Networking VirtualBox VM’s in 7 Easy Steps

I love working on an Ubuntu virtual machine run on a Windows 7 host; I use this set up both at work and at home and will no doubt espouse the benefits of it on the blog at some point (until then check out this post by Ryan).

My software of choice is the free and excellent VirtualBox by Sun Oracle, which can be found here. Much of my work requires me write deployment scripts which set things up on multiple servers. To test this I found it really useful to set up a network between all of my VM’s, which isn’t as straightforward as it could be. Here’s how I got it going:

  1. Shutdown all VM’s, exit VirtualBox and open a command line
  2. Change directory into your VirtualBox folder (it should contain VBoxManage.exe)
  3. Execute the following commands, where vm01 and vm02 are the VirtualBox names of the VM’s:
  4. VBoxManage modifyvm “vm01” –nic2 intnet

    VBoxManage modifyvm “vm01” –intnet2 intnet

    VBoxManage modifyvm “vm02” –intnet2 intnet

    VBoxManage modifyvm “vm02” –nic2 intnet

    This configures a 2nd NIC on each VM, connected to the “intnet” internal network.

  5. Launch each VM
  6. Edit VM01’s network config, assigning a static IP (eg 192.168.0.2) and adding the default gateway as the same as the gateway on NIC1 (the original NIC)
  7. Edit VM02’s network config with the same details but with a different IP on the same group & subnet (eg 192.168.0.3)
  8. Try to get the 2 machines to ping one another, they should be working fine now!
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