VMware Workstation 5.5

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Network Basics

VMware Workstation provides several ways you can configure a virtual machine for virtual networking.

  • Bridged networking configures your virtual machine as a unique identity on the network, separate and unrelated to its host. See Bridged Networking.
  • Network address translation (NAT) configures your virtual machine to share the IP and MAC addresses of the host. The virtual machine and the host share a single network identity that is not visible outside the network. NAT can be useful when you are allowed a single IP address or MAC address by your network administrator. You might also use NAT to configure separate virtual machines for handling http and ftp requests, with both virtual machines running off the same IP address or domain. See Network Address Translation (NAT).
  • Host-only networking configures your virtual machine to allow network access only to the host. This can be useful when you want a secure virtual machine that is connected to the host network, but available only through the host machine. See Host-Only Networking.
  • Custom networking lets you configure your virtual machine's network connection manually.
  • If you select the Typical setup path in the New Virtual Machine Wizard when you create a virtual machine, the wizard sets up bridged networking for the virtual machine. You can choose any of the common configurations — bridged networking, network address translation (NAT) and host-only networking — by selecting the Custom setup path. The wizard then connects the virtual machine to the appropriate virtual network.

    You can set up more specialized configurations by choosing the appropriate settings in the virtual machine settings editor, in the virtual network editor (on Windows hosts) and on your host computer.

    On a Windows host, the software needed for all networking configurations is installed when you install VMware Workstation. On a Linux host, when you install Workstation, you can choose whether to have bridged and host-only networking available to your virtual machines: you must choose both options during the Workstation installation to make all networking configurations available for your virtual machines.

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