I have not been able to get any consistent success with networking on vmware player using any of the options (bridged, nat) (do not believe host-only were an option given my requirements)
I need to be able to connect to the Guest OS's (ubuntu) and also have them see each other. IP address (e.g via dhcp) is fine DNS is not required. I need to simulate a cluster so clearly the guest os's have to 'feel' they are in the same network.
NIce to have: the guest os's get a 'stable' lease on the ip address.
How should I be doing this? I had had bridged network working briefly, but it stopped working, don't know why and now I can only see one direction: from the host to the guest o/s: and not between guest os's
You didn't mention the host OS, so I assume you run Windows!?
Often issues with bridged networking are caused by Firewall settings or multiple NICs in the host system with bridged networking configured for automatic NIC detection. To configure the network settings with VMware Player you may need to extract the "Virtual Network Editor" manually (see Re: virtual network editor disapeared?)
If you don't need to access the virtual machines from other systems, Host Only would be an option.
Your choice of NAT, Host-Only or bridged depends on what you want to do with your Guests.
Host-Only: all your guests defined on that network don't have external access ( Internet, or any other IP device beyond the host).
NAT, Similar to Host-Only but with some external access initiated from the guest. If you want a guest to provide services to external Host, you need to configure that with the tool that does not get installed by default with player to configure the VM Networks. External access (ie Web) goes out using the IP address of your Host.
Bridged is similar as having your Guest at the same level as your host. Depending on your setting, when your connection to your host goes down, so does your Guest.
Stability of your Guests IP address can be achieve by either giving them static IP address or by reserving IP address in the DHCP.
I have seen issue with bridging where I could not get from the guest to the host and had to resolve that with static arp entry but so far no else seem to have reported that.
After rebooting couple of times the bridged networking - which is what I have been using - seems to be working - for now.. I don't know why it stopped working (i.e. guest could not see (a) host or (b) other guests) though the host could see the guest.
I have not changed the configuration. Just have to see if the networking continues to function properly or goes flaky again.