Jiff Slater
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30 Jul 2021

Manually setting up host only networking with QEMU guest
15 January 2021

By default QEMU makes it very easy to connect a virtual machine to the Internet using the user mode network with -netdev user. However, I’m using a custom configuration that connects my virtual machines to a pfsense instance so I needed to add an extra bridge for host to guest communication.

You can create a local bridge and tap pair on the host by using the iproute2 set of tools.

# ip link add dev bridge00 type bridge
# ip tuntap add tap00 mode tap user $USER group kvm
# ip link set tap00 master bridge00
# ip link set dev bridge00 up
# ip link set dev tap00 up

Now for most use cases, there’s no need to set up some fancy DHCP server on the host to serve a single client so I configure a simple static configuration and add that associated configuration in the guest’s equivalent to rc.local.

(host) # ip addr add broadcast dev bridge00

Inside the guest you can give yourself a static IP and communicate to the host like so.

(guest) # ip addr add dev ens1

Finally, UP the interface in the guest.

# ip link set dev ens1 up

Now you should be able to SSH or ping the guest on this private network with the virtual machine.