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Using Virtual Ethernet Adapters in Promiscuous Mode on a Linux Host

VMware Workstation does not allow the virtual Ethernet adapter to go into promiscuous mode unless the user running VMware Workstation has permission to make that setting. This follows the standard Linux practice that only root can put a network interface into promiscuous mode.

When you install and configure VMware Workstation, you must run the installation as root. VMware Workstation creates the VMnet devices with root ownership and root group ownership, which means that only root has read and write permissions to the devices.

To set the virtual machine's Ethernet adapter to promiscuous mode, you must launch VMware Workstation as root because you must have read and write access to the VMnet device. For example, if you are using bridged networking, you must have access to /dev/vmnet0.

To grant selected other users read and write access to the VMnet device, you can create a new group, add the appropriate users to the group and grant that group read and write access to the appropriate device. You must make these changes on the host operating system as root (su -). For example, you can enter the following commands:

chgrp <newgroup> /dev/vmnet0

chmod g+rw /dev/vmnet0

<newgroup> is the group that should have the ability to set vmnet0 to promiscuous mode.

If you want all users to be able to set the virtual Ethernet adapter (/dev/vmnet0 in our example) to promiscuous mode, run the following command on the host operating system as root:

chmod a+rw /dev/vmnet0

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