I had several folks ask me about an updated USB 3.0 Ethernet Driver for ESXi 6.5, similiar to what I had created for ESXi 5.5 and 6.0. There were some changes that came with ESXi 6.5 and thanks to Songtao, I was able to build a new driver. For those of you who are not familiar with this particular driver, I highly recommend you give this article here a read before proceeding any further. If you are interested in Realtek driver for ESXi 6.5, be sure to check out Jose's blog here for more info.

To to use this new driver for ESXi 6.5, there are some additional steps that is required. Below are the instructions on how to install this on an ESXi 6.5 host.

Step 0 - Download the ESXi 6.5 USB Ethernet Adapter Driver VIB or ESXi 6.5 USB Ethernet Adapter Driver Offline Bundle and upload it to your ESXi host.

Step 1 - If you are upgrading from an existing ESXi 5.5 or 6.0 environment, the first thing you will want to do is uninstall the old driver by running the following command (specify the correct name of the driver):

esxcli software vib remove -n vghetto-ax88179-esxi60u2

If you have a fresh install of ESXi 6.5, jump straight to Step 2.

Step 2 - Install the VIB by running the following ESXCLI command to install:

esxcli software vib install -v /vghetto-ax88179-esxi65.vib -f

Step 3 - Next, you will need to disable the USB native driver to be able to use this driver. To do so, run the following command:

esxcli system module set -m=vmkusb -e=FALSE

Step 4 - Lastly, for the changes to go into effect, you will need to reboot your ESXi host. Once your system has rebooted, it should now automatically load the USB Ethernet driver and you should see your USB Ethernet Adapter as shown in the screenshot below.

esxi-6-5-usb-3-0-network-adapter-driver

32 thoughts on “USB 3.0 Ethernet Adapter (NIC) driver for ESXi 6.5

  1. Great stuff William.

    Just one point: With the acceptance level changed to CommunitySupported, on both 6.0 and 6.5 the -f flag is not required.

    It is quite annoying that the force flag is required for ESXi 51/5.5 as it interferes with any other VIB installations, including updates to the embedded host client…

  2. Thanks for this. Tested as working on 4th gen Intel NUC with a Vantec adapter. Is there a way to automatically disable the USB native driver if we want to add the USB 3.0 Ethernet Adapter VIB to a custom ISO?

  3. Does this mean that it is mutually exclusive to enable both usb bus for an esx boot and the usb to ethernet adapter?

    Thanks…

  4. William thanks for the great info and driver support. I did use the earlier version when I built my first NUC 6th Gen and all went well running ver6.0. Now I am planning to upgrade to 6.5 and still new to managing the esx environment. You show above how to uninstall the old driver and install the new for 6.5. My two questions I have are this, should those steps be done pre or post upgrade to 6.5 from 6.0? And second question which I could probable search for and find elsewhere but I will still ask, I have run upgrades before only from local keyboard,screen and booting from cdrom. Can you share the steps to do the upgrade to 6.5 from 6.0 remotely if possible or a link to an article post you like or wrote that shows those steps for newbs like myself? Thanks again.

  5. I changed the level of acceptance, does not work (CommunitySupported)

    [root@esxi:~] esxcli software vib install -v /vghetto-ax88179-esxi65.vib
    [InstallationError]
    (‘virtuallyGhetto_bootbank_vghetto-ax88179-esxi65_6.0.0-1.0.0’, ‘The VIB virtuallyGhetto_bootbank_vghetto-ax88179-esxi65_6.0.0-1.0.0 does not contain a signature.’)
    vibs = virtuallyGhetto_bootbank_vghetto-ax88179-esxi65_6.0.0-1.0.0
    Please refer to the log file for more details.

