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Python package to control BlinkStick USB devices.

Project Description

BlinkStick Python interface to control devices connected to the computer.

What is BlinkStick? It’s a smart USB LED pixel. More info about it here:


  • Python
  • BlinkStick pip module
  • Libusb for Mac OSX

Requirements Installation


Install pip (Python package management software):

sudo apt-get install python-pip

Mac OS X

Install libusb with homebrew:

brew install libusb

Install pip

sudo easy_install pip

Known Errors

ValueError: No backend available

This means that the Python usb module cannot find your installation of libusb. It seems to be an issue when you have homebrew installed somewhere that is not expected.

It can be mitigated with

sudo ln -s `brew --prefix`/lib/libusb-* /usr/local/lib/

Microsoft Windows

  • Download and install Python 2.7.9 or any 2.x later version
  • During the installation, make sure you select “Add python.exe to Path” to install on local hard drive

Python 2.7.9 and later already comes with pip making it very easy to install BlinkStick Python package on Windows.

BlinkStick package Installation

Linux and Mac OS X

Install blinkstick Python package with pip:

sudo pip install blinkstick

Microsoft Windows

Open commandline environment by using Win+R keyboard shortcut and typing in:


Assuming that Python was installed into C:\Python27 folder, type in the following into the command window:

C:\Python27\Scripts\pip.exe install blinkstick

Command line tool

Together with the Python module an additional command line tool is installed to control BlinkSticks.

blinkstick --pulse red

You can find more details about command line tool options and usage examples in the wiki.

Permission problems in Linux and Mac OS X

If the script returns with an error

Access denied (insufficient permissions)

You can either run the script with sudo, for example:

sudo blinkstick --set-color random

Or you can add a udev rule to allow any user to access the device without root permissions with this single command.

sudo blinkstick --add-udev-rule

There is also another equivalent command that does exactly the same thing:

echo "SUBSYSTEM==\"usb\", ATTR{idVendor}==\"20a0\", ATTR{idProduct}==\"41e5\", MODE:=\"0666\"" | sudo tee /etc/udev/rules.d/85-blinkstick.rules

Reboot computer after you have added the command and all users will have permissions to access the device without the need of root permissions.


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Source None Nov 2, 2015

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