I'm running a VMware Server 2.x with a number of guests. I now need to bridge in another network interface so that it will be available for a new guest machine.

The interface is visible and working on the host:

root@vmhost:/# ifconfig vlan72
vlan72    Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 12:34:56:78:9A:BC

This is a trivial task using the configuration script vmware-config.pl. However that would require a full shutdown of the VMware Server software. So the big question is, can this be done without having to disrupt all the guests?

I've noticed that there is a "refresh network list" button in the web interface, which kinda implies that some changes to the network configurations must be possible while VMware Server is running.

3 Answers 3


I was looking for a solution to add vnics to VM server 2.x without having to stop the VMs or reconfigure it. Running vmware-config.pl would cause me particular issues as I am running VM server on an unsupported version of Ubuntu (karmic desktop). I have used (repeatedly) the solution shown in the link below and can vouch for its validity...


This issue isn't relevant to windows mcahines as you can add vnics using the executable provided in the install.. Any linux box running VMware Server 1 or 2 will be able to carry this out.

Cheers and good luck


Nope. If you have to reconfigure VMware server like that, you need to suspend or shutdown all guests. Suspending will work fine, but of course you won't be able to add new virtual NICs to to those guests unless you shut them down. (I don't know if you needed to do that).

I believe the "Refresh Network List" is for detecting changes in network state, i.e. link up/link down.

  • Thanks for the reply. Shutting down any directly affected VMs, if any, doesn't bother me much. I don't like the idea of having to suspend or shut down a bunch of unrelated VMs on the same host just to add a virtual network interface.
    – Roy
    Oct 14, 2009 at 5:07
  • I hear you. But if you're reconfiguring VMware's available networks, you don't have a choice. :-( -- or, if there is a way, I haven't found it in 4+ years of working with VMware...
    – Josh
    Oct 14, 2009 at 22:49

you are bridging the network interface right?

so why do you not just use routing?

I assume your vm linux host is already in the Network you need to reach. If not create him another virtual interface like ifconfig eth0:1 ip_in_network_you_want_to_reach.

On the vmware guest you can create a route to the network you want to reach. Gateway is your vm server. On client add a route to the network or host ip of your vm guest system. gw is your vm ware server.

If the day comes you have to reboot, create an real virtual Interface in your guest enviroment with vmware-config.pl

Maybe I misunderstood your question, but I would solve this problem with plain routing, if I do not wish to shut down all vm guests.

  • It's an interesting suggestion for a workaround, but it would raise new complications such as return routes and security concerns. It may still be viable for some scenarios, I'll look into it.
    – Roy
    Oct 20, 2009 at 6:26
  • especially the return routes would become a little bit tricky. :)
    – evildead
    Oct 20, 2009 at 11:51

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