The generic SCSI feature gives the guest operating system direct access to SCSI devices that are connected to the host system, including scanners, tape drives, and other data storage devices. A virtual machine can use the generic SCSI driver to run any SCSI device that is supported by the guest operating system.

To use SCSI devices in a virtual machine running on a Windows host system, you must run Workstation as a user who has administrator access.

On Linux host systems, you must have read and write permissions on a given generic SCSI device to use that device in a virtual machine, even if the device is a read-only device, such as a CD-ROM drive. These devices typically default to root-only permissions. A Linux administrator can create a group that has read and write access to these devices and add the appropriate users to that group.

Although generic SCSI is device independent, it can be sensitive to the guest operating system, device class, and specific SCSI hardware.

You must add a generic SCSI device to the virtual machine to map virtual SCSI devices on a virtual machine to physical generic SCSI devices on the host system. You can add up to 60 generic SCSI devices to a virtual machine.

Generic SCSI devices use the virtual Mylex (BusLogic) BT/KT-958 compatible host bus adapter provided by the virtual machine. On Windows NT 4.0, you might need to install the driver manually if it is not already installed for a virtual SCSI disk. Install the driver before you add a generic SCSI device.

Workstation makes sure that multiple programs do not use the same /dev/sg entry at the same time, but it cannot always ensure that multiple programs do not use the /dev/sg entry and the traditional /dev entry at the same time.

When you add a generic SCSI device to a virtual machine, the device does not appear in the list of available SCSI devices.