Thursday, 7 December 2017

Using USB storage with ESXI / vSphere 6.0 / 6.5

In order to get USB drives working with ESXI (which is not officially supported) we'll need to ensure the USB arbitrator service has been stopped (this will unfortunately prevent you from using USB pass through devices in your VM's - however in a development environment I can afford to for go this.):

/etc/init.d/usbarbitrator stop

and ensure it is also disabled upon reboot:

chkconfig usbarbitrator off

We'll now plug the device in and identify the disk with dmesg or:

ls /dev/disks

Create a new GPT table on the disk:

partedUtil mklabel /dev/disks/mpx.vmhba37\:C0\:T0\:L0 gpt

* Note: Some disks will come up as 'naa...' as well *

We now need to identify the start / end sectors:

partedUtil getptbl /dev/disks/mpx.vmhba37\:C0\:T0\:L0

>> gpt
>> 38913 255 63 625142448

To work out the end sector we do:

[quantity-of-cylinders] * [quantity-of-heads] * [quantity-of-sectors-per-track] - 1

so: 38913 * 255 * 63 - 1

which equals:


The start sector is always 2048 - however in earlier versions of VMFS (e.g. VMFS3 - this was 128)

partedUtil setptbl /dev/disks/mpx.vmhba37\:C0\:T0\:L0 gpt "1 2048 625137344 AA31E02A400F11DB9590000C2911D1B8 0"

and finally create the filesystem:

vmkfstools -C vmfs6 -S USB-Stick /dev/disks/mpx.vmhba37\:C0\:T0\:L0:1


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