USB device support - FEZ Cerberus

Hello GHI Community,

I am currently using a FEZ Cerberus mainboard and I would like to use the Port 8 for USB connectivity in order to transfer a text file from the host PC to the Cerberus. However I am not sure how to achieve this since the Port 8 also provides the programming interface.

Has anyone been able to successfully use the Port 8 on the FEZ Cerberus to support USB connectivity for data transfer?


You can’t do that through that socket. You need USB to Serial module for example and use SerialPort class to communicate with PC (U,K sockets).

This is one of the options, the other would be wired or wireless network.

The following document discusses USB connectivity options. The bad news is the OSHW firmware, which is used on the Cerberus, does not support USB client or host functionality. These features are limited to the Premium library.

The following modules could be used to provided USB connectivity:

Dear Architect & Mike,

Thank you for your responses to my question!

I have reviewed the documentation detailing the difference between the Premium and OSHW Libraries:

I have also reviewed the following topic on the USB client:

From my understanding, the GHIs NETMF utilise the USB interface (in conjunction with a USB client DP or USB client SP module) for deploying and debugging. The tutorial also indicates that the port can be optionally used for serial communication:

[em]Say you are making a device that that reads temperature and humidity and logs all of this data on an SD card. This device can be configured to set the time or give file names and you want this configuration to happen over USB, perhaps in the field. So when your device plugs into a USB port, you want it to show as a virtual serial port. This way, anyone can open a terminal software (like TeraTerm) to connect to your device and configure it. Using the USB client, there is no need to add the extra cost of additional RS232 serial ports or USB<->serial chipsets. The built-in USB client port can be configured to act as a CDC device, a virtual COM port.[/em]

The above use case is very similar to what I am attempting to do.

My follow-up questions are as follows:

  1. Is the FEX Cerberus supported by the Premium library? I did no see it listed as such thus is it that the Premium library cannot be deployed on the Cerberus? :
    If the Premium library can be deployed on the Cerberus, would that allow me to configure Port 8 as a USB client?

  2. Alternatively, is it possible for the Port 8 on the Cerberus to be configured to be a COM port (I know this is specific to the different mainboards hardware, for example the Spider can do this)?
    Because if the Port 8 cannot be configured as a COM port I cannot connect a serial-USB module to it to achieve the desired pseudo USB connection (

I am attempting to use the Port 8 to connect for the communication since all my other ports are occupied thus I am attempting to make use of the port since it would be underutilised once my system has been developed and deployed.


Unfortunately the answer to both of your questions is “No”.

See if you can free some socket by using this module:

Try doing some research on the web. I found the following article which might help you.

Dear Architect, Andre.M and Mike,

Thank you for all of your assistance.

Architect, the specific application is a low cost medical device hence I am trying to keep the BOM cost down, but the information will allow for the expansion of the platforms capability as needed, so thank you.

Mike, the resource is appreciated I will continue to investigate accordingly.

Again, thanks to all for your time and knowledge.


@ Mike - That is some old stuff - NETMF 3.0, never seen it before.
I think what the author is talking about is generic support for USB host and USB client functionality.

@ naveej - I would still go with Serial-to-USB module (if there is available socket for it)

Did I say it is not supported?


I think we are experiencing nuance nonsense. :slight_smile:


would you believe the guys here are arguing about the same thing :slight_smile:

I have a split camp, 50/50 for Andre and Architect.

BTW thanks for the advice Mike, did my MSc on this HW platform and advice from all of you saved me on many occasions.


@ naveej - just trying to help :wink: not arguing, a little bit annoyed - may be.

@ naveej - So what other modules are you using on that mainboard?

Using USB Client on non-premium hardware is possible but very difficult. I highly recommend using USB-serial module instead…or use a premium device :slight_smile:

@ naveej - Here is another option that can give you extra U sockets: