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I am trying to use a basic USB keyboard with my Xiaomi Mi A1 and it's not working.

I connected the phone to the keyboard using a female-to-female USB adaptor. Nothing shows up on the phone. I tried the USB Host Controller app, but it says "Root hub is not present, USB Host mode not active or not available".

I have tried enabling USB debugging. Not sure what else to do? I also tried plugging my mouse in instead but nothing happens.

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    Have you tried a USB OTG adapter? I'm not sure if female-to-female adapters work, I'm actually quite sure they don't. – confetti Aug 8 '18 at 2:02
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I have the same device. Female to female adapter as pointed out in comments doesn't work. You have to use OTG adapter. I use it for USB storage

Aside, phone only works with vfat formatted USB / Ext. SD unless you use custom kernel

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