XenServer USB passthrough - a detailed how-to guide

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If you are one of those people who strive to connect to local USB peripherals from Xen guest OS, this guide is just what you need. In this article, we're going to tell you about two simple ways to enable Xen USB passthrough. Read on to find out how easy it is to share USB devices using a dedicated software solution.

What is Citrix Hypervisor?


Citrix Hypervisor (formerly XenServer) is a complex server virtualization platform with built-in enterprise-class features that allows you to easily manage mixed operating systems, storage and data exchange configurations.

Citrix Hypervisor provides an efficient way of building a scalable system, as it can be used on the server hardware without any underlying OS. This hypervisor is designed to virtualize hardware components like hard drives, ports, devices, etc. making them available to guest operating systems started on it.

USB passthrough on a Xen VM with professional software


FlexiHub

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
4.8 Rank based on 78+ users
FlexiHub is a powerful software solution able to redirect USB peripherals of any type to a virtual environment.
FlexiHub

The app has an intuitive interface and advanced USB over network functionality that allows XenServer access to local USB devices.

So, if you realize that you have a problem with XenServer USB device passthrough, simply use USB over network, and you will be able to establish connections to real USB peripherals from your virtual machine with nothing more than a couple of mouse clicks.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You register a FlexiHub account on the official website of the software. It’s very easy to do and what’s great it’s absolutely free.
  2. Then, you choose how many simultaneous connections to USB devices you need and start your FlexiHub trial.
  3. The next step is to download the app and install it on both your host and guest machines.
  4. After that, launch the software on both systems and log in to the account you created.
  5. Once logged in, you’ll see the list of USB devices available for connection.
  6. On the guest OS, find the required device and click “Connect”.

Here you go! Now, the device that, in fact, is attached to the host computer will appear on your virtual machine like it was connected directly to that system.

One of the biggest advantages of the software app is that it works on Windows, Linux, Android, and Mac operating systems. This means you can easily connect from Windows to Linux, from Linux to Mac, and in other combinations.

The native method to enable Citrix XenServer USB support


Another way to make Citrix XenServer USB passthrough possible is to configure XenServer to work with locally attached USB devices.

Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Attach a USB peripheral to the host where you run XenServer with the Enterprise Edition license, and you can see the USB tab with the USB devices list in the XenCenter.

  2. To allow XenServer to pass through USB, select the USB device you need, click “Enable passthrough” and choose “Yes, enable passthrough” in the window that will appear. xenserver usb passthrough
  3. Now, shut down the virtual machine that needs access to the USB device, as the hot plug option is not available.

  4. Once done, connect the USB peripheral to the VM. To do this in XenCenter, right click the virtual machine -> open Properties -> select USB -> click Attach -> choose the device you are going to attach -> hit Attach. xenserver access usb

Click OK.

It’s worth mentioning that you can attach no more than 6 USB devices to one virtual machine.

  1. Launch your guest OS to access the attached USB device.

Also, note that it may be necessary to install the device driver on the guest machine for the device to work correctly.

FlexiHub

Requirements: Windows XP/2003/2008/Vista/7/8/10/Server 2012
Size: 6.93MB
Version: 3.6.12038 ()
User rating: (4.8 based on 78+ users )