No Ethernet Connection in VMware Player
By Steve McDonnell
, last updated March 13, 2012
VMware Player is a free tool that allows you to run preconfigured virtual machines. The player is often used as a tool to deliver a fully-functional solution that doesn't need additional configuration due to a user's hardware. When you open a virtual machine in VMware Player, the hardware is already configured, including the network connection. If you don't have an Ethernet connection, you should check the host computer's connection, make sure the connection is enabled, verify that new computers are allowed on the network or add a new Ethernet connection to the virtual machine if one does not exist.
Host Computer Connection
The Ethernet connection in the virtual machine you run with VMware Player depends upon the Ethernet connection in the host machine that runs VMware Player. Check the host machine to ensure that its network connection is functional. Look at the Ethernet cable to make sure it is fully inserted into the adapter and that green or orange lights are blinking where it connects to the host computer. Navigate to a website on the host machine outside of VMware Player to make sure the host has a working Ethernet connection.
Locate the Ethernet icon, which looks similar to two computer screens, in the bottom of the VMware Player window. Hover your cursor over the icon and note the type of network displayed, for example "Bridged," "NAT" or "Host Only." Click the right mouse button and choose "Settings..." to edit the Ethernet adapter settings. Make sure there are check marks in the boxes labeled "Enabled" and "Connect at Startup." If the adapter is not currently enabled, check that box, click "OK" and watch the icon flash as it establishes a network connection.
If the virtual machine uses "bridged" networking, your local area network has to allow new clients to join the network and dynamically assign IP addresses to new computers. Check the settings for the Internet connection on the host computer to find out if the IP address is being assigned dynamically when the computer connects to the network, or if it is a fixed, static address. You may need to edit the virtual machine's network settings and input a static address if it cannot get an IP address assignment when it connects.
Add an Ethernet Adapter
If no Ethernet options appear, the virtual machine may not have been assigned an Ethernet adapter as part of its hardware. From the menu at the top of the window, choose "Virtual Machine," "Power," "Power Off" and then "Yes." After the machine powers down, use the menu at the top of the window and select "Virtual Machine" and "Virtual Machine Settings..." Click the "Add..." button at the bottom of the screen and add an Ethernet adapter to the machine's hardware. Save your changes and play the virtual machine again to ensure you have an Ethernet connection.