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Unsupported ESXi 8.0 laptop setup with usb device: list of strange effects


Here a list with findings on an unsupported ESXi 8.0 setup, HPE 250 G8 laptop with attached Satechi usb-2-ethernet adapter.


ESXi on an USB device attached on the Satechi adapter works. The vmkusb driver detects the usb device.

Uefi Boot ESXi

The HPE boot menu shows up an entry with UEFI ESXi and an entry simply the USB device. It is unclear why but the first entry disappears after a couple of days. With a simple reprovisioning upgrade 8.0 and preserving the VMFS, the additional entry is back.

Ethernet Adapter

The ethernet adapter is detected as vusb0, but there are two effects.

1) After a ESXi restart, in DCUI > Configure Management Network > Network Adapters > you must re-select the vusb0 device.

2) The link speed shows up as 100Mbps, full duplex. In ESXi7.0U3g with the vmkusb_nic_fling it was possible to choose a link speed up to 1000Mbps (however it has been displayed as 100Mbps only).


USB Storage

2TB is the limit of a VMFS on an USB device. It's possible to use the full capacity of an USB device, but not by ESXi webclient.

PCI Device Passthrough

PCI Device Passthrough of the built-in laptop Wireless adapter works. Do not use vbs and do not use nested hardware virtualization (incl. iommu) if you need to add the pci device e.g. to a Windows virtual machine.

Windows 11 virtual machine with Bridged Ethernet

Assuming a bridge between the wireless adapter and the virtual ethernet adapter with dhcp4 signal on the wireless adapter, if vusb0 is not set active on the portgroup nic teaming, duplicate ip situations occur.



In addition, if ESXi grabed a dhcp4 ip address through the Windows 11 vm and the vm goes in standby, you might loose the connection as well.


As said, the setup is somewhat unsupported and sometimes it takes hours to find out little things.

A tiny cognitive services lab (object/face recognition) might be possible though.



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