Cannot use USB device in a virtual machine on a RHEL 4 x64 host
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Cannot use USB device in a virtual machine on a RHEL 4 x64 host


Article ID: 343701


Updated On:


VMware VMware Desktop Hypervisor



After connecting an USB device to a host running the RHEL 4 x64 operating system, you experience these symptoms:

  • USB devices do not connect to the guest
  • You are unable to use the USB device in the virtual machine
  • You see the error:

    The existing driver (usbhid) could not be successfully disconnected. (Operation not permitted) Unload the driver manually then try again.


VMware Player 5.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation Player 12.x (Linux)
VMware Player 7.x (Linux)
VMware Server 1.0.x (Linux)
VMware Server 2.0.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation 7.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation 11.x (for Linux)
VMware Workstation 6.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation Player 15.x (Linux)
VMware Player 6.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation 9.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation Pro 15.x (Linux)
VMware Player 4.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation 10.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation Player 14.x (Linux)
VMware Player 3.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation 8.x (Linux)
VMware Player Pro 7.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation Pro 14.x (for Linux)


This issue occurs because the host does not release the device to the guest.

You cannot unload the driver manually from the host because it does not exist as a module—it is compiled directly into the RHEL 4 x64 kernel. The kernel does not support the required ioctl (control device) function to allow VMware to disconnect the device from the usbhid driver.

To workaround this issue, you can recompile the host's kernel with usbhid as a module and then remove it using the rmmod command. The usbhid driver is necessary to allow the host and guest operating systems to interact with a USB mouse and keyboard. But, removing the module from the recompiled kernel might not be appropriate for your system. Therefore, you may have to use an upgraded kernel or a different operating system. For more information, see the Red Hat documentation on kernel modules.

  • To access this link, you must be registered user on the Red Hat site.
  • The preceding link was correct as of March 24, 2011. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.

Additional Information

For general troubleshooting information on using USB Devices in Workstation, Server, and Player, see Problems Using Some USB Devices in a Virtual Machine (774). Problems using some USB devices in a virtual machine