Virtualization - Step 5 Fixing it when it goes wrong

After substituting the onboard ethernet controller for one that actually worked, VMware networking stopped working. Everytime I tried to start a virtual machine it would give a message to the effect that ‘The bridge network is not functioning because the virtual network vmnet0 is offline’.

Checking /var/logs/vmware/vmware-serverd.log I discovered that the file /dev/vmmon did not exist. This device file gets created automatically when the system boots, but only if everything is good with the VMware network configuration. Unfortunately, things were not good with the VMware network configuration because the bridge network was bound to eth0, which was still bound to the old, disabled ethernet card. I needed to bind the bridge network to the new card on eth1.

So, not knowing quite what to do and not finding any documentation that covered this scenario, I reran vmware-config.pl. When it asked if I wanted to change the network settings I said YES and the told it to use the wizard to step me through the changes. That was a mistake. Even though rebooting with this config recreated /dev/vmmon, the virtual network still didn’t work because the wizard created 2 complete sets of virtual networks, one bound to eth0 and the other to eth1 and the virtual machines were bound to eth0. I should have used the editor option to manually reconfigure the network.

But, now I was stuck, more or less, with the new configuration. After a bit of experimentation I discovered that I can change the ethernet configuration for a virtual machine to use whatever virtual network I want. Changing the virtual ethernet configuration to point to /dev/vmnet2 (the new bridge network on eth1) fixed the problem.

I lot of screwing around to fix a simple problem, but I will know better next time.

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