FreeKB - How to add HD audio to a virtual machine when using VMWare ESXi
How to add HD audio to a virtual machine when using VMWare ESXi

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In this example, I have a Linux CentOS virtual machine running on VMWare's ESXi. The default installation of ESXi does not include support for audio. Follow these steps to add HD hardware to the virtual machine.

  1. Shut down your virtual machine
  2. In vSphere, right-click on the virual machine and select remove from inventory
  3. Select the root folder in the left panel
  4. Select the Configuration tab
  5. Select Storage
  6. Right-click the datastore where your virtual machine is installed and select Browse datastore
  7. Open the folder for your virtual machine
  8. Right-click on the .vmx file and select Download
  9. Open the downloaded file in Notepad++
  10. At the bottom of the file, add the following:
    • sound.present = "true"
    • sound.allowGuestConnectionControl = "false"
    • sound.virtualDev = "hdaudio"
    • sound.fileName = "-1"
    • sound.autodetect = "true"
    • sound.pciSlotNumber = "35"

Note: Select an available pciSlotNumber. Review all of the PCI slots being used in your .vmx file, and select a slot number that is not currently being used.

  1. In the VMWare datastore, select upload files to this virtual machine, select the .vmx file, and upload it
  2. Right-click on the .vmx file, select Add to Inventory, and select Next, Next, Finish to add the virtual machine to inventory
  3. In the left panel of vSphere, right-click on the virtual machine and select Edit Settings
  4. In the virual machine dialog box, on the Hardware tab, there should now be an option HD audio


Boot the virtual machine. In this example, I am using a Linux CentOS virtual machine. Instead of CentOS outputing sound to Dummy Audio, CentOS is now output audio to HD Audio Controller.

In Terminal, type alsamixer and press enter. Press F6 to view the HD audio mixer.

Dirty Waters


Coleman, Kendrick. "Virtual HD Audio Hardware in VSphere 5." Weblog post. Kendrickcoleman. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. <>.





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