Enabling USB 3.1 usage in an ESXI 7.x virtual machine
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Enabling USB 3.1 usage in an ESXI 7.x virtual machine


Article ID: 324281


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


This article explains the conditions and steps of using USB 3.1 (max to 10Gbps) devices inside a virtual machine.


VMware vSphere ESXi 7.0.0


USB 3.1 support is added in ESXi 7.0. USB 3.1 is a new USB protocol which evolved from USB 3.0 (superseded). USB 3.1 contains 2 working speeds, USB 3.1 Gen1 (5Gbps) and USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gbps). Gen1 is equal to the original USB 3.0 which working at 5Gbps. Gen2 is a new specification that supports 10Gbps device usage.

In ESXi 7.0 and above, the VM's virtual XHCI controller changes from "USB 3.0" to "USB 3.1" to support 10Gbps. This is completely backwards compatible with USB 3.0 devices.

The Management User Interface (UI) changes from "USB 3.0" into "USB 3.1" starting from vSphere7.0. Although the Management UI shows "USB 3.1",  USB 3.1 cannot be enabled.

To enable USB 3.1, do the following:
  1. Upgrade ESXi to version 7.0 and later. 
  2. Upgrade the VM's hardware version to 17 and above.
Note: Older version management components UI will still reflect "USB 3.0".