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Can anyone point me to the right instruction to mount a laptop built-in SD Card reader to Ubuntu via VMware Workstation 8?

Although I am able to mount a drive to the vmware client via shared folder, for what I need I have to talk to it via a device in /dev/.

The built-in on the laptop is a JMCR SD/MMC SCSI Disk Device. But I don't see any /dev/sdb? when the SD card inserted and Ubuntu vmclient rebooted.


Essentially, I am trying to build a slackware SD card for my RaspPi. So I need to run something like

xz -dc raspi-slack-installer_30Jun12.img.xz | dd of=[device] bs=512

And the device here is the built-in SD Card reader on the VMware host.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

This link is from the official VMware documentation for VMware Workstation 8.

The general idea is that you want to unmount the card from your host system and mount it as a physical disk in the guest.

While this will not allow the guest full control of the physical device, it will allow it to create/delete partitions and directly access the device at the block layer.

Note that, because your card reader is a "SCSI Disk Device" (or I'm assuming SATA), there is no support for "Passthrough" like you could do if you had a USB card reader. USB devices can be literally passed through so that the guest can install whatever driver they want to interact with the USB device at an extremely low level. SATA disk devices, on the other hand, can only be interacted with in the guest at the block layer, which is somewhat a higher level of abstraction than a full-on passthrough.

But, if you do this, you WILL get a /dev/sdb device node in the guest. That's what you wanted, right? :)

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Thanks! I've tried a few times and still no luck with the SD card reader on my laptop. It is probably specific to my laptop not working with vmware workstation. – Glorithm Jul 11 '12 at 19:07

I use OSX 10.9.5, and VM Ware Fusion Professional 7.1.0

Originally, I had the same problem. After using the following settings, my guest os (Ubuntu 64-bit 14.04.1) could detect the SD card successfully.

  1. Shutdown the virtual machine.
  2. Settings -> USB & Bluetooth -> 2a. Choose “USB 3.0” in USB Compatibility 2b. “Connect to this virtual machine” when a new USB device is plugged into Mac. 2c. Check “EFI-SYSTEM” (Apple Internal Memory Card Reader)
  3. Power on the virtual machine. In Ubuntu, I type "sudo fdisk -l", and it shows the sd card disk as /dev/sdX, where X could be b, c, d, ...., etc.
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Is this with the Mac's built in SD card reader or an external USB one? – Toby Dec 19 '15 at 17:55

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