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Using bridged networking with Virt-manager

In previous posts you can find instructions on how to configure bridged networking when managing your kvm guests by command line. However for many users experimenting with kvm, the virt-manager GUI tool is the preferred method of managing kvm guests in which case bridged networking configuration might pose a challenge. If you fall into the camp of users who prefer virt-manager and have ever wondered how to configure bridged networking , you’ll be able to use bridged networking with virt-manager after reading this post.



1. Configure your bridge

Your libvirt installation will provide default bridges for use with xen, qemu and other types of domains. For qemu/kvm, the default bridge should be called vnet0 and you can verify this by issuing the following command on your system.

# brctl show

bridge name     bridge id               STP enabled     interfaces
pan0            8000.000000000000       no
virbr0          8000.000000000000       yes
vnet0           8000.000000000000       yes

Th first thing you need to do is add a network script for your vnet0 bridge. On Fedora this script will be located under /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ but may differ for other linux distributions. So go ahead and create a new script at /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-vnet0 as root user and edit the contents so that it looks like the following.


This completes set up of your vnet0 bridge.


2. Add your physical interface to the bridge

The next step is to add the physical interface that your kvm guest will be sharing to the vnet0 bridge configured above. For this post, we’ll assume that you’ll be using eth0 so to add eth0 to vnet0 bridge, issue the following command.

# brctl addif vnet0 eth0  

You can verify that your eth0 was added to the vnet0 bridge issuing the brctl show command. Your output should look similar to the following.

# brctl show

bridge name     bridge id               STP enabled     interfaces
pan0            8000.000000000000       no
virbr0          8000.000000000000       yes
vnet0           8000.0019b97ec863       yes             eth0

Now you need to configure your network script for eth0. You will already have a script for eth0, but you’ll need to modify it by adding one line as BRIDGE=vnet0 so that it looks similar to the following script.

# Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX


3. Restart your network services

In order for all the network script modifications to take effect, you need to restart your network services. Your command may differ slightly but for most linux distributions the following command will restart your network services.

# /etc/rc.d/init.d/network restart

Shutting down interface vnet0:  [  OK  ]
Shutting down interface eth0:  [  OK  ]
Shutting down loopback interface:  [  OK  ]
Bringing up loopback interface:  [  OK  ]
Bringing up interface eth0:  [  OK  ]
Bringing up interface vnet0:  
Determining IP information for vnet0... done.
[  OK  ]

My experience is that the dhcp on the bridge device usually takes a little longer than the other scripts so don’t worry if the line that says “determining ip information for vnet0” sits there for a min or two. Once this script completes, you’re finished with your system network configurations. Now, onto actually using bridged networking with virt-manager.


4. Configure Bridged Networking in Virt-Manager

Now comes the easy part. Configure your kvm guest in virt-manager as you normally would. When you get to the part that asks about your network type, choose to share with a physical device and you will be able to select the eth0 on bridge vnet0. Below is a screenshot of what you should see. You don’t need to specify a specific mac address unless you need to for some kind of static mapping.



Boot up your kvm guest which will be now connected to your local network. Your brctl show command will now show your kvm guest network added to your vnet0 bridge. Below is a sample output.

# brctl show

bridge name     bridge id               STP enabled     interfaces
pan0            8000.000000000000       no
virbr0          8000.000000000000       yes
vnet0           8000.0019b97ec863       yes             eth0



Bridged networking with virt-manager is simpler than configuring bridged networking when managing kvm guests with command line since you don’t have to worry about things like qemu network scripts and generating random mac addresses. Virt-manager takes care of these things behind the scenes. What will be nice to see someday would be GUI tools for managing the bridges which would make the procedure even simpler.

See Also


Just to understand things...

Is this available as of virt-manager 0.6.0-1 or earlier releases? How does this effect the Debain /etc/kvm/kvm-ifup script that is already in place in that distro?


Rodd Ahrenstorff

Re: just to understand..

This is available from the earlier virt-manager release (0.5.4) and the snapshots I did was actually from that version. I don't think it should affect your script but I'm not too familiar with debian.

