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I've been a long time user of VMware Fusion on my iMac and I've just bought a MacBook Pro to allow me to work on projects whilst I'm away from my desk.

On my iMac, I have a few VMs, each with their own bridged connection to the LAN, each with their own static IP address and each with their own DNS hostname on my DNS server on the LAN. I've been using a bridged connection in this way so that other users on the LAN can connect to the VMs running on my Macs to test projects that I am working on without me having to configure NAT rules and users having to use unusual port numbers, etc.

Now, I'm aware that when I take my MBP away from the LAN and say, for example, I am on a train with no internet connection or WiFi connection, I will be unable to resolve the DNS name of the VMs as my DNS server will not be reachable. A workaround for this, I guess would be an entry for each VM in my /etc/hosts file on my MBP.

However, what I'm not sure of is how my MBP will be able to route traffic destined for the static IP address of each VM, when there is no network connection available.

Going through the settings available to me in VMware Fusion, I can only really see two possible configurations that could work for me: Bridged Networking and Share with my Mac. I've discounted Private to my Mac as this doesn't appear to satisfy my requirement of allowing LAN users to connect to my VMs.

Surely, I'm not the only person who has been faced with this predicament (unless I'm doing it wrong in the first place).

I would like to know if anyone would be able to answer me the following:

How can I setup a VMware Fusion 6 VM to allow bridged network connection to the LAN when I'm at my desk and retain connectivity between my MBP and the VM when I'm "on the road"?

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I have come across this issue many times as well as I work "on the road" at times. Unfortunately, the only solution I have found is not ideal (for everyone) but works well for me:

  1. Create a Wifi HotSpot on my 3G/LTE device.

  2. Connect to the Wifi HotSpot with my Host (e.g. via Wifi) to activate my Host OS network adapter and obtain an IP address.

NOTE: Connecting to a public Wifi Network with no DHCP does not work as you will not be able to obtain an IP address for the Host and cannot bridge the VM. Not connecting to any network to activate your Host network adapter will NOT work.

  1. Configure your VM OS to obtain an IP address dynamically i.e. clear out any static IP you have assigned to the VM OS.

NOTE: I understand that you want to access the VM OS via a static IP however you need to leverage the networking available to you and it will become clear below.

  1. On your VMWare VM Network Adapter: "Disconnect Network Adapter"

  2. On your VMWare VM Network Adapter: Change to "NAT"

  3. On your VMWare VM Network Adapter: "Connect Network Adapter"

  4. Obtain the IP address of your VM OS: e.g. Windows: ipconfig e.g. Mac OS / Linux: ifconfig

NOTE: For this example lets assume it is 172.16.175.246

  1. Edit your Host OS hosts file and setup static IP address settings to the IP address obtained in step 5. e.g. 172.16.175.246 www.example.com

Now access www.example.com and it should work. Once you go back to being a on work network simply undo the above and you are back to business again.

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