2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2009 9:04 AM by Mark Wilson

    Does ESXi support USB-attached NICs?

    Mark Wilson Enthusiast

      I'm trying to install ESXi on a laptop. I know it's not supported - but this is for consultants who are mobile and a desktop/server class hardware is not feasible. And yes, I could use VMware Server/Workstation but we want to use a Hypervisor! The laptop I'm using ((Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook S7210) has a Marvell Yukon 88E8055 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller and, not suprisingly, ESXi does not support this. ESXi 4 refuses in install (failed to load lvmdriver), ESXi 3.5 installs but my IP address is



      After reading this thread on adding a NIC driver to ESX 3.5, I understand that I will probably need to swap out the NIC for an Intel or Broadcom model but this is a laptop and the NIC is integrated! I thought of buying a USB-attached NIC but, before I do that, does anyone know if that will be recognised by ESX (i.e. even if it has the correct chipset, will ESX ignore it because it is USB-attached)?



      TIA, Mark

        • 1. Re: Does ESXi support USB-attached NICs?
          AnthonyM Enthusiast

          The usual response would be to install workstation, and then install ESX as an instance within that. That way you can demonstrate the ESX capabilities on the laptop.


          What do you actually want to use this for though? Showing off ESX? Or just to run multiple VMs on the laptop?

          • 2. Re: Does ESXi support USB-attached NICs?
            Mark Wilson Enthusiast


            Hi Anthony, thanks for responding.



            The reason for this is that there are several consultants supplied with virtual machine images from our partners, some in VMware format and some in Microsoft (.VHD) format.  We don't want to have to convert VMs between formats and the simple approach would be one workstation, with VMware Workstation or Server running alongside Virtual PC or Server; however we don't want the performance hit of running a hosted virtualisation solution and so are looking to dual-boot between two hypervisors (ESXi and the one I can't mention on this forum?).



            There is also no budget for tools - hence the reason for using free virtualisation products.