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Consider a machine running a very limited server functionality OS (for example, Windows Home Edition). I want to implement a basic SOHO router functionality (nat, dhcp, vpn, routing) using modern Linux distribution by the means of the virtualized machine (for example, under VirtualBox) running as a guest OS on that host machine.

How can I "bypass" the network traffic through the host OS network cards directly into the guest OS so it can be worked out there and "bypass" the routed traffic back from the guest through the host?

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closed as off topic by Wesley, Ward, Khaled, Zoredache, MDMarra May 13 '12 at 18:27

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I cannot understand silent downvoting of the question without any comment or clue how to improve the question. Seems like the question offended one Linux fan and one Windows fan. – mbaitoff May 6 '12 at 5:51
Well, chech the faq, people may be downvoting because you are on the wrong site. They might also think your idea is a bit silly. – Zoredache May 6 '12 at 19:38
Well, the idea is not more silly than installing Linux to run windows games via Wine. – mbaitoff May 7 '12 at 7:37
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm going to go with no.

At least not with your setup, a consumer version of windows just running virtual box. As far as I know the host OS has to have "Base" control over the network card. Your best bet is probably going to be buying a SOHO router. If you're on a limited budget you can look for something a little less expensive that can be flashed with something like Tomato or DD-WRT.

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So, you mean that the guest OS will be limited to host OS abilities? – mbaitoff May 10 '12 at 17:13
I'm not quite sure what you mean by that. I'll just say that it's more an issue that networking in virtual box just can't work that way ("Bypassing" the host OS). It's basically limited to "Internal Host" or "Bridged" networking, where internal is just within the host and bridged treats the NIC like a virtual switch so the VM appears like a distinct machine on the network. You can kind of fake bypassing the host os in a dedicated environment and multiple NICs on separate VLANs. But it didn't sound like that's what you wanted and windows home with Virtual Box sure won't do that. – Daniel May 10 '12 at 19:27
Ok, I'm fine with the fact that full 'bypass' is impossible, but in 'bridged' mode, can the guest OS fully fulfill the role of an SOHO router? – mbaitoff May 11 '12 at 0:26
well you could probably get the overall setup to act however you want it to; but a lot of that's going to depend on how you have your network setup and how windows home can segment multiple NICs. Even if you can get all the router functions in the guest OS, your host/server will never be behind your router. Which is why I'm still recommending a OTS SOHO router; if you have no budget but an extra machine you can setup a standalone Smoothwall, IPCop, or Untangle system. All of which will be way more secure than your proposed idea. – Daniel May 11 '12 at 12:48

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