Enabling USB support for VMware Server in Hardy Heron

After installing VMware Server on Hardy heron, if you find that your virtual machine cannot detect any USB devices on the host, that is because Ubuntu has removed the support for /proc/bus/usb/*.

The following is the way to solve this issue:

Open up a terminal and type

gksu gedit /etc/init.d/mountdevsubfs.sh

In the window that pop up, scroll to line 40 and look for the following code:

#mkdir -p /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs
#domount usbfs "" /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs -obusmode=0700,devmode=0600,listmode=0644
#ln -s .usbfs/devices /dev/bus/usb/devices
#mount --rbind /dev/bus/usb /proc/bus/usb

Uncomment them by removing the ‘#’ infront of each line of the code.

Save and exit.

Restart the module

/etc/init.d/mountdevsubfs.sh start

Done. Your virtual machine should be able to detect USB device now.

(The above step will apply for VirtualBox as well)


  1. thx man – i ran in exactly this issue but i saw no solution and so a decided to check this out later. now it is easy. thx again

    the polarizer

  2. Good work! mounting usbfs to /proc/bus/usb didn’t work for me, but your solution did.

  3. As soon as I went to restart the module, it wouldn’t allow me, saying:

    logan@logan:~$ /etc/init.d/mountdevsubfs.sh start
    mkdir: cannot create directory `/dev/bus/usb/.usbfs’: Permission denied
    open: Permission denied
    * Mount point ‘/dev/bus/usb/.usbfs’ does not exist. Skipping mount.
    ln: creating symbolic link `/dev/bus/usb/devices’: Permission denied
    mount: only root can do that

    Can you help?

    I have already had success with your other posts, but this newbie just can’t figure out some basics.

    Keep up the good work…


  4. @Logon: Try restarting the module again with “sudo”. ie “sudo /etc/init.d/mountdevsubfs.sh start

  5. I feel really silly. But I found out about using sudo to get root priviledges about an hour after posting and I STILL didn’t thin of that!

    It must have been the sleep dep.

    Anyhow, it’s working now. All I have to do now is work out how to access the internet from my Windows XP Guest.


  6. I’ve found I have to run this after connecting any usb devices:

    sudo chmod -R 777 /proc/bus/usb/*

    Otherwise when you goto device connect in VMWare server 2.0 remote console, it comes up with:
    “Remote USB device error: Remote device disconnected: an error occured while sending data.”

  7. Hey thanks a bunch. You just helped me get my APC UPS up and running using USB on Ubuntu Server. I never knew this was disabled by default on servers.


  8. Thank you from me too. Have used it to install Windows 7 beta. Works great. Still having problems getting the USB message above to resolve and the network adapter is not being recognized in Windows 7. Not sure where the problem resides but will continue to hunt.

  9. My God! You are a life saver! I’d struggled with this problem for about 2 hours before I decided to Google it. Your site was one of the top hits (luckily) and had the right answer (always a plus).

    I can’t imagine why Ubuntu would have turned off USB support, straight out, but the fix was so very painless and only took about 5 minutes to implement.

    I honestly can’t thank you enough as the machine HH v8.04 and VMWare Server v1.0.10 is installed on is a production machine that is replacing the ”newest” VMWare Server flavor (2.0.2), which we’d decided to test drive, and is buggy as hell! With the exception of RAM now supported up to 8GB per VM, I was none too impressed, especially when I discovered the Console was done away with in lieu of a web interface! I could have even tolerated that if the bloody interface didn’t ”break” every 3-4 minutes and necessiate a restart of the module. And I was so excited about trying out the latest version. As is usually the case, the tried and true solutions always seem to be the most reliable.

    Thank you, a thousand times over!

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