To connect peripheral devices to virtual machines, such as printers or scanners, you can use a parallel port. You send the output of such devices to a file on the host computer.

Note: If you are adding a parallel port to a virtual machine that runs on an ESXi 4.1 or earlier host, you can also select to send output to a physical parallel port on the host. This option is not available with ESXi 5.0 and later host versions.
Important: With virtual hardware version 11 and later, if you configure a virtual machine without parallel ports, they are entirely removed from the virtual chipset and they are not visible to the guest OS.


  • Verify that the virtual machine is turned off. You cannot add or remove parallel ports if the virtual machine is turned on.
  • Verify that you have the Virtual machine.Configuration.Add or remove device privilege on the virtual machine.


  1. Right-click a virtual machine in the inventory and select Edit Settings.
  2. On the Virtual Hardware tab, select Parallel Port from the New device drop-down menu, and click Add.
    The parallel port appears at the bottom of the virtual device list.
  3. Expand New Parallel port, and click Browse to locate a folder to create the file in.
  4. Type a name for the file in the Save As text box and click OK.
    The file path appears in the Connection text box.
  5. (Optional) Select Connect At Power On to connect the device when the virtual machine powers on.
  6. Click OK.


Output from the attached peripheral device is read to the newly created file.