Connect VMware Workstation Virtual Machine to Physical Network

VMware Workstation is a software that can be install on existing physical machine (generally PC) and can be used to emulate various operating systems. As of 2013 VMware workstation 9 is the latest version that is mostly used by IT professionals and newbies for learning and test purposes. There are many features that makes this software a great learning and testing tool. You can easily create virtual machines inside the VMware workstation and run various operating systems. There are a lot of network options within VMware workstation for configuring networks for virtual machines. You can connect VMware Workstation virtual machine to physical network. This allows to create real world testing scenario. You can run various virtual servers (like FTP, Mail Server, DHCP, etc.) and connect to the network. The network will assume that the virtual machine is separate physical host. Assuming you know how to install virtual machine, let’s get going.

Connect VMware Workstation Virtual Machine to Physical Network

I will show you the steps by connecting Windows XP machine to external network. The diagram below shows our scenario.

VM to Physical Network

Windows XP is installed as virtual machine in VMware Workstation 9. At first configure static IP address in Windows XP machine as and gateway of router’s IP as When testing servers static IP address will be mostly used.

Connect VMware Workstation Virtual Machine to Physical Network

Now open the virtual machine settings of Windows XP machine in VMware Workstation. Select Network Adapter in Hardware tab. Here, choose the option, Bridged: Connected directly to the physical network. Then click OK button. Note: – If you choose replicate physical network connection state, IP address of virtual machine is automatically changed if you moved between networks which is assigned by DHCP server of the particular network. This works if the machine is configured to get IP address automatically from DHCP in Local area connection properties.

Connect VMware Workstation Virtual Machine to Physical Network

Your Windows machine is now connected to physical network. You can now Ping your default gateway (R1), and PC (Physical machine’s IP address) from Windows XP machine and vice-versa. You can also ping your virtual machine’s IP address from you machine, outside of VMware workstation application. If your configuration is right but it’s not pinging then type “ipconfig /flushdns” in the command prompt of PC (Physical machine). This will solve the problem by flushing (deleting) cache DNS records from PC.

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Bipin is a freelance Network and System Engineer with expertise on Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft, VMware, and other technologies. You can hire him on UpWork. Bipin enjoys writing articles and tutorials related to Network technologies. Some of his certifications are, MCSE:Messaging, JNCIP-SEC, JNCIS-ENT, and others.

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