Some issues

Haydn, a couple of additional points that may help some users (albeit, I know this is not the only way of achieving the same result):

1. A default installation of Fedora 9 uses the NetworkManager daemon rather than the network daemon. Hence, the services would need to be set to have NetworkManager not start and network start, e.g. as root:

/sbin/chkconfig --level 345 NetworkManager off
/sbin/chkconfig --level 345 network on

2. If the Host is running iptables, some changes would need to be made for the VM to obtain a DHCP address, e.g. I have used:

/sbin/iptables -F FORWARD
/sbin/iptables -I FORWARD -m physdev --physdev-is-bridged -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables-save > /etc/sysconfig/iptables

3. IP Forwarding to be set in /etc/sysctl.conf, e.g. set:


4. Reboot system for all changes to become active.

### ### ###

I presume that there is a plan by the developers to support this type of bridging within NetworkManager. For example, I note that oVirt sets up some files in /etc/libvirt/qemu/networks that include an XML configuration file that is also replicated in /etc/libvirt/qemu/networks/autostart

Any feedback you come across about configuration of bridging for a system using NetworkManager would be of great interest.

Re: network manager


I remember you did mention that fedora was planning to include some bridge control features in future release of network manager. I will keep an eye on it and post any developments.

Good tips on the iptables.

In previous posts...

Could you put a link to the previous posts, I'm needing the bit on setting up a bridged network. Thanks.

Previous post on bridging

Here is the link..

Configuring Bridged Networking

No vnet0

According to your post, there should be, by default, pan0, virbr0 and vnet0 bridges. On my fresh F10 install, I only have virbr0. Was vnet0 setup by you? If so, how?

Re: vnet0


I didn't setup the vnet0, it was there by default and my tests were done on Fedora 9. Since you enquired, I decided to have a look and now there is no more vnet0, only pan0 and virbr0 on my F9 system. I believe these bridges were setup by libvirt and at the time of writing the post, I was running libvirt 0.4.4. Since then libvirt has gone through a release and could possibly be an explanation if libvirt made some changes in how the bridges are setup. I will have to investigate and post a comment since it would make the post irrelevant if this is the case.

same boat, no vnet0, no bridgee

I'm in the same boat as alphadog. I have a fresh Fedora10 install and don't have a vnet0. My new virtual machines don't have access to a network at all. None of the interfaces present are bridged and available in the virtual machine creation wizard.

@grempuppy: The vnet0

@grempuppy: The vnet0 bridge(s) gets created by VMM. You shouldn't have one in a fresh install of F10.

corrections (on Fedora 10)

I have been at this for an entire day.

Your point #1 is does not seem to be necessary. The line NM_CONTROLLED=no takes care of it... I think.

As for point #2 it can be taken care of quite simply by setting the bridge to be a trusted interface. I don't know if this is safe but it is simple. Also, my virtuals are controlled by me anyway. The application to do this with is system-config-firewall.

Re: same boat, no vnet0, no bridgee

No problem!

Just make one up.

# brctl addbr foobar

And voila! The foobar bridge is born.

Then just continue as indicated.


Because all internet activity is processed through the bridge the ethernet card won't show an IP address so in this case, the NetworkManager daemon is useless

This is an ugly drawback when having several VPN connection configured through NetworkManager that are now unusable

bridged networking

This page:


is the canonical resource for details on how to set up bridged networking

See also the feature request to add support to NetworkManager:


Fedora 11: vnet0 already an _interface_

On F11, I've used virt-manager to create a Windows XP virtual machine. Now I'm trying to set up bridged networking (because it's better/faster and permits paravirtualization - right?).


brctl show
bridge name bridge id STP enabled interfaces
pan0 8000.000000000000 no
virbr0 8000.b2074401a177 yes vnet0

so vnet0 is already configured ( by what?) to be an interface to bridge virbr0. So, of course:

brctl addif vnet0 eth0
can't add eth0 to bridge vnet0: Operation not supported

Is bridged networking already set up? Just out-of-the-box, or should I create a new bridge, and add eth0 to that new bridge?


Okay, that was wrong. I had

Okay, that was wrong. I had the virtual machine running. I assume that's why interface vnet0 was connected to bridge vibr0.

But if no vm is running:

brctl show
bridge name bridge id STP enabled interfaces
pan0 8000.000000000000 no
virbr0 8000.000000000000 yes

so there's still no vnet0 bridge.

Am I supposed to add vnet0 as a bridge ( brctl addbr vnet0)? It seems you assumed fedora would do that.


I really still am not sure

I really still am not sure why it was showing by default on my fedora 9 but I believe that you should have to create your vnet 0 with the brctl command you specified. Currently on my fedora 10 it does not show up by default.

Not working in F11

First , thank you for the information.

Unfortunately it does not work in Fedora 11.

As indicated:

brctl show

Does not list vnet0

So I added vnet0 , and users your scripts, as is, to bring up vnet0 bridged to eth0.

Host networking is fine (it the bridge works and is assigned an IP address and eth0 is indeed bridged)

But guest networking is not working. Once can select bridged networking in virt-manager (eth0 bridge vnet0 )

but when starting a guest, no external networking (the bridge does not work).

