Migrating from VMWare Fusion to VirtualBox: networking

Virtualbox logoIn my previous post on migrating Windows 7 to VirtualBox there were a couple things missing on the networking configuration to make VirtualBox work the same way VMWare does by default.

In VMWare you can just connect to the ip of the guest, the host is by default configured with new virtual network adapters that will route the packages to the guest.

In VirtualBox however by default guests are configured with NAT to allow internet access from the guest through the host, but doesn’t allow connecting from the host to the guest directly, only assigning each port in the host that you want redirected to the guest (which is a PITA).

There are two options to achieve the same result that you had in VMWare:

  1. Change the Network Adapter from NAT to Bridged Adapter. The drawback is that it needs to bridge to a specific hardware adapter (ethernet or airport), so it won’t work if you switch connections.
  2. Add a new Host-Only Network Adapter. First, under VirtualBox global preferences – Network, add a Host-Only network. That will create a virtual interface vboxnet0 in your host machine, and you can customize the ip ranges and DHCP server. Then in the VM settings, under Network, enable Adapter 2 attached to Host-Only adapter and choose the virtual adapter, vboxnet0.

I chose option 2 and works as expected, I just need to connect to (the default assigned ip for the first VM) to get to the host.


The Windows 7 guest gets the ip from DHCP but for some reason it does not get the default gateway. Windows won’t let you assign the network to a Home or Work group without a default gateway, and therefore Windows Firewall will block incoming connections. The default gateway needs to be added by hand to the tcp/ip network configuration by hand (ie. and then you can assign the network to Home/Work and the firewall will allow traffic.

One thought on “Migrating from VMWare Fusion to VirtualBox: networking

  1. Pingback: Headless VirtualBox with Windows 7 guest | Carlos Sanchez's Weblog

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