Help with pinging VMs from host with VMware Workstation Pro.

Hi everyone, I’m having some trouble getting my host and all my VMs to talk to each other. I think my problem resides somewhere in the Virtual Network Editor.


Here’s my problem. I have 5 virtual machines and 2 LAN segments (we’ll call them A and B). 1 virtual machine has pfSense on it with access to LAN segments A and B (each of which have 2 machines). Through DHCP, it gives segment A IP’s – pfSense gives segment B IP’s – Now this all works like it’s supposed to, for example, the 2 virtual machines in segment A can talk to each other and the router, but can’t talk to segment B and vice versa.


The problem is that I can’t ping ANY virtual machine in segments A or B from the host machine. The host machine does not need access to the internet (neither do the VMs), so I’m trying to figure out how to set up the Virtual Network Adapter so I can talk to my virtual machines. I’ve tried setting my virtual network to NAT, Bridged, and Host-Only, but none of them seem to work.


Does anybody know how I am supposed to set up my virtual network to allow me to ping VMs from the host machine and vice versa? I can change the IP addresses of the VMs if it helps, but I need to stay as a class B ip address preferably on


Any information would be appreciated.


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One Comment

  1. LAN segments in workstation can be viewed as VLANs. By the vary nature of a VLAN, hosts on one VLAN cannot talk to another without being routed by a layer 3 device, in this case, your pfsense router.

    VMs in Segment A need to have their default gateway set to the IP address assigned to the pfsense interface attached to Segment A. The same is true for VMs in Segment B, set their default gateway to the pfsense interface attached to Segment B.

    You mentioned DHCP. Is this running on pfsense? If so, you can configure DHCP to advertise the default gateway instead of setting it manually on each VM.

    Setting the default gateway is a required step. Feel free to ignore this first top half if you already configured it as described above.

    Getting packets to your physical PC:

    If not already done, you need to create a third interface on the pfsense vm. This third interface will allow your pfsense router to communicate with your physical pc.

    You can create it as one of two methods.

    Simplest: Bridged. You will present this third pfsense interface the the network. Assign an IP to the third interface. If your pc has an IP of, you would need something that’s also in that range, being mindful not to set an IP that is already in use. If your PC grabs its IP via DHCP, setting a static IP in this case would not be ideal as there is a chance the DHCP server could issue your IP out to someone else. The other caveat is that you are putting the pfsense on the network. This isn’t a problem, but something you should be mindful of (especially in a corporate environment where others may see or question that)

    More complicated: Host-Only. This is outside my expertise, but here is a good starting page https://pubs.vmware.com/workstation-11/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.ws.using.doc%2FGUID-144D22BA-298E-4293-8137-B631AD7BF694.html. It looks like after you create the host-only interface, you assign a static IP on the physical PC, and another on the pfsense’s third interface, making sure they are on the same network. Something like for the pfsense, and for the PC’s host-only interface.

    The next piece you need is routing. If your pfsense router receives a packet from Segment A, and it needs to route to the network your physical PC is on, does it know how to get there?

    You’ll need to set the gateway on your pfsense vm. If using bridged networking, set it to the IP of your physical PC. If using host-only, set it to the private host-only IP of the physical pc. This third interface is your pfsense WAN interface.

    Lastly, you need to set a manual route on your physical pc. This tells your phyiscal pc how to route to segment A and segment B, which is through the WAN interface of your pfsense vm.

    Add two routes, one for Segment A and one for Segment B via the IP of the third interface of your pfsense vm.

    For Windows, open command prompt and type in…
    route add mask <third pfsense ip>
    route add mask <third pfsense ip>

    Example: route add mask

    For MacOS, open terminal and type in…
    sudo route -n add -net <third pfsense ip>
    sudo route -n add -net <third pfsense ip>

    In theory now, you should be able to ping a VM from segment A or B, assuming pfsense doesn’t block ICMP and the VMs are configured to respond to pings

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