Advanced Host Controller Interface in Virtual Hardware 10 FAQ
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Advanced Host Controller Interface in Virtual Hardware 10 FAQ


Article ID: 305018


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


This article provides answers to frequently asked questions on the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) in virtual machine Hardware Version 10.


VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5


Starting with ESXi 5.5 and Hardware Version 10, VMware introduces a new AHCI/SATA Controller.

What is AHCI?
  • AHCI is a specification that allows implementation of SATA controllers in real and virtual hardware.
  • AHCI provides access to virtual disks and DVD/CD devices. The SATA virtual controller appears to a virtual machine as AHCI SATA.
What controller types can virtual machines use?

With Hardware Version 10, SATA, SCSI, and IDE controllers can be used in a virtual machine.

What are the guest operating systems that are supported with the new controller?
  • Windows Vista and later
  • Linux 2.6.29 and later kernels
  • All MAC guests

Note: To use this controller, the guest operating system requires a driver. To verify support, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.

How many controllers and devices can each virtual machine support?

The current implementation supports 4 controllers and up to 30 devices per controller.

How to determine if the controller is configured in the virtual machine configuration file?

AHCI related entries are similar to SCSI related entries.

For example:
  • Entry related to AHCI controller:


  • Entry related to disk on AHCI controller:


  • Entry related to CD drive on AHCI controller:


Where are the logs located?

All logs can be found in the vmware.log file located in the virtual machine's home directory and are prefixed with AHCI.

How do I add a SATA Controller?

For information on adding a SATA Controller, see the Add a SATA Controller section of the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration Guide.