Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a couple virtual machines running in VMWare Server. I can RDP to them using their intranet IP address, but not by their machine name. Why is this? Is there a setting that will allow this? my host OS is Win7 and my VM is Win2k3 and they are both set up to get a static IP through DHCP

share|improve this question
If your VM's are set up to auto-register their ip-addresses in DNS (which should be the default if they are Windows systems) then accessing them by name should work. If you've set them up on a separate domain then you may need to specify the FQDN rather than the short name. What happens when you try nslookup on the VM names from the machine you are trying to RDP from and what happens when you try ping -a on the ip-address of one of the VM's? – Helvick Sep 26 '09 at 17:23
Could you give an example of the computer names? The do not contain any underscore characters do they? – Bratch Sep 26 '09 at 17:36
My VM is named BUILD – kenwarner Sep 26 '09 at 17:41
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You don't say what your host or guest operating systems are, but one method would be to edit your /etc/hosts files to include the name(s) of the systems involved.

If you're using Windows, it should be in C:\WINDOWS\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

share|improve this answer
so i guess this is an acceptable solution, but any idea why this happens in the first place? – kenwarner Sep 27 '09 at 0:50

Adding an entry in the hosts file as mentioned above would be the easiest way. Adding something like this would do the job, where the x's are replaced with the IP address:

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
#       localhost
#   ::1             localhost      BUILD
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.