Cannot seem to probe virtual guests from the virtual host. These guests can be probed from other devices on the same LAN/Network, but not the host. I can understand why it might be struggling, but I am wondering if anyone ever found a way to make it work.

HOST: OSX 10.6

GUEST: FreeBSD 8 (two of them)

Edit: Adding some finer details, I have networking set to "bridged", I can ping and regularly consume services running on TCP/IP on both guests. All of my nmap probe attempts are done from the root account on the host.

  • How did you configure your VM's networking? – Gilles Nov 27 '11 at 20:15

You can't if you run the NAT network between VM and host,

Switch to a host-only adapter, i.e vboxnet0 (you might need to create one in the Preferences dialog)

EDIT You can use two interfaces anyway, I always do that


Perhaps you need to re-read this page "Introduction to networking modes" of VirtualBox manual.

An guest machine is or is not visible to the host according to how you configured its network interfaces in VirtualBox settings.

If you are in a secure network, you'd configure the guest machine network card to Bridged networking mode. This way the guests will be on the same network of the host.

  • I wasn't clear enough. The guests are bridged, both on the same network subnet, can ping and uses each others exposed network services without an issue. Like I explained above, the explanation is not what I need, but I was looking for someone that has actually gotten around this or knows more about why it doesn't work. Have you experienced this? – Tim Nov 27 '11 at 17:29
  • Yes, sure. I use this kind of configuration to do some demo for a network security course. The only difference is that I use a linux host. :-/ – andcoz Nov 28 '11 at 15:16
  • A real world example of Unix =/= Linux ;) – Tim Nov 28 '11 at 16:45


As you can ping, the next thing to find out is what happens when you use nmap just set to do a ping sweep? As this is using the very same ICMP connection, it should give you a result. If it doesn't, have a look at the permissions of the account you are using to run nmap -

On Windows, the user you are logged in as must have administrative privileges on the computer (user should be a member of the administrators group).

  • Yes, the host can ping the guest. I regularly consume services I have running on both guests. – Tim Nov 28 '11 at 14:59
  • @Tim - did my update help. Have you checked privileges? – Rory Alsop Nov 28 '11 at 20:22
  • I am running from OSX (Unix/BSD Based) running directly under the root account. I will have to check up on the nmap documentation first to see how to do the ICMP pings. I will let you know. – Tim Nov 29 '11 at 16:14

The KEXT for the network card somehow had gotten corrupt. Reloaded from the install CD and then I was able to hit the guests with various NMAP probes.

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