Using USB peripherals that aren’t USB memory sticks on a VMware workstation as your VM may just refuse to see them. To fix this issue, you need to set up VMware USB passthrough with a purpose-built app or a dedicated VMware feature.
From this article, you will learn more about USB redirection in VMware, setting a USB controller in the passthrough mode, troubleshooting the VMware Horizon USB unavailable mistake, and a budget-friendly third-party USB redirector.
VMware USB redirection component, formerly known as VMware View USB redirection feature, allows you to access removable devices plugged into your local machine’s USB ports from the guest operating systems of a VM running in VMware ESXi, VMware vSphere, or other virtualization environments. And, unlike task-specific apps, this feature is by no means a one-stop solution.
Due to major lags caused by network latency, this feature works best if you're adding USB storage to your VM or need to use a USB memory stick there. And that's a huge disappointment, especially given the several-thousand-dollar price of the VMware Horizon Client.
❌ This feature is unusable for audio, video, and other devices that require good bandwidth capacity for correct operation.
❌ You can’t operate a remote desktop with a redirected controller due to massive latency lags.
❌ Once redirected to a remote desktop or published application, a USB device becomes inaccessible from your host machine.
❌ Don’t enable autoconnection if you have a USB device that requires MTP drivers, or it won’t work on your VM until you replug it and then redirect again from the menu.
❌ If the device you’re redirecting needs a specific driver, it won’t work until you install that driver on every VM that is going to connect the device.
❌ You can’t use this feature to redirect a scanner as it becomes unusable. Please try the scanner redirection feature instead.
❌ You must have administrator privileges to format a redirected USB drive from a VM.
❌ If you manually redirect Android-based devices, they won’t work until you restart the VM.
❌ Don’t use this feature to redirect non-PCI USB controllers like Fresco Logic F-One Controller, as it gonna disconnect all the redirected devices from that VM.
❌ Do not redirect a USB Ethernet device, or your host will be disconnected from the network.
❌ By choosing to redirect a touch screen device, you will disable the VM’s other controllers for the whole session time.
Here is what you’ll need to configure Horizon Client to automatically connect a USB device to a VM:
Sometimes that auto connection feature just won’t work. In that case, you can try to redirect the device manually. Here is how it’s done:
It’s not uncommon that Horizon wont detect USB even if the peripheral you’re sharing meets all requirements and you’ve done everything correctly. Here is a list of the most common causes and ways to tackle them:
|Problem’s root||Possible solution|
|Closed VMware Horizon ports||Open all of these ports: TCP 389, 443, 4001, 4002, 4172, 8443, 32111, UDP 4172|
|Default filter||Open registry and correct the mistakes using the guide on USB settings|
|Latency lag||Switch to VMware Blast or PCoIP and disconnect traffic-consuming devices|
|Certificates||Run certlm.msc on your host, delete all the certificates with your host’s name and reboot.|
|Device’s specifications||Replace your device with a similar one that fully complies with industry standards|
|FAT32||Format your USB flash card to NTFS|
|Missing drivers||On your VM, reinstall VMware View Virtual USB Host Controller and VMware View Virtual USB Hub drivers|
|Access conflict||Check the log for vmware-view-usbd entries to see if the device is in use on the host|
USB Network Gate is a purpose-specific software tool you can use to redirect all the removable devices plugged into your host machine’s USB ports to your VMware ESXi or VMware vSphere virtual machines.
It’s really this easy.
✅ Versatility: UNG works for any USB-based physical device and across all operating systems.
✅ Usability: UNG is very easy to install and use, and you won’t have to manually enable the USB arbitrator feature (or even know what a USB arbitrator is).
✅ Fleetness: redirect a USB hub or an XHCi controller, so any physical device plugged into it will be instantly available for connection for any of your ESXi VMs.
Just install USB Network Gate on your host and guest systems, and you won’t have any problems with accessing a USB peripheral from within a VM session ever again.