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When using a e1000 virtual network adapter under VMware, use the “Intel PRO/1000 MT Server (82545EM)” under Virtual Box

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/04/17

Every now and then I need to run existing VMware based disk under a different virtualisation environment.

In my case, the target was VirtualBox, and the source used a e1000 virtual network adapter.

You find the required settings to migrate to VirtualBox by running this inside the directory of your VMware virtual machine:

grep ethernet *vmx

It gives output like this:

ethernet0.present = "TRUE"
ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000"
ethernet0.networkName = "VM Network on LAN"
ethernet0.addressType = "generated"
ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:cc:cc:cc"
ethernet0.pciSlotNumber = "32"
ethernet0.generatedAddressOffset = "0"

This is in fact an “Intel 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet NIC” adapter, which VirtualBox calls “Intel PRO/1000 MT Server (82545EM)”.

Another compatible pair is the VMware vlance or “AMD 79C970 PCnet32- LANCE NIC” which VirtualBox calls “AMD PCNet PCI II (Am79C970A)”

First note:

Often the virtual operating system still recognises it as a different adapter. Sometimes you can prevent this by also copying the MAC address (as VirtualBox by default uses a MAC address like 080027CCCCCC.

If it is still wrong, then read [WayBack] PredictableNetworkInterfaceNames: the various ways of assigning network interface names in virtualisation environments tend to mismatch. To fix this, I had to rename /etc/sysconfig/ifcfg-ens32 to the nee interface name I found via if -a.

Second note:

VMware supports two special virtual networks that are accessible from the host: vmnet1 (host-only) and vmnet8(NAT) : both are accessible from the host as VMware installs special network adapters:

  • vmnet1 is the host-only network where the host can talk to the VMs and vice versa, but the hosts cannot talk to the outside world
  • vmnet8 is the NAT network where the host can talk to the VMs and vice versa, but the hosts can talk to the outside world

Some background info at:

VirtualBox does not seem to do that, but it does do port forwarding, so it is “like” the VMware functionality, but not quite the same; see:

Table 6.1. Overview

VM ↔ Host VM1 ↔ VM2 VM → Internet VM ← Internet
Host-only + +
Internal +
Bridged + + + +
NAT + Port forwarding
NAT Network + + Port forwarding

References:

  • [Archive.is] VMware: Choosing a network adapter for your virtual machine (1001805)
    • Vlance: This is an emulated version of the AMD 79C970 PCnet32- LANCE NIC
    • VMXNET: The VMXNET virtual network adapter has no physical counterpart.
    • Flexible: The Flexible network adapter identifies itself as a Vlance adapter when a virtual machine boots, but initializes itself and functions as either a Vlance or a VMXNET adapter, depending on which driver initializes it.
    • E1000: An emulated version of the Intel 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet NIC.
    • E1000e: This feature emulates a newer model of Intel Gigabit NIC (number 82574) in the virtual hardware.
    • VMXNET 2 (Enhanced): The VMXNET 2 adapter is based on the VMXNET adapter but provides some high-performance features commonly used on modern networks, such as jumbo frames and hardware offloads.
    • VMXNET 3: The VMXNET 3 adapter is the next generation of a paravirtualized NIC designed for performance, and is not related to VMXNET or VMXNET 2.
  • [WayBackVirtualBox Chapter 6. Virtual networking; 6.1. Virtual networking hardware
    • AMD PCNet PCI II (Am79C970A);
    • AMD PCNet FAST III (Am79C973, the default);
    • Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (82540EM);
    • Intel PRO/1000 T Server (82543GC);
    • Intel PRO/1000 MT Server (82545EM);
    • Paravirtualized network adapter (virtio-net).

Possibly related: [WayBack] VMware和VirtualBox中的网络适配器类型及虚拟网络性能优化 – eshizhan – 博客园 (Network Adapter Types and Virtual Network Performance Optimization in VMware and VirtualBox)

–jeroen

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