3 VM's (On host only one of them PF sense) >> PFsense also on bridged >> WAN

  • So I am trying to build a lab environment with VMWare workstation 8
    I want my VM's to see each other use the PFSense VM as the default gate way then out to the WAN
    I haven't started building the lab yet I got stuck and I cant figure out why

    My VMWare virtual network settings:
    vmnet0 = bridged
    vmnet1 = host only

    If I just set up the wan on pfsense to vmnet0 I can access the WebConfiguration utility from my host computer and ping pfsense at

    If I set up the LAN then my host computer can no longer ping at however if I jump to the pfsense terminal I can ping the host at

    Also from the PFsense console I looked at if config and em0 which is the WAN has an address of and em1 the LAN has which is what I want.

    I was hoping to make it so when I start creating more VM's in the lab they would join the network and route them to the WAN with PFsense.

    Thank you for any help or even for just reading ;)

  • Alright if any one runs into this later I was totally coming from the wrong angle here.

    The reason I could't ping the router from the WAN was due to auto fire wall rules.

  • Hello Tyger86,

    I apologize if this is long winded, but I did something pretty similar to what you are doing, and you can find it here:

    You did not specify your host OS, but I imagine if you are using VMWare Workstation that while the methods might change the solutions themselves won't be too much different.

    My host was Windows, and I had VMWare Workstation 8 with PFSense on autoboot, and a Linux Web Server VM as well.

    I used 2 NIC's, one for WAN, one for LAN.  I kept my Host inside the LAN, but separating it is pretty easy.

    In any event, I will make some assumptions, feel free to correct me and I will do my best to revise my instructions:

    You have a Windows Host
    You plan to run PFSense in a VM, and 1 or more others
    You want PFSense to act as the gateway for all VM's
    WAN Port & Optionally LAN Port

    First, where to put the host!

    Inside the LAN:

    On your WAN Adapter, disable all Windows services, this lets PFSense use this adapter without any interference.  Windows will not get an IP from the WAN and will not communicate through it.

    Outside the WAN:

    Do the opposite, keep all Windows services on in the WAN adapter, but turn them off on the LAN Adapter.

    Separated from both WAN & LAN:

    Simply turn off all windows services on both adapters.

    Configuring the adapters, this is done with VMWare Workstation's Network Adapter Configuration utility.

    By Default VMNet0 bridges any available connection, you have to change this or else you cannot create any other bridged adapters.  So simply specify what adapter VMNet0 is bridged to, and add a the second adapter to a new VMNet# as bridged also.

    When setting up PFSense, be sure to make note of each adapters virtual mac address for the installation, and add both bridged adapters to the VM.

    For all other VM's on your setup, add only the bridged LAN adapter.

    If you plan to expand your Lab or add additional external servers in the future, I recommend connecting the LAN adapter to a Switch.

    Potential Problems:

    If the second adapter is not connected to a cable, Windows may turn that adapter off.  One solution is to simply connect it to another device, such as a Switch.

    The alternative is to add a virtual loop back device, and bridge it to the LAN Adapter.

    If you only have one adapter, you might be able to setup a Virtual Loop Back device as the second VMNet bridge.  Only one NIC required, but doesn't give you the ability to easily expand your Lab in the future.

    I hope this helps, and look forward to hearing back.