Did you just plug in your USB NIC dongle and can’t find it- here’s what to do.

Everything in this post can be found here in more detail. But here’s the quick and dirty…

Step 1: Download the Fling for your specific version of ESXi.

Step 2: Unplug your USB NIC dongle. <– DO THIS!!!!

Step 3: Upload the fling file to your host

NOTE: You will need to enable the SSH service on your ESXi host in order for SCP and SSH to work.

 scp name_of_fling.zip user@host_name_or_IP:/tmp/

Step 4: Maintenance Mode & Install

Put your host in maintenance mode. Since you need to SSH in to apply the vib, it’s easier to just use the command line.

ssh root@esx-01
[root@ESX-01:~] cd /tmp
[root@ESX-01:/tmp] esxcli system maintenanceMode set -e true
[root@ESX-01:/tmp] esxcli software component apply -d /tmp/ESXi701-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-40599856 -component-17078334.zip 

You should see this returned:

Installation Result
   Components Installed: VMware-vmkusb-nic-fling_2.1-6vmw.701.0.0.40599856
   Components Removed: 
   Components Skipped: 
   Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
   Reboot Required: true

Step 5: Plug in USB NIC(s), Reboot, Exit Maintenance Mode

NOTE: Disable SSH (optional and suggested)

Some notes about USB NICs:

  • I Don’t suggest using them for the Management Network unless it’s a secondary.
  • They have a MTU Max of 4000- so set your switches accordingly if you use jumbo frames.