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      • 195. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
        derickso Enthusiast

        Got it, thanks Jon.

         

        As another anecdotal performance piece, I was doing pass through of some USB 2.0 enclosed HDs and found I could only get ~7MB/s of transfer rate through them when passed through via ESXi 5, when I passed through the USB controller itself I could max out the USB 2.0 link at ~35MB/s.

        • 196. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
          mgrugel Lurker

          @derickso

          This is no surprise.

           

          Can anyone positive verify that the PCI passthrough of the USB bus is working correctly under ESXi 5.5 and that it is reboot stable?

          • 197. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
            pbraren Enthusiast
            VMware EmployeesvExpert

            Not sure about motherboard based USB 3.0.  But as far as my PCIe card with 4 USB ports that can be individually chosen for passthrough, yes, it's stable, and reboots don't PSOD.

            TinkerTry.com/vmware-vsphere-5-5-announced-with-general-availability-likely-the-week-of-september-9-2013/#comment-1030084304

            I'll be writing more about this soon, but thankfully, it does appear that for this system that worked fine for pass through with 4.1 and 5.0, but not for 5.1, stability is back on 5.5, at least for this particular device.  Hope this helps!

            • 198. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
              AntonZ201110141 Lurker
              vExpert

              just checked. passthrough is working, but:

              1. even after driver installation inside Guest OS - USB device still is yellow ("windows can't use it")

              2. the weird thing is it was successfully detached from ESXi host, but I CANNOT attach it back! After rebooting the host USB controllers are still in passthrough mode! So be careful!

               

              *Dell PowerEdge R620, internal USB ports

              • 199. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
                srwsol Enthusiast

                If you have the yellow exclamation mark in windows try adding "pciPassthru0.msiEnabled=False" to your configuration for the VM.  You have to do this after you add the controller to the VM, and each time you remove and reinstall the controller to the VM.  Also if you have more than one PCI pass through device in that VM you might have the 0 to some other number.  Now, it could also be that there are some existing issues with the onboard controller support as I can't properly use the onboard usb 3 controller on the system which I have working with an added USB 3 controller under the version of 5.1 which requires the re-enabling of the device after every reboot. 

                • 200. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
                  Vith Novice

                  My experience with ESXI 5.5 and the motherboard P9X79 PRO (socket 2011, 64gb ram), tested with a windows8 virtual machine, is:

                   

                  -In Esxi 5.1 the machine would freeze for several minutes when booting, that didn't happen in 5.0 and it's been fixed in 5.5.

                  -Pass-through devices don't disappear when rebooting (I rebooted several times, tested with all the devices)

                  -The unofficial driver for the nic 82579V (net-e1001e-1.0.0.x86_64.vib) works fine. Vsphere client is crashing a lot (it didn't happen in 5.1), and I think it's related to the network, or maybe it's because I'm only using 1 nic. Because of that I couldn't test this in passthrough.

                   

                  The following is the onboard hardware of this motherboard:

                   

                  • Onboard usb 3.0 (ASMedia ASM1042 SuperSpeed USB Host Controller): passthrough works fine with both of them, the virtual machine is able to see them, no errors and it can use the devices you connect (tested with a pendrive and a keyboard)
                  • Onboard usb 2.0 (Intel C600/X79 series chipset usb2 Enhanced Host Controller): the device shows up in the virtual machine but with a yellow exclamation mark and can't be used. When not in passthrough, connecting devices to the host and adding them to virtual machines works fine (this can't be done with HID devices, as usual). In this mode you are able to add the onboard bluetooth to a virtual machine, and it works.
                  • Intel Pastburg 6 Port SATA ACHI: I can't test this in passthrough because I installed ESXI on it. It worked in 5.0 and 5.1, so it should be fine.
                  • ASMedia ASM 1062 Serial ATA Controller (esata): the virtual machine is able to see it, but with a yellow exclamation mark and can't be used. It doesn't work. When not in passthrough, the host doesn't see it and can't be used.
                  • Marvell P8P67 (sata): the virtual machine is not able to see anything. I tried with a debian virtual machine, and it gives a kernel panic when booting (the vm). Not sure what's wrong with this one, I've read it may be a bug in the hardware/firmware.
                  • Intel C600/X79 series chipset High Definition Audio Controller: passthrough works. I was experiencing freezes and the sound was barely playing even after installing the drivers. After removing all the other devices, it started working, but the sound was a bit choppy. Then I disabled speedstep and all the power management, attached a keyboard and mouse using the usb3 passthrough and added a videocard. The sound was perfect after that. Not sure exactly what set of changes fixed the sound, but the important thing is it can be fixed.

                   

                  Also, my Raden HD 5870 works fine in passthrough. Tested with a game and the performance was great, with no errors at all. Video acceleration doesn't work in firefox/ie (but works in chrome) when playing a flash/html5 video with acceleration on. This may be related to the virtual svga.