Furthermore, when restarting virt-manager now creates yet another device , vnet1 :(

I did not have time last night to revert and try a more "standard" approach with a tap, but will research this issue and *try* to post back.

Re: F11 Networking with Virt-manager


I too noticed that the new Virt-manager works a little differently and I will be doing some updated posts about this. Will also appreciate any findings from your research. Thanks.

got it :)

got it :)

Failed to add tap...

Hello guys, I followed the setup here and on the previous link. But I have the error when launching a second VM:
Error: Failed to add tap device vnet%d to br0: device or ressource is busy.

Anybody with a hint? Tkx.

First VM successfully loaded

[root@virtualserver ~]# service NetworkManager status
NetworkManager is stopped

[root@virtualserver ~]# brctl show
bridge name bridge id STP enabled interfaces
br0 8000.002354c28130 no eth0



Loading a new VM with virt-manager and network option "eth0 (bridge br0)"

Error: Failed to add tap device vnet%d to br0: device or ressource is busy.

BTW, later I deleted all vnetx and launched a new VM from DVD, and it created vnet0 and added it auto.

After creating a new VM, I

After creating a new VM, I launched the first one and It fails to start Internal error. It seems that the qemu does not increment the vnetx, like vnet0, then vnet1, etc. Is there a file where I can check this out?

Bridge to Virtual Network?


Do you know if it's possible to create a network bridge to a virtual interface (eg. eth0:1) and get that to work in virt-manager?

I have a laptop setup where I cannot use eth0 (it needs to be controlled by NetworkManager due to practical reasons), and no other physical interfaces are available.

Works from inside, but not outside

Thank you for your instructions. I'm having trouble pinging my guest from other physical machines. Can anyone help?

I set up a bridge and I can ping and ssh into the hypervisor from my laptop. From the hypervisor, I can also ping the hosted virtual guest using its public static IP address. And, the guest can ping the hypervisor using its static IP. The counters on ifconfig show that packets are flowing through the bridge and vnet0.

However, if I go onto another machine (e.g. a 2nd laptop), I cannot ping the guest.

The MAC inside the guest is listed in /sbin/arp. And "/usr/sbin/brctl showmacs" shows that MAC with a "no" in the isLocal column.

How do things work when the vnetX interface has a different MAC than its paired ethY. And, doesn't the bridge need to think that the inside-guest MAC is local so that packets can be directed to it. How would the bridge know to hand off packets destined to ethY to vnetX?

Don't use vnet[X]

I'm using Fedora 12 and I too ran into problems of getting my VMs to use the bridged network. Apparently KVM automatically creates vnet[X] (vnet0, vnet1... etc) when a VM is launched. So, if you configure your bridge as vnet[x], you're going to get a conflict. I created my bridge as br0 and everything works as expected.

hello I think you are trying

I think you are trying to setup bridged networking in a round-about way by creating tap devices etc. In Linux you can create a virtual bridge device for a physical interface using simple configuration changes. Once done the KVM VMs can be configured to use this virtual bridge device to connect to normal LAN as if they were directly connected to it. It gives illusion that all VMs and base/host machine are all connected to LAN directly.

If that is what you want then modify your /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 (assuming eth0 is the host network device having IP in network in your case) to have lines


among other configuration lines. Copy ifcfg-eth0 to ifcfg-br0 where ifcfg-br0 should differ from ifcfg-eth0 in below mentioned lines


Now when you use 'service network restart' you will have to network interfaces br0 and eth0 and your LAN IP in range would seem to be assigned to br0. Now all you have to do is to edit VM settings and ask it to connect using br0 network.
E20-520 dumps

network-manager bridge

Hello people from the past. Network-manager still sucks. It still doesn't work with bridges. This is an increasing problem as many of us here in the future are often using virtualization. Please people from the past, stop nm before its too late!

Problem with network manager on centos 6 solved

I created only the two files ifcfg-eth,ifcfg-vnet0 without the command brctl and then service network restart and worked. See the last line of the file ifcfg-vnet0
. I added this line because network manager raised error. Perhaps this will help somebody.

file ifcfg-eth1


file ifcfg-vnet0


I noticed the same issue on

I noticed the same issue on my system. And it appears that if there are already number of vnet%d interfaces which are supported by QEMU (say 8 in my case) it prints that message. I deleted all the vnet interfaces and it worked okay in my case. I don't know that if some configuration is missing but as a matter of fact you can workaround this one by simply adding the tap itnerface yourself and specifying that in XML file. This way you can create any number of VMs.

Reboot is not

Reboot is not needed

/sbin/service iptables restart
sysctl -l

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