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9.2. USB Devices

This section gives the commands required for handling USB devices.

9.2.1. Assigning USB Devices to Guest Virtual Machines

Most devices such as web cameras, card readers, keyboards, or mice are connected to a computer using a USB port and cable. There are two ways to pass such devices to a guest virtual machine:
  • Using USB passthrough - this requires the device to be physically connected to the host physical machine that is hosting the guest virtual machine. SPICE is not needed in this case. USB devices on the host can be passed to the guest using the command line or virt-manager. Refer to Section 15.3.1, “Attaching USB Devices to a Guest Virtual Machine” for virt manager directions.


    virt-manager should not be used for hot plugging or hot unplugging devices. If you want to hot plug/or hot unplug a USB device, refer to Procedure 14.1, “Hot plugging USB devices for use by the guest virtual machine”.
  • Using USB re-direction - USB re-direction is best used in cases where there is a host physical machine that is running in a data center. The user connects to his/her guest virtual machine from a local machine or thin client. On this local machine there is a SPICE client. The user can attach any USB device to the thin client and the SPICE client will redirect the device to the host physical machine on the data center so it can be used by the guest virtual machine that is running on the thin client. For instructions on USB re-direction using the virt-manager, refer to Section 15.3.1, “Attaching USB Devices to a Guest Virtual Machine” It should be noted that USB redirection is not possible using the TCP protocol (Refer to BZ#1085318).