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Adding USB to Ethernet Adapater (UE300) to ESXi 6.7 host

Introduction

The AMS8 lab has some Intel NUC8 (NUC8I5BEH) computers. These are really cool. The have “a lot” of power (8th generation of Intel Core Processor) and consume about 28 watt. They are also pretty small, 11x11cm (4x4inch) and because of this form factor only have one Ethernet port.

In this blog I will show you how you can activate an additional Ethernet port through a USB dongle.

Hardware

To be able to run two network cards from the NUC I bought the TP-LINK UE300 dongle:

TL-UE300 | USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter ...
TP-LINK UE300 – USB to Gigabit adapter

Lets get started

Download the VMware fling.

Goto: https://flings.vmware.com/usb-network-native-driver-for-esxi and click on the download button.

Download the fling from the WMware website.

In my setup I have a share that is available from my laptop as well as from my ESXi host. I call it the LabStorage share. Place the download in this share.

Next, put your ESXi host in maintenance:

Enter maintenance mode.

You will get a popup that you can confirm. Stop your VM’s before going into maintenance mode.

Final warning for maintenance mode.

Log in with SSH to your system. If it is not enabled you can do this through Host -> Actions -> Services -> Enable Console Shell & Enable Secure Shell (SSH).

Next you can use your favorite SSH client or use the Web Console.

Login with root and install the software with esxcli:

esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/LabStorage/ESXi670-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-30899283-offline_bundle-15188556.zip 

This is the output of the command.

Installation logging.

The installation takes about 10 seconds. Then you need to reboot the system. Also get out of maintenance mode.

esxcli system maintentanceMode set --enable false

reboot

After a minute you can login again and see the new network card.

Two nics available on the NUC

The fling should support multiple USB Network adapters. According to the description these should all work:

The ASIX USB 2.0 gigabit network ASIX88178a, ASIX USB 3.0 gigabit network ASIX88179, Realtek USB 3.0 gigabit network RTL8152/RTL8153 and Aquantia AQC111U

Pupular chipsets that should work with the fling.

Now you create an uplink or new network between your systems.

Make sure to checkout these pages as well:

Lab Tips
Lab Setup

Have fun,

Stuart

By Stuart Eight

Love automation and virtualisation. Have a passion for programming.

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