I have a server running VMWare Server 2.0.2. The host is Debian Lenny. I have 15-20 virtual machines running, all attached to a single NAT network (named vmnet8).

I have configured VMWare's NAT (the vmnet-natd daemon) to forward some incoming to ports to one of the VMs, since it hosts some publicly accessible services. I did this via the file /etc/vmware/vmnet8/nat/nat.conf by adding lines like the following:

80 =

This works great, I can reach the web server on the VM at by connecting to the host's IP address.

Sometimes, I need to add port redirections to this NAT configuration. So, I add a line to the configuration file.

Now for the question. How do I make the natd process take this new configuration into account? Clearly, restarting the host machine does take it into account, and the newly added port is forwarded. However, this is not an option on this server, so how should one do this without restarting the whole host?

Thanks for any ideas!

3 Answers 3


it looks like the only way to apply VMWare NAT's new config is to kill the running vmware-natd process and restart it, but i may be wrong (source)

  • Well, that sure worked. Thanks for the tip, I hadn't thought of that (doh). So hackish for such "professional" software... Mar 15, 2010 at 21:17
  • i agree, i'd have thought an app like vmware server would provide ways to do this cleanly, but it seems it doesn't
    – mdeous
    Mar 15, 2010 at 23:18

I am working at workstation 10.0.4 , I use the following instructions to make nat.conf to take effect after every change,wihtout rebooting computer.

vmware-networks --stop
vmware-networks --start

not sure if this works on VMware server 2.0 but in VMware Server 1.10 you can just restart the networking service like this :

/usr/lib/vmware/net-services.sh restart

  • Nope, I don't seem to have that script in my VMWare installation. Thanks anyway! Mar 31, 2010 at 20:18

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