We need to access a drive to quickly copy data directly from the VM to a separate USB drive.

Migrations with vMotion and DRS are supported with USB device passthrough from an ESXi host to a virtual machine. Perhaps one of the most common types of “physical” devices that can be attached to a VMware ESXi host is a USB storage device.

You must remove all USB devices from a virtual machine before you can remove the controller. To save the changes, restart your ESXi host; After booting the host, turn your VM off and add a new device (, Power on the VM on and make sure that the USB drive has appeared in the guest OS. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. There is an additional virtual machine hardware requirement. This is configured by specifying to support vMotion while device is connected in the settings of the new host USB device. Receive latest news, updates, and best practices on Virtualization & Cloud, right in your inbox. You must add a USB controller to a virtual machine before you can add a USB device. He has been in the IT industry for over 15+ years now and has worked in various IT industries spanning education, manufacturing, hospitality, and consulting for various technology companies including Fortune 500 companies. A minimum of virtual hardware version 7 is required. If a host has multiple USB controllers, you can identify a connected USB device and a controller number through the ESXi shell. Brandon is a prolific blogger and contributes to the community through various blog posts and technical documentation primarily at, Copyright 2020 Vembu Technologies. First, the ESXi host itself has to have a physical USB hardware controller present to make the USB connection and communication possible. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly.

Before you hot-add memory, CPU, or PCI devices, you must remove any USB devices. USB 3.0 support was introduced in vSphere 5.5 patch 3 and higher. You cannot stop or pause a VM. This component is installed and enabled by default on the ESXi hosts themselves. Also, IP address families must match. It also prevents any other VM from using the USB device while it is being used by a particular VM. @2014 - 2018 - Windows OS Hub. The new USB device appears at the bottom of the Virtual Hardware device list.

For details about migration with vMotion, see Configuring USB Devices for vMotion. The USB arbitrator can monitor a maximum of 15 USB controllers. Perhaps one of the more common devices to passthrough from the ESXi host to a virtual machine is a USB device. A maximum of 20 USB devices can be attached to a single virtual machine. After these three things have been configured, simply: This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Ensure the USB device is connected to the ESXi host’s USB port; Validate that the VM is located on that same host; Power off the VM; Edit the settings of the VM & add a USB device to the hardware. This is also the maximum number of devices that are supported connected to a single ESXi host. For USB devices to be accessed remotely, the hosts must be able to communicate over the management network after a vMotion of the virtual machine. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. If you turn on the machine, you must manually migrate it to the host the USB device is connected to; DPM mode is not supported, since vCenter can shutdown a host with the connected USB device to save power; ESXi hosts with the VM and a physical USB device must be accessible via vmk0 over TCP Port 902. For example: Then identify a root hub and its iSerial by the controller number (Bus02, in this case): tail -f /var/log/vmkernel.log | grep -i USB. You will see the USB device which you connected to the ESXi host available; Power on the VM and you should see it listed in device manager

Then the USB drive will appear in the guest OS of the virtual machine. Contrary to what you might think, you can vMotion a virtual machine to another host. If your system includes more than 15 controllers and you connect USB devices to these controllers, the devices are not available to be passed through to a virtual machine.
Let’s take a quick look at the process to enable USB Device Passthrough to a virtual machine running on an ESXi host with a USB drive mounted. There are many reasons why you may use passthrough to present a USB device to a guest operating system. The main requirements and restrictions of this redirection method: After adding a virtual USB controller for a VM, you can redirect a USB drive connected to the host: If when adding a new USB device a vSphere client shows a message that no USB devices has been found (No available USB devices), it means that VMWare doesn’t support your USB drive for redirecting in the USB passthrough mode. On your VMWare ESXi host, you can redirect an attached local USB device/flash drive/disk inside the virtual machine.

The process is fairly simple.

Choose Add New Device > Host USB Device. In my case, the connected USB drive “. Another, less convenient method to provide access to a physical USB device from a VM is to redirect the whole USB controller from the ESXi host. The virtual machine cannot boot from the attached USB device.

There are three requirements that make the USB passthrough mechanism possible: The Arbitrator is the component that manages connection requests and then routes USB device traffic. You can provide direct access to a USB device for one VM only; The maximum number of redirected USB devices for a VM is 20; A VM boot from the attached USB device is not supported. The controller exists in both hardware and software form. All Rights Reserved. In this case you can redirect the whole USB controller to a VM from the ESXi host. VCAP-DCV Deploy 2020 – Exam Simulator – FREE, VMware vSAN 7.0 Update 1 – All the new features. However, when the VM was powered on, the USB device was removed from the VM automatically. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. This can be done for performance, hardware, or other requirements. You can find the PID and DID after inserting the USB device into the ESXi host by opening up an SSH session and typing: The PID is to the left of the colon  (0123) and the DID is to the right (4567). In this case, the USB device was a USB Smart Card Reader, the ones you use for banking authentication. The Passthrough mode allows to redirect a physical device connected to an ESXi host directly to the guest OS of a virtual machine. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. To support USB passthrough from an ESXi host or from a client computer to a virtual machine, you can add a USB controller to the virtual machine. VMware ESXi hosts can passthrough devices from the host to the guest operating system. To use it, your server chipset must support Intel Directed I/O or AMD I/O Virtualization Technology (AMD IOMMU), and this mode is enabled in the BIOS/UEFI settings. VMware even allows passthrough USB devices to be vMotioned to a different host and remotely access the USB device on the host presenting the device to the VM. When adding a USB controller, select its type: In the native USB Passthrough mode, you can connect a physical USB device from a host to a VMWare virtual machine. Hot adding these resources disconnects USB devices, which may result in data loss. You can add one or more USB passthrough devices from a client computer to a virtual machine in the vSphere Client. See the, If when adding a PCI device the following message appears in the VM settings: “.

However, there are times when physical devices must be connected to virtual machine guest operating systems. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Selecting the Number of vCPUs and Cores for... How to Install and Configure Free VMware Hypervisor... How to Remove Hidden/Ghost Network Adapters in Windows? First, the Virtual Machine configuration needs the following advanced setting applied: You might need to use the below instead, depending on the type of device you are trying to passthrough: Second, I discussed this issue with William Lam on Slack and he suggested adding the following additional configuration to the VM: Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A virtual machine may have up to 20 USB devices attached to it, however, each unique USB device can only be attached to one virtual machine at a time. The ESXi host’s USB arbitrator can operate up to 15 controllers ; Take note that whenever you perform a migration procedure (vMotion) on your VM, USB won’t migrate with it ; Prior to adding a USB device, you’ll have to add a USB controller to your VM’s devices How to Check the PowerShell Version Installed?

This process is known as “Passthrough” and allows passing the physical device from the ESXi host through to the guest operating system running inside a vSphere virtual machine. In the Passthrough mode you can grant a virtual machine the direct access to a USB drive, a modem or a PCI/USB controller. The Passthrough mode allows to redirect a physical device connected to an ESXi host directly to the guest OS of a virtual machine. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. The next step is to choose the New Host USB device you wish to passthrough to the virtual machine. All about operating systems for sysadmins.
USB Device Passthrough Technology Overview and Limitations. To redirect a USB device in ESXi, you will need some main components: To install a USB controller for a VM on VMWare ESXi, open the VM settings and add a new device — a USB controller.


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