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Other Potential Issues with Host-Only Networking on a Linux Host

The following are common issues you may encounter when you are configuring a host-only network.

DHCPD on the Linux Host Does Not Work after VMware Workstation Installation

If you were running the DHCP server program dhcpd on your machine before installing VMware Workstation, it probably was configured to respond to DHCP requests from clients on any network interface present on the machine. When host-only networking is configured, an additional network interface, VMnet1, is marked "up" and available for use, and dhcpd may notice this.

In such cases, some dhcpd implementations abort if their configuration files do not include a subnet specification for the interface — even if dhcpd is not supposed to respond to messages that arrive through the interface.

The best solution to this problem is to add a line in the following format to the dhcpd configuration file:

subnet <net>.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 {}

<net> is the network number assigned to your host-only network — for example, 192.168.0. This line in the configuration file informs dhcpd about the host-only network and tells it explicitly not to respond to any DHCP requests it sees coming from it.

An alternative solution is to explicitly state the set of network interfaces that you want dhcpd to listen to each time you start the program. For example, if your machine has one Ethernet interface, eth0, then each time you start dhcpd, list it on the command line:

dhcpd eth0

This keeps dhcpd from probing for all available network interfaces.

If the above solutions do not work for your DHCP server program, then it likely is old. You can try upgrading to a more current version such as the DHCP software available from the ISC www.isc.org).

DHCP and Dynamic Domain Name Service (DDNS)

DHCP can be used to hand out IP addresses as well as other information, such as the identity of a host running a name server and the nearest router or gateway. The DHCP server in VMware Workstation 5 does not provide a means to dynamically establish a relationship between the IP address it assigns and a client's name (that is, to update a DNS server using DDNS).

If you want to use names to communicate with other virtual machines you must either edit the DHCP configuration file for VMnet1
(/etc/vmware/vmnet1.conf) or use IP addresses that are statically bound to a host name. Editing the DHCP server configuration file requires information that is best obtained directly from the DHCP server documentation. Consult the manual pages dhcpd(8) and dhcpd.conf(8).

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