How to Add VMNIC to VSwitch

Written by peter thomas
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A Virtual Machine Network Interface Card (VMNIC) is a virtual Ethernet adaptor used by VMware devices to create abstract adaptors that make use of a physical adaptor. This means that you can run multiple operating systems on a single machine with a single network card. VMware treats each virtual NIC as a dedicated adaptor and assigns it a unique IP address, allowing for many servers to be created and referenced on a single virtual network. VSwitch, a software-based switch that manages traffic and routing between virtual machines, uses VMNICs for each connection it has to a network. Additional VMNICs will allow your VSwitch to connect to additional virtual networks.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Log into your VSwitch using your administrator user name and password.

  2. 2

    When the "#>" prompt appears on your terminal, type "esxcfg-vswitch -addnic [id]" without quotes. the [id] parameter is optional, but can be any number from 0 to 255. If you leave it blank, an ID number will be automatically generated on the machine. Press "Enter." You will see a result message an ID number on the screen, such as "vnic04." For example, "Successfully created vnic04."

  3. 3

    Verify the interface exists by attempting to initialise it. Type "ifup vnic04" without quotes and press "Enter" if the name of the NIC created in the previous step was "vnic04." If you see a message that says "Unknown configuration - inactive vnic initialised!" you have successfully created the new VNIC on your VSwitch.

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