the USB 3.0 spec only calls for the USB 3.0 pins to be connected in cross-over, this cable also has the USB 1.1/2.0 pins connected straight-through.  This makes it backwards-compatible with our 1592 USB 2.0 cables, but also means that it may cause damage if used for debugging or device-to-device connections.

Please note that computer-to-computer connections are not supported by this cable in any capacity.

Edit: Better use a real network cable with two network cards, or a usb host-to-host network cable with the "Prolific PL-27A1" chipset.

You could also use a thunderbolt cable with thunderbolt networking if both systems have it. … -on-linux/

Last edited by progandy (2019-12-01 17:53:30)

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