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One bridged NIC used by several Virtual Machines on VMware workstation?


I wonder whether one bridged NIC can be shared by several VMs.

On VMWare workstation on Win10, I have "bridged VMnet0" mapped to on board Broadccom NetXtreme gigabit ethernet. Then I installed Ubuntu/iRedMail on the 1st VM and setup network adapter to "custom VMnet0" with static IP address 192.168.1.***.  Everything works great as expected. It's just like another machine on the

Now, I want to try OPNsense in the 2nd VM. I install Intel /Pro gigabit as 2nd ethernet adapter.

Then on Virtual Network Editor, I created "Bridged VMnet10" NIC mapped to Intel /Pro Gigabit card .

The 2nd VM, OPENsense, it configures with two network adapters, custom VMnet0 & VMnet10. 

My original thought was to use bridged VMnet0 as OPNsense WAN and bridged VMnet10 as OPnsense LAN on the 2nd VM. I want to run this OPNsense VM as OpenVPN client.

With Ubuntu/iRedMail running which uses bridged VMnet0, I tried to configure OPNsense interface in the 2nd VM. But it only shows the Intel Pro card.  I also tried IPFire. Same thing, only Intel Pro card appeared.

So I wonder whether "bridged NIC", ex: my VMnet0, can be shared by several Virtual Machines on VMware workstation?

Do I need to install another ethernet card? Therefore I can setup:

  1. 1st Intel Pro card as "bridged VMnet10" with IP address 192.168.1.*** as OPnsense WAN, same subnet as 1st Ubuntu/iRedMail VM and Win10 host.

  2. 2nd Intel Pro card as "bridged VMnet11" with IP address as OPNsense LAN.

I will connect OPNsens LAN to a dumb wifi/switch, therefore all device on will have OpenVPN connections. This is just for test purpose. I already have one firewall between cable modem and router and the firewall on router is also enabled.

Any thoughts and suggestions? Maybe this is an OPNsense or IPFire issue? 



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2 Replies

The bridged NIC absolutely can be used my multiple VMs simultaneously.  The only occasional hiccup would be if the switch/router you are connected to has MAC address limiting per port.  

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My router is EdgeRouter X, ER-X. 

 sudo switch dump | grep -c ' --1- ---- ' for port eth2. 

My ER-X shows value "5" from the command above from my ER-X eth2 . It's about right as my eth2 is connected to to a dumb switch/wifi.

I try sudo switch dump | grep -c ' ---- 1--- for eth4. The output value is 2. eth4 is connected to Win10, my VMWare host, with VM1(Ubuntu/iRedMail). There are 2 IP address on eth4 and 2 corresponding MAC. Other eth port shows value "1".

So it seems that the MAC limit per port is "NOT" the reason why OPNSense/IPFile does not recognize VMnet0, on eth4.

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