I was wondering if someone could give me a simple guide on how to set up virtual networking in VirtualBox (4.0.2) so that the following scenarios work:

  • Both Host and Guest can access the Internet
  • Host can ping Guest and vice versa
  • Host can access, for example, an apache web server running on Guest and vice versa

I've been fiddling around with the various Network Adapters available in the settings for my Guest, but I'm just not able to figure it out. Is there anyone that can help me out here?

The host is running Windows 7 32-bit and the guest is running Ubuntu 10.10 32-bit.

  • I have the same setup set up with bridged networking. I had problems using the paravirtualsed network adaptor virtio-net, it was very flaky. The emulated nics were fine though.
    – ollybee
    Apr 6, 2011 at 20:34
  • 1
    I was tearing my hair out on this, I was already using Bridge Mode. What I needed to change was the name of the bridged adapter - it was my Wifi network. When I changed it to my LAN it magically started working. No restart of the VM necessary. Nov 15, 2018 at 22:15

6 Answers 6


Try this:

  1. Setup the virtualbox to use 2 adapters:
    • The first adapter is set to NAT (that will give you the internet connection).
    • The second adapter is set to host only.
  2. Start the virtual machine and assign a static IP for the second adapter in Ubuntu (for instance The host Windows will have as IP for the internal network (VirtualBox Host-Only Network is the name in network connections in Windows). What this will give you is being able to access the apache server on ubuntu, from windows, by going to Also, Ubuntu will have internet access, since the first adapter (set to NAT) will take care of that.
  3. Now, to make the connection available both ways (accessing the windows host from the ubuntu guest) there's still one more step to be performed. Windows will automatically add the virtualbox host-only network to the list of public networks and that cannot be changed. This entails that the firewall will prevent proper access.
  4. To overcome this and not make any security breaches in your setup:
    • go to the windows firewall section, in control panel,
    • click on advanced settings. In the page that pops up,
    • click on inbound rules (left column), then on new rule (right column). Chose custom rule, set the rule to allow all programs, and any protocol. For the scope, add in the first box (local IP addresses), and in the second box (remote IP) Click next, select allow the connection, next, check all profiles, next, give it a name and save.

That's it, now you have 2 way communication, with apache/any other service available as well as internet. The final step is to setup a share. Do not use the shared folders feature in virtualbox, it's quite buggy especially with windows 7 (and 64 bit). Instead use samba shares - fast and efficient.

Follow this link for how to set that up: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MountWindowsSharesPermanently

  • 3
    This worked perfectly. Thanks. Did not have to touch firewall etc. Still having problem with bridge. Oct 12, 2013 at 2:17
  • 1
    This also works for VirtualBox 5.0 / Windows 10
    – Jess
    Aug 26, 2015 at 4:48
  • I had to connect to a WIndows Server 2012 VM, and had to set inbound rules on both firewalls. Now it all works perfectly :)
    – Alan Fluka
    Oct 6, 2015 at 9:39
  • doesn't work with mac os guest Jun 5, 2017 at 7:24
  • 1
    Only had to do steps 1 and 2 on OSX El Capitan host and Ubuntu 20.04.1 guest. However, to set up the Host only adapter, I had to follow this first askubuntu.com/questions/198452/no-host-only-adapter-selected
    – RisingSun
    Dec 9, 2020 at 15:34

The best way to do this is to use a Bridge Adapter in virtualbox. In virtual box go to the settings for your machine->Network->Adapter 1 and select Bridged Adapter. This will make you virtual machine part of your main network.

If you have a dhcp server it should supply an address etc. to the virtual machine which will allow it to communicate with the rest of your systems and vice versa.

  • When I did this I was not able to ping the Host from the Guest. Should I be able to do this? Is it something in my Host blocking the ping perhaps?
    – Svish
    Jan 21, 2011 at 14:44
  • 1
    You may have to allow ping through your windows firewall have a look here for how to do that.
    – user9517
    Jan 21, 2011 at 15:27
  • If you still have problems pinging the machines from one another make sure that the Bridged adapter is connected to the correct NIC card of the Host machine. For some reason sometimes VirtualBox attaches the Bridged Adapter to the wrong, or to a non-existent Network Card on the Host.
    – isapir
    Aug 21, 2016 at 22:54
  • 2
    worked for me (mac os guest) Jun 5, 2017 at 7:24
  • 2
    Bridged network seems to work fine if you are connected through ethernet. Does not seem to work when the host is connected through wifi
    – RisingSun
    Dec 9, 2020 at 15:36

Just after the installation of VirtualBox, the next step is to go to the Preferences of VirtualBox (inside File menu:Ctrl+G) and select Network.

VirtualBox Preferences, Network tab. The Network tab is listed after General, Input, Language, and Display, and is followed by Extensions and Proxy.

Then add a New Nat Network.

A new, active NAT Network.

Given the requirements, I would choose a "bridged" adapter.

Within the network settings, on the "Adapter 1" tab. "Enable Network Adapter" is ticked, and "Attached to:" is selected to "Bridged Adapter".

  • 1
    But if I choose Bridged Adapter it disables OK button.
    – Gopal00005
    Feb 2, 2018 at 11:02
  • Brecause you have to choose the network adapter as well prior to selecting OK.
    – 71GA
    Jan 23, 2020 at 8:42

ON virtualbox 5.2, it's real easy: Set up a bridged adapter for the guest.

When you start the guest, it will use the same network as the host, using DHCP to get its own IP address.


Setup host-only network and allow sharing of internet connection for that network. In this way you will have virtual interface on host that will be connected to guest.

  • How would I do this? I tried to use host-only network for the guest, but then it seems to use ipv6 and I couldn't ping in either direction as far as I could understand...
    – Svish
    Jan 21, 2011 at 14:03
  • You can manually setup IPv4 addresses on both ends.
    – gelraen
    Jan 21, 2011 at 14:13
  • Static IP you mean? There's no way of having the guests get their IP from DHCP? Or will they be like behind a NAT? Also, what do you mean by "allow sharing of internet connection for that network"? How can I do that?
    – Svish
    Jan 21, 2011 at 14:17
  • Yes, static IP. It is better to have IP statically assigned if you want communicate with guest. With host-only guest will be directly visible from host. Internet connection sharing in windows® configured on last tab in properties of your internet connection.
    – gelraen
    Jan 21, 2011 at 17:48

According to the Virtualbox documentation ch 6.2 and its helpful table, Bridged Adapter seems to be the most permissive.

However, I have found that sometimes no settings through virtualbox have any effect whatsoever, and when that has been the case, I've solved this directly in the Linux guest via the command line.

  1. Change Virtualbox settings to bridged and use VB's recommended settings.
  2. In the Linux guest, via the command line as root / sudo, run nmtui which will bring up a user interface. Of the 3 options select "Activate a connection" and choose the name of the network adapter that VB assigned to the guest. If your host is permissive enough, this should set everything up. If not, you may need to select "Edit a connection" instead to manually input DNS servers, IP addresses, DHCP vs Static, gateway, etc. Don't forget to select "Automatically connect" in the edit screen.

When all else has failed, this has always been the answer for me.

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