  6. Yes after installing the VIB it booted up fine mate. Sadly it doesn’t appear to get detected with my AsRock 970 Extreme 4 based whitebox 🙁

  7. Whoop! Whoop! It’s alive!!! Detected as a R8152 hope its just as good as AX88179 I thought it was lol 🙂

  8. I’m having a weird issue. If i add it using the CLI with “esxcli network vswitch standard uplink add -u vusb0 -v vSwitch1”, the VMs on that vSwitch don’t see any traffic. The adapter shows up as an uplink. I have to add it from the UI for it to work.

  9. Hmm having another issue now, if I add the USB uplink to any vSwitch DVS or Standard the uplink only works for around a minute or so 🙁

    Litterally its seems like anuy longer than 60 seconds and no data passes on the switch attached to that uplink. Dont suppose anyone has any idea’s

  10. Great article and fantastic job, and it works fine (intel NUC SkullCanyon, StarTech dual ehernet adapter), except..
    When rebooting the NUC, everything seems good, except the interface is actually not working (no ping, nothing)
    I have to either edit/save manually on ESXi administration interface the port group connected to the vswitch with the USB uplink, or in command line by removing/reattaching the vusb nic to the vswitch.
    Weirdly, it doesn’t work when trying to do the same command line so in local.sh file (even with async delay)

    when launching command line in local.sh, outcome in log is:
    2017-02-01T18:10:36.020Z: [netCorrelator] 428790423us: [vob.net.pg.uplink.transition.up] Uplink:vusb0 is up. Affected portgroup: pg_FO. 0 uplinks up

    And thru portal or command line, it seomhow detect the 1 uplink, and that triggers connectivity event..
    2017-02-01T19:15:37.367Z: [netCorrelator] 4330138236us: [vob.net.pg.uplink.transition.up] Uplink:vusb0 is up. Affected portgroup: pg_FO. 1 uplinks up
    2017-02-01T19:15:39.001Z: [netCorrelator] 4331771900us: [esx.clear.net.connectivity.restored] Network connectivity restored on virtual switch “vswitch_FO”, portgroups: “pg_FO”. Physical NIC vusb0 is up

    Any idea welcome

  11. Thank you so much for your USB drivers.

    I’m testing it with a “ugreen USB-Network adapter” and it gives me a good feeling using the “esxcli network nic list”:

    [root@localhost:~] esxcli network nic list
    Name PCI Device Driver Admin Status Link Status Speed Duplex MAC Address MTU Description
    —— ———— ———— ———— ———– —– —— —————– —- ——————————————–
    vmnic0 0000:00:1f.6 ne1000 Up Up 1000 Full f4:4d:30:66:88:a8 1500 Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection I219-V
    vusb0 Pseudo ax88179_178a Up Down 0 Half 00:0e:c6:cb:8c:2e 1500 Unknown Unknown

    The only suggestion i had is that when you explain the installation, you could explain also that if someone has problems to install the drivers directly from the storage units, there is another option to install it, using the URL to the file:
    esxcli software vib install -v https://s3.amazonaws.com/virtuallyghetto-download/vghetto-ax88179-esxi65.vib -f

    This works great for me, because i’m a newbie and the esxi give me always the file not found message when try to use the storage path.

    Ugreen adapter:
    https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B00MYTSN7W/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza

    Thank you so much again.
    Luis.

  12. Great job William! It works on my Startech Dual Adapter in my 4th Gen NUC i5 D54250WYKH. Thanks for everything.

  13. Same issue as noted above, running on skull canyon with 6.5, adapter works fine for a short period before all traffic stops on that interface.

  14. This is Great! Everything you have said has worked for me. I’m about to Test the j5 adapter and see if it runs for more than a few minutes. I already have it installed (j5 JU130).

  15. hello all.

    step 2 clear

    this error?

    esxcli software vib install -v /vghetto-ax88179-esxi65.vib -f
    [VibDownloadError]
    (‘/vghetto-ax88179-esxi65.vib’, ‘/tmp/vibtransaction/tmp.vib’, ‘[Errno 2] Local file does not exist: /vghetto-ax88179-esxi65.vib’)
    url = /vghetto-ax88179-esxi65.vib

Thanks for the comment!