How to verify USB connection for an ESXi host?

Sometimes It is required to attach a USB to a virtual machine on VMware Virtual environment. To use a USB in VM, you have to first connect with your ESXi hypervisors. You can multiple USB devices as per your needs. Each ESXi host has several USB Connection ports.

In this blog we will guide you on how one can verify the connected USB within the ESXi host.

There is a special service within the ESXi host. Its name is USB arbitrator. It can handle up to 15 USB controller.

Let suppose Data Center Operation guy has already connected the USB. Now it’s your turn to identifying it being as a VMware administrator.

Verify that USB is connected and USB arbitrator Services are running

Run the following commands to check the logs for connected USB:

tail -f /var/log/vmkernel.log | grep -i USB

The output will be:

How To Verify USB Connection For An ESXi Host
Verify USB Connection For An ESXi Host

To restart the USB arbitrator service run the following commands:

/etc/init.d/usbarbitrator restart

And the output:

usbarbitrator stopped
usbarbitratot started

Adding USB Devices from an ESXi Host to a Virtual Machine

You can add one or more USB passthrough devices from an ESXi host to a virtual machine if the physical devices are connected to the host on which the virtual machine runs.

If a USB device is already connected to another virtual machine, you can not add it until that machine releases it. Make sure basic requirements are fulfilled.


  1. Right-click or go to the Action button and select Edit Settings for the virtual machine.
  2. On the Virtual Hardware tab, click the Add New Device button.
  3. Add a new USB controller, If not present already.
  4. Select Host USB Device from the drop-down menu. You will prompt to choose USB from the list that is already being connected to the hosts. (Add one USB device at a time)
  5. Click OK.

To verify this, Login to your server and check for disk management console in case of windows machine.

SourceVMware Docs

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