Configuring VMDirectPath I/O pass-through devices on a VMware ESXi Host

Posted on Posted in ESXi

In some case you need to connect a PCI Device (like as Graphic Card) of any one to a specific VM, then you should configure your VMDirectPath I/O pass-through devices on your ESXi Host.

let's see maximum passthrough devices supported per VMs on ESX versions:

  • ESX\ESXi 4.0: 2 Devices  
  • ESX\ESXi 4.1: 4 Devices  
  • ESX\ESXi 5.0: 4 Devices 
  • ESX\ESXi 5.1: 4 Devices 
  • ESX\ESXi 5.5: 16 Devices 
  • ESX\ESXi 6.x: 16 Devices  

Configuring passthrough devices 

Before configuring a device for PCI Passthrough, ensure that platform and device meets the PCI Passthrough requirements, see VMware vSphere VMDirectPath I/O: Requirements for Platforms and Devices​. 


To configure passthrough devices on an ESX/ESXi host: 

  1. Select an ESX\ESXi host from the Inventory of VMware vSphere Client. 

  2. In the Configuration tab, click Hardware Advanced Settings. The passthrough Configuration page lists all available pass-through devices. 
    Note: A green icon indicates that a device is enabled and active. An orange icon indicates that the state of the device has changed and the host must be rebooted before the device can be used. 

  3. Click Edit.  

  4. Select the devices and click OK.  

  5. When the devices are selected, they are marked with an orange icon. Reboot for the change to take effect. After rebooting, the devices are marked with a green icon and are enabled. 
    Note: The configuration changes are saved in the /etc/vmware/esx.conf file.  
    The PCI slot number where the device was connected is 00:0b:0. It is recorded as: 
    /device/000:11.0/owner = "passthru" 
    Note: 11 is the decimal equivalent of the hexadecimal 0b.  

To configure a PCI device on a virtual machine: 

  1. From the Inventory in vSphere Client, right-click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings.  

  2. Click the Hardware tab.  

  3. Click Add.  

  4. Choose the PCI Device.  

  5. Click Next
    Note: When the device is assigned, the virtual machine must have a memory reservation for the full configured memory size.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *