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Unable to add a USB device to a virtual machine (1039359)

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  • You are unable to add a USB device to a virtual machine.
  • Even though the USB Controller has been added to the virtual machine, the USB device is not listed.
  • The lsusb command indicates that the USB device is being detected by the ESX/ESXi host. The output looks similar to:

    Bus 01 Device 04: ID 0951:1642 Kingston Technology
    Bus 01 Device 03: ID 0424:2514 Standard Microsystems Corp. USB 2.0 Hub
    Bus 01 Device 01: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 05 Device 02: ID 0624:0248 Avocent Corp.
    Bus 05 Device 01: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 03 Device 02: ID 04d9:1400 Holtek Semiconductor, Inc.
  • The usbarbitrator log in /tmp/vmware-root (/var/log/usb.log in ESXi 5.0) contains entries similar to:
Apr 12 06:49:40.443: usbArb| USBArb: 1 Devices enumerated
Apr 12 06:49:40.443: usbArb| USBArb: Device 0:name:Kingston\ DT\ 101\ G2 vid:0951 pid:1642 path:1/2/0 speed:high family:storage id:1000409511642 owner:(null)
Apr 12 06:54:43.040: usbArb| USBArbPipeConnected: Connected to client, socket:9
  • The hostd logs contains entries similar to:
[2011-04-12 07:11:19.948 20965B90 warning 'Libs'] USBGL: Error connecting to arbitrator socket: No such file or directory (2)
[2011-04-12 07:11:19.948 20965B90 warning 'Libs'] USBGL: Giving up on connecting to USB arbitrator
  • Stopping and starting the usbarbitrator daemon under /etc/init.d/ does not resolve the issue.


This issue is resolved in vSphere 4.1 Update 2 and vSphere 5.0 Update 1.

This issue occurs if the usbarbitrator process does not completely initialize before the hostd process attempts to access it.

To work around this issue, restart the hostd process by using in the SSH session of the host. If not, restart the management agents in the DCUI, for more information, see Restarting the Management agents on an ESX or ESXi Server (1003490).

Additional Information

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For information regarding USB device passthrough requirements and limitations, as well as steps to add a USB controller and a USB device, see USB support in ESXi/ESX 4.1 and ESXi 5.x (1022290)
If you cannot mount a USB key or disk device media to an ESX/ESXi host, see Cannot mount a USB key or disk device media to an ESX/ESXi host (1036340).


cannot-use-usb-device cannot-add-usb-to-virtual-machine

See Also

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  • 64 Ratings