Posts Tagged ‘network’

VMWare Player Network driver (and video, SCSI, etc.)

Problem: After installing some operating systems such as Vista* in a virtual machine (i.e. as a ‘guest’ OS) under VMWare Player, they cannot access the internet because they don’t have a driver for VMWare’s virtual network card.

Solutions: This driver (and many others such as SVGA, SCSI, sound) are available in the ‘VMWare Tools’ package. Unfortunately this does not come with the free(beer) VMware Player, only higher-end products such as Server and Workstation that require payment and/or a ‘free’ (revocable at any time; costs your time and one valid email address) license key. They’re also a rather hefty download to scavenge out one lousy driver and copy it over. VMWare Tools includes .iso files, notably ‘windows.iso’ that can be mounted as a CDROM in the guest OS to install the drivers. This is the part you really want.

Windows.iso download direct from VMWare’s site: VMware ESX Server vmxnet Driver Update for Windows NT (.tgz file, use 7-Zip or similar freeware to extract)

This file contains basically an updated copy of Windows.iso (to fix a bug in a particular old version packaged with VMWare ESX Server) and nothing else; no registration or 200MB downloads required. (Despite the ‘for NT’ description, the .iso contains the full set of drivers for other Windows versions.) Score!

* for Vista and maybe others, you may have to explicitly force VMWare Player to present a specific virtual network card interface corresponding to one of the drivers included with VMWare Tools: open the .vmx file for your virtual machine in a text editor, find the network section and ADD the following line for each card:

Ethernet[n].virtualDev = “vmxnet”

replacing [n] with the virtual network card’s number shown in the other lines of settings, e.g. ethernet0. The ‘vmxnet’ driver is included in the Tools. Other choices I have heard of besides ‘vmxnet’ for this field include ‘vlance’ and ‘e1000’, though I don’t know where or if a full list of possible choices is publicly documented anywhere. Of those options, only the ‘e1000’ card seems to have a driver available for Vista x64 (the Tools does not appear to contain 64-bit drivers).