Author Topic: USB Passthrough Clarity  (Read 5417 times)

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Offline cwasher

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USB Passthrough Clarity
« on: March 05, 2014, 10:37:07 AM »
Morning Don & Forum,

I have been planning and researching (and saving!) for a new home server build for some time.  When I do pull the trigger, it will be my first leap into the esxi realm.  I have a fairly good understanding of passthrough as it relates to storage and graphics cards.  However, I am still a little “fuzzy” on USB device passthrough.

Are there two types? Can I pass through individual devices to specific VMs? Or do I have to passthrough the entire USB controller per each VM? 

The USB devices I would be passing through would be keyboards, mice, IR receivers, maybe BT dongle, etc….

Clarity on this is much appreciated!

PS: Enjoy the site and have learned a lot from the posts.
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Offline Phreakazoid

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Re: USB Passthrough Clarity
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 08:01:09 PM »
U can do both.
But it is tricky to passtrough Keyboard and Mouse. My ESX didn't see them, so i've used the hole Controller and got USB3 Support to :D

Offline cwasher

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Re: USB Passthrough Clarity
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 01:59:34 PM »
Thanks for the confirmation that is what I thought.

Doing some further googling, I found/realized that depending on the USB add on card it can have multiple controllers in it.  Would a card like this (link below)? Present 4 controllers to esxi? And allow each port to be passed through to a different VM?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815124118

If not this card does anyone know of a recommendation? I need to passthrough 4 USB controllers to different VMs…
SM X9SCM-IIF | Xeon 1230v2 | 16GB ECC
IBM m1015 | (6) 1TB HDD | (2) AMD HD 6450s
FreeNAS, pfSense, Ubuntu 12.04, Win 7, HTPC

Offline cwasher

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Re: USB Passthrough Clarity
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2014, 05:55:05 PM »
So I have continued to do some googling on this topic and I think I have a better understanding... I stumbled upon this card, HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4port USB 3.0 card:

http://amzn.com/B00DW5QGLM

I believe this card has 4 discreet ASMedia ASM1042U controllers. The youtube link below provides a walkthrough on passing this card through on esxi 5.5 and illustrates the 4 controllers being presented to esxi.

http://youtu.be/D74ZGS1e_7s?t=5m10s

Anyone have any experience with this? Or know of a USB 2.0 card that provides this functionality? I don't necessarily need USB3.0 for keyboards/mice/etc, also this card is pricey, but maybe the only option....
SM X9SCM-IIF | Xeon 1230v2 | 16GB ECC
IBM m1015 | (6) 1TB HDD | (2) AMD HD 6450s
FreeNAS, pfSense, Ubuntu 12.04, Win 7, HTPC

Offline Benoire

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Re: USB Passthrough Clarity
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 02:00:36 PM »
I'm also keen to know this and especially a card like this.  I'm in the process of sorting out a new motherboard to virtualise my HTPCs using Windows 7 but I need to pass USB to each room for keyboard, mouse and remote control and it would be great to get an answer as currently USB is my deciding choice between ESXi and Xenserver.

Offline patyork

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Re: USB Passthrough Clarity
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 12:35:23 PM »
Hey cwasher,

Did you by chance try that 4 controller USB device?

Pat
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Offline cwasher

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Re: USB Passthrough Clarity
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2014, 02:30:08 PM »
No I haven't... at least not yet. I just got my system up and going and am still working on getting GPU passthrough working smoothly... Once I get that up and going I will work on USB..

Trying not to have to shell out another ~$100 for a card...
SM X9SCM-IIF | Xeon 1230v2 | 16GB ECC
IBM m1015 | (6) 1TB HDD | (2) AMD HD 6450s
FreeNAS, pfSense, Ubuntu 12.04, Win 7, HTPC

Offline rab

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Re: USB Passthrough Clarity
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2014, 10:50:25 AM »
cwasher,

Not sure if you're still browsing the board, but was curious if you worked out your USB passthru issue.  I have 5.5U1 installed and can see the (2) usb 2.0 controllers, but the usb 3.0 ones aren't showing up and wonder if I just have to pull the trigger any buy the $110 Highpoint card since I want to have more than 1 Physicalized VM running.


Offline cwasher

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Re: USB Passthrough Clarity
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2014, 09:28:36 AM »
Sorry for being MIA

I have not purchased the 1144... Currently I only have one XBMC VM running my TV's and just pass through the FLIRC USB device to the VM.... Only downside is when you restart the host, you sometimes have to go back in and make sure it is getting picked up by esxi...

Also, have not made any physcalized VMs yet for daily computing use, but if I do I imagine you would want to pass through the controller.
SM X9SCM-IIF | Xeon 1230v2 | 16GB ECC
IBM m1015 | (6) 1TB HDD | (2) AMD HD 6450s
FreeNAS, pfSense, Ubuntu 12.04, Win 7, HTPC