- Rank 4.9 based on 179+ users
- Requirements: Windows (32-bit and 64-bit): Windows 7/8/10, Windows Server 2008 R2/2012/2016/2019. 5.45MB free space.
- Version 9.2.2372. (17 Apr, 2021). Release notes
The virtualization technologies offer lots of benefits when there is a need for running various operating systems at the same time. Hosting multiple guest operating systems on the single machine helps you cut software-related costs but what is more, it allows you to be more flexible when it comes to managing limited IT-resources.
Talking about VMware ESXi USB pass-through usually means redirecting traffic from the host machine’s real USB controller to the guest OS of a virtual machine running in VMware hypervisor. While a USB controller is in the passthrough mode, all removable devices you’re going to connect there will be instantly available and fully operable from any virtual VMware workstation.
There are two popular methods of VMware USB passthrough: via a special-purpose USB redirection app or to try adding a USB with native methods. In this article, we’re going to have a good and proper look at both and finally answer tеру main question: How do I connect USB to ESXi VM in the easiest, safest, and most convenient way possible?
USB Network Gate is a professional-grade app specifically developed to redirect removable devices plugged into USB ports to virtual environments. Unlike the natural method that is, frankly speaking, only good for USB memory sticks and some PCI devices, USB Network Gate can help you set any USB ports (even a USB 3.0 xHCI controller) into passthrough mode so that any physical device plugged into said port becomes instantly available both from any VMware workstation you have, including all virtual machines hosted by your VMware vSphere server.
✅ Thanks to the unrivaled port virtualization technology, UNG can redirect all types and brands of USB devices to a virtual environment. Even a USB hub and hardware with a bootable HID interface.
✅ USB Network Gate works much faster than native methods which makes it perfect for USB 3.0 xHCI controller redirection.
✅ UNG is a cross-platform solution that has versions for all popular operating systems.
Adding a USB to a virtual machine by native methods is not a very complicated process but before you even start, please take into account some really important points:
So, here’s what you should do to redirect USB devices to VMware guest OS:
If after this step ESXi USB passthrough is not working, go back to step 1 and try doing it all over again. Or consider getting a proper software tool (e.g. USB Network Gate to tackle any pass-through-related problems once and for all.
To unmount the device from your VM so others can use it, run this command to disable the USB Arbitrator service: