Slow d/l speed on vmware install

  • so i have been previously running m0n0wall on a pII 400 w/ 764MB ram for about the last 1.5 yrs with great success

    I decided to give pfsense a try and wanted to try running it on a win2k3 box (host) with pfsense as virtual machine.

    following the tutorial on installing w/ vmware on windows host I have machine up and running  (nice tutorial btw very helpful)

    however my WAN D/L speed is nooooot goood at all.

    getting 4~ max off what should be (and is under m0n0wall) a 10Mbps connection

    i have observed that vmtools will not install (.. apparently there are ways to do it..but i havent' gotten far enough to try / know if i want to try any of them yet)

    i am wondering if the hardware i have is just not going to cut it….. it is not that fast (p4 1.6 w/ 512MB DDR ) or if it is the lack of vmtools

    or ????

    any help /insights would be appreciated

    i kinda think it is the hardware just isn't i see the cpu usage peg at 100% on large d/ls with the VM pfsense.

  • only use vmware for testing/evaluating pfsense. it will run much better on a real machine. btw, if your "old" m0n0wall box has a cdrom you can bootup the livecd and even use the m0n0 config from floppy/usb thumbdrive to evaluate the system with the real hardware. pfsense will import a m0n0 config as much as possible (besides some things that work differentin pfSense like the trafficshaper). If you want to go back to m0n0 just remove the pfsense livecd and you will be back where you were. backing up your m0n0 config.xml is recommended of course ;-)

  • Hmm.. dunno why everyone says not to run pFsense under VMware.
    I currently run it that way, and am extremely satisfied with it.
    CPU is A3500+, but I also have cool'n'quiet activated.

    My download bandwidth on WAN is 3Mbit.

    When I utilize whole bandwidth, I get under 10% CPU usage on PC where I run VMware, and that is while CPU is downclocked to 1GHz.

  • I have a setup under VMWare and the speed to the wan is satisfactory however speeds between the LAN and DMZ is way less than it would be if it were running on a physical machine. I get about 6 or 7 MB/s throughput while both networks are GiGe plus there is a 6-7 ms ping between those two networks.

    I guess if your running your PFSense and your not doing large transfers between two high speed networks it doesn't matter if your running in a virtual machine or not. I am running it under vmware because I don't have enough machines to justify having one run as a dedicated PFSense.

    Just my two cents,


  • I totally get and even understand why this isn't the "recommended way of doing this"

    i even agree with the reasons and sentiment.

    so i will try to elaborate on why i am trying to do it this way despite realizing it may not be "best practice"

    a. it is for my home network

    b. for reasons of tying to keep electric costs down… I would REAAALLY like to be able to run pfsense on a vm (ideally i would have a WRAP board or something  else super low power for the router but i don't ... and to be quite honest i can't afford to buy any of those right now.

    b1.... the other reason to want to run pfsense on cost of electricity not widthstanding ...our house sadly has REEEEALLY old and crappy wiring... it is very easy to trip the circuit breakers...

    i may have been "mistaken in my belief that the vm enviroment was choking my d/l speeds... testing again today has the speed about where it should be.


    if this was a office / business set up i would never do it this way.

    but for my home lan i think i might.

    I **think (i'm pretty good w/ networking but ...)  i have this set up pretty securely

    the host has the nics for pfsense unbound from everything but the vmware bridge  the nic for LAN on the host is unbridged from the vmware bridge protocol

    the windows firewall is ON for all interfaces

    i scanned my network (from out side it) and could see no responding or open ports.

  • Atarione, definitely turn off windoze firewall, especially on the WAN interfaces which don't have any windoze protocols bound.

    Second I found problem running VMWare server on windoze 2003 on Athlon X2, showing very high CPU utilisation.  Solved by only allocating 1 CPU to any guest VM (including pfSense).

    What processor are you running on the windoze box?

  • Look at this thread:,7424.0.html
    Network speed problems are common in Vmware when you don't use the right virtual network device(and driver) for your OS.

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