I need to pass a USB external drive to my Fedora 34 VM on my ESXi 7 host. Using USB 2.0 to transfer data is just too slow.
After searching the interwebz for a suitable PCIe controller, I settled on the Renesas UPD720202 USB 3.0 host controller. The forum posts I read all reported that they got this card to work with ESXi installs. I also liked that it came with a low-profile bracket and self-power instead of using an internal power cable. I mainly was using USB external hard drives that already had a power source.
Steps to get the VM to see the USB controller and External Drive
- Login to your ESXi 7 host.
- Rebooting the host is part of this process so go ahead and shutdown your VMs.
- Select hardware
- Make sure PCI Devices is selected in the left hand column.
- Scroll down till you see Renesas Technology Corp uPD720202 USB 3.0 Host Controller
- Click the check box and click on the Toggle passthrough
- This will show the passthrough status as active.
- Reboot the ESXi 7 host.
- Once your ESXi host is up you will need to add some devices to your VM that needs the USB 3.0 controller.
- USB 2.0 controller
- USB 3.0 controller
- The PCI device you just passthrough to your host
- Make sure you give your VM memory reservation or it will not boot.
- Now boot your VM and see if you can see your USB 3.0 drive.
- I did a transfer to my external usb 3.0 drive and the write speed was about 135MB/s.