Adding USB Network Adapter to VMware ESXi 7.0 | Easy Guide
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Adding USB Network Adapter to VMware ESXi 7.0 | Easy Guide

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Introduction

Adding USB Network adapter, My home lab setup is built with 4 Intel NUCs, as we know NUCs are coming with a single ethernet port, so I need to add more USB Network adapter for my VMware setup. Picked 3 numbers of Linksys Gigabit USB 3.0 Ethernet Adapter from Amazon.

This adapter is plug and play, but still, it won’t detect in ESXI. To activate the interface in VCenter server we need to install the USB network native driver.

Downloading and Installing Driver

Can’t see the newly added USB network adapter for pve3.linuxsysadmins.local ESXi server.

USB Ethernet Adapter not detected
USB Ethernet Adapter not detected

Download the USB driver

Enable the SSH service to copy the downloaded zip.

Adding USB Network Adapter to VMware ESXi 7.0 | Easy Guide 1
Enable SSH Service

Copy the driver zip file to ESXi node.

babin@MacBook-Pro Downloads % scp ESXi700-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-39035884-component-16770668.zip root@192.168.0.13:/tmp
Password: 
ESXi700-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-39035884-component-16770668.zip                                100%  345KB  13.5MB/s   00:00    
babin@MacBook-Pro Downloads %

Install the driver using esxcli command with option and arguments by pointing to the downloaded zip file.

[root@pve3:~] esxcli software component apply -d /tmp/ESXi700-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-39035884-component-16770668.zip 
Installation Result
   Components Installed: VMware-vmkusb-nic-fling_2.1-6vmw.700.1.0.39035884
   Components Removed: 
   Components Skipped: 
   Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
   Reboot Required: true
[root@pve3:~]

Right after completing the installation, we need to take a reboot. As shown in below snip we could see the status of 3rd node with (Reboot Required).

Applying USB driver
Applying USB driver

Reboot the ESXi node to make it effective.

# reboot

Now we should get the newly added USB Network adapter.

Adding USB Network Adapter to VMware ESXi 7.0 | Easy Guide 2
USB adapter listed

If you are looking to print the same from CLI, use below command.

[root@pve3:~] esxcli network nic list
Name    PCI Device    Driver  Admin Status  Link Status  Speed  Duplex  MAC Address         MTU  Description
------  ------------  ------  ------------  -----------  -----  ------  -----------------  ----  -----------
vmnic0  0000:00:1f.6  ne1000  Up            Up            1000  Full    1c:69:7a:xx:xx:xx  1500  Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection (6) I219-V
vusb0   Pseudo        uether  Up            Up            1000  Full    c4:41:1e:xx:xx:xx  1500  Linksys Linksys USB3GIGV1
[root@pve3:~]

To list the usb devices we can use lsusb, this will show the attached Linksys Network adapter as well.

[root@pve3:~] lsusb 
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0e0f:8003 VMware, Inc. Root Hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0aaa Intel Corp. 
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0781:5583 SanDisk Corp. Ultra Fit
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 13b1:0041 Linksys Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
[root@pve3:~]

Binding USB Network Adapter with MAC

Until unless we are not going to do a persistent mapping the changes may lose during the next reboot, make sure to create the adapter to map vusb0 with specific MAC address.

Find the mac address

[root@pve3:~] esxcli network nic list
Name    PCI Device    Driver  Admin Status  Link Status  Speed  Duplex  MAC Address         MTU  Description
------  ------------  ------  ------------  -----------  -----  ------  -----------------  ----  -----------
vmnic0  0000:00:1f.6  ne1000  Up            Up            1000  Full    1c:69:7a:xx:xx:xx  1500  Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection (6) I219-V
vusb0   Pseudo        uether  Up            Up            1000  Full    c4:41:1e:xx:xx:xx  1500  Linksys Linksys USB3GIGV1
[root@pve3:~]

Make the changes persistently by mapping with vmkusb_nic_fling module.

# esxcli system module parameters set -p "vusb0_mac=c4:41:1e:xx:xx:xx" -m vmkusb_nic_fling

That’s it, we are good with adding the new USB ethernet adapter in a VMware ESXi server.

Conclusion

To conclude, enabling a USB ethernet adapter on VMware ESXi 7.x required native USB driver, once we the driver is installed take a reboot and we are done with enabling the new USB ethernet adapter. Subscribe to newsletter for a more how-to guide.

Adding USB Network Adapter to VMware ESXi 7.0 | Easy Guide 3

About Post Author

Babin Lonston

Overall 14+ Years of experience in the IT field, currently working as a Senior Linux administration with Virtualization & Cloud. Being numismatist for a long time.
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