You can connect a USB device to an ESXi host and copy data to the device from the host. For example, you might want to gather the vm-support bundle from the host after the host loses network connectivity. To perform this task, you must stop the USB arbitrator.


If the USB arbitrator is being used for USB passthrough from an ESXi host to a virtual machine the USB device appears under lsusb but does not mount correctly.

This problem occurs because the nonbootable USB device is reserved for the virtual machine by default. It does not appear on the host's file system, even though lsusb can see the device.


  1. Stop the usbarbitrator service:/etc/init.d/usbarbitrator stop
  2. Physically disconnect and reconnect the USB device.

    By default, the device location is /vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhbaXX:C0:T0:L0.

  3. After you reconnect the device, restart the usbarbitrator service:/etc/init.d/usbarbitrator start
  4. Restart hostd and any running virtual machines to restore access to the passthrough devices in the virtual machine.

What to do next

Reconnect the USB devices to the virtual machine.