                   

                  To sum up, the marvell and esata controllers don't work. The nic, as anything with unofficial drivers, can stop working in future versions. USB3 works. USB2 doesn't work, but it can be used with the host, with the knowledge that no keyboard/mouse can be added to a virtual machine.

                   

                  Edit: if the vm uses EFI (version 8, I don't know if this is important), esata and usb 2.0 work, although the usb is giving me problems. Read the following posts.

                  • 201. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
                    derickso Enthusiast

                    Thanks for the indepth response!  Weird that onboard USB3 works but not 2, I wonder if there is some way to figure out what ESX 5.5 is doing differently via running lspci within the VM on each ESXi version.

                    • 202. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
                      madmax14304 Novice

                      Well, that was a total disappointment. I had the same experience with my usb 2.0 bus. It added to the vm but stayed yellow. pciPassthru0.msiEnabled="False" didn't fix it.  Now I'm debating rolling back.

                      • 203. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
                        jgkurz Novice

                        The good news: I upgraded to 5.5 and now my USB 3.0 adapter works. I connected it to my Win7 x64 VM and so far it's functioning as expected.

                         

                        My adapter is a NEC based chipset marketed as the StarTech 2 Port PCI Express SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Card Adapter Model PEXUSB3S2

                         

                        The bad news: I am a home user and have uncovered an unfortunate issue with the free version of ESXi 5.5. vSphere Client no longer supports editing VM settings of a version 10 machine. You must use vSphere Web Client which requires vCenter. I downloaded a trial copy of vCenter Appliance and vSphere Enterprise Plus so that I could make the required pass-thru edit from vSphere Web Client.

                         

                        I'm not sure how I'm going to administrate my host after my eval licenses expire.. : (

                        • 204. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
                          Komandor89 Lurker

                          Hello, guys. I had the same problem on ESXi 5.5 with my onboard USB 2.0 Controller (ASRock P67 Fatal1ty Professional) - error with code 10. My solution is using EFI boot firmware instead BIOS for virtual machines that use my passthroughed internal USB controller. I hope, that this will help to other users.

                          • 205. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
                            pbraren Enthusiast
                            vExpertVMware Employees

                            The good news: I upgraded to 5.5 and now my USB 3.0 adapter works. I connected it to my Win7 x64 VM and so far it's functioning as expected

                            My adapter is a NEC based chipset marketed as the StarTech 2 Port PCI Express SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Card Adapter Model PEXUSB3S2

                             

                            The bad news: I am a home user and have uncovered an unfortunate issue with the free version of ESXi 5.5. vSphere Client no longer supports editing VM settings of a version 10 machine. You must use vSphere Web Client which requires vCenter. I downloaded a trial copy of vCenter Appliance and vSphere Enterprise Plus so that I could make the required pass-thru edit from vSphere Web Client.\

                            I'm not sure how I'm going to administrate my host after my eval licenses expire.. : (

                             

                            jgkurz, well said, took the words right out of my mouth!

                             

                            So I quoted your eloquent words in an article I just published last night:

                            TinkerTry.com/best-parts-of-vmwares-esxi-5-5-free-hypervisor-rely-on-vcenter-which-isnt-free-uh-oh

                            • 206. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
                              jgkurz Novice

                              No problem. Glad I could help. Your write-up on Tinkertry certainly expands on the issue. I hope this is not a conscience attempt by VMware to eliminate the free license option. At this point it seems like that is the case.

                               

                              My apologies to everyone for going off topic.

                              • 207. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
                                derickso Enthusiast

                                So just to confirm, when you set your VMs to use the EFI bios the onboard USB2.0 controller works correctly when passed through to them?

                                • 208. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
                                  Komandor89 Lurker

                                  Yes. It solves my problem. Of course I had to convert my Windows 8 VM installation from BIOS to EFI, but after that it is working with GPU & USB passthrough. In ESXi 5.0 it works out-of-box with BIOS firmware, and with ESXi 5.1 USB controllers passthrough does not work anywhere.

                                  • 209. Re: Esxi 5.1 pci passthrough broken
                                    Vith Novice

                                    I also confirm that usb 2.0 is working for me after reinstalling windows 8 with EFI. Not only that, but my esata (ASMedia ASM1062) is also being properly recognized. I don't have any esata device so I can't really know if it actually works. Marvell controller is the only hardware the P9X79PRO has that can't be used with esxi, and I think it's due to hardware/firmware issues. It doesn't really matter, it's too slow anyway.

                                     

                                    However, the lack of a free vcenter version and the deprecation of vsphere client worries me. Even if it was free, the high memory requirements could be a problem for the home user, but it would be better than not having anything at all.

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