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.

About this task

If a USB device is connected to another virtual machine, you cannot add it until that machine releases it.


If you have the Apple Frontpanel Controller device in your environment, you can safely add it to a virtual machine. However, this device has no documented function and no known use. ESXi hosts do not use it and do not provide Xserver functionality for USB passthrough.



  1. Right-click a virtual machine in the inventory and select Edit Settings.
  2. On the Virtual Hardware tab, select Host USB Device from the New device drop-down menu, and click Add.

    The new USB device appears at the bottom of the Virtual Hardware device list.

  3. Expand New USB Device, and select the device to add.

    You can add multiple USB devices, but only one device at a time.

  4. If you do not plan to migrate a virtual machine with USB devices attached, deselect the Support vMotion option.

    This action reduces migration complexity, which results in better performance and stability.

  5. Click OK.