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Using USB Devices in a Virtual Machine

The following sections describe how to use USB devices in a virtual machine:

VMware Workstation 5 provides a two-port USB 1.1 controller. You can use up to two USB devices in your virtual machine if both your host operating system and your guest operating system support USB. If your host computer supports USB 2.0 devices, you can use those devices in the virtual machine, with the appropriate device drivers installed in the guest.

Note: When a USB device and the host controller both support USB 2.0, the device will automatically operate in USB 2.0 mode. This should usually work correctly, even though the transaction must proceed through the USB 1.1 controller in the guest. However, in some cases the guest UHCI (USB 1.0) drivers may not be able to handle certain USB 2.0-specific transactions or features, for example, the larger USB 2.0 packet size. This may cause the guest to crash. To work around this problem, plug the device into a USB 1.0 hub. This will force the device to use the USB 1.0 packet size.

Experimental support is provided for isochronous USB devices, such as webcams, speakers, and microphones.

Note: Windows NT and Linux kernels older than 2.2.17 do not support USB.

Although your host operating system must support USB, you do not need to install device-specific drivers for your USB devices in the host operating system if you want to use those devices only in the virtual machine.

On a Windows 2000 host computer with USB 2.0 support, be sure you are using the Microsoft USB 2.0 driver for the USB controller. Third-party USB 2.0 drivers, such as those provided by some motherboard manufacturers, are not supported. For notes on replacing the third-party drivers, see Replacing USB 2.0 Drivers on a Windows 2000 Host.

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