Change VMWare Player Networking Settings Especially the NAT Subnet Range

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Leeland's picture

You might note from the large number of references to virtual machines (VMs) on this site I am a BIG fan of virtual machines. I build whole production network copies in private virtual spaces on my laptop for development, testing, troubleshooting, and of course presentations. I also love the snapshot ability to give me rollback from large sweeping changes. So as you can imagine I have a large dry-dock of virtual machines and I have number with me on a USB stick. I also have an extra full boat license for VMWare for my laptop.

But, today I ran into an interesting situation this morning with the VM NAT network. I normally run everything with VMware Workstation. But, now I am doing some contract work and they haven't bought a VMWare license yet. No problem I thought I'll just use the player to run my existing dev/test systems. So I copied over my VMs and installed VMWare Player on the dev box they provided. The VMs started just fine. Everything seemed OK, but I couldn't get to them using Putty, nor could they get out. Oh ya I used a custom IP network so I could keep them pinned with specific names (in the hosts files) and my scripts wouldn't have to be all "which box is prod mirror and which box is dev configuration".

So the problem is that the Player doesn't have the VMWare network configuration tool. Dang it. So I poked at Google and found that I could change the settings using vnetlib.exe which is included. So I ran the right commands in the right order:

vnetlib.exe -- stop nat
vnetlib.exe -- stop dhcp
vnetlib.exe -- set vnet vmnet8 mask 255.255.255.0
vnetlib.exe -- set adapter vmnet8 addr 10.10.22.1
vnetlib.exe -- update dhcp vmnet8
vnetlib.exe -- update nat vmnet8
vnetlib.exe -- update adapter vmnet8
vnetlib.exe -- start dhcp
vnetlib.exe -- start nat

But, that didn't change the Windows network adapter. So I just did that manually again. Still it didn't work. Now that is annoying. Next I rebooted (the host is a Windows box after all, I know Win 7 is a tad better, but still a good reboot often fixes many issues). Still not working. SIGH ... hmm ...

OK I know when I have this problem with VMWare workstation I just fire up the Virtual Network Editor application (vmnetcfg.exe) and change the NAT address for the DHCP server hit apply and that fixes it every time. A little more Googling and there is the clue I needed. It is included with the Player but only in the install file. It is not actually installed. So .... unpack the VMware Player install, and copy the contents of the network.cab file to the VMWare Player installed directory and now I have the tool I needed in the first place. Hurray for Google.

Here are the commands you need.:


  1. Open the windows command console (e.g. Start -> Run -> cmd.exe)
  2. cd to the directory where you have the Player install executable.
  3. Run the installer with /e option (e.g. VMware-player-4.0.2-591240.exe /e .\VMP )
  4. Give this a little time as it runs in the background for some reason and all the contents will be extracted to “VMP” folder.
  5. Using Windows Explore double click on the network.cab file, CTRL-A, CTRL-C (aka open the network.cab, select all, and copy).
  6. Paste into the directory where VMWare Player is installed ( browse there in Windows Explorer and hit CTRL-V ).
  7. Run vmnetcfg.exe.
  8. Fix what you need fixed.
  9. ??? (aka do what you wanted to do in the first place)
  10. Profit.

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