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Change VMWare Virtual MAC Address

Posted on 2008-10-16
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Last Modified: 2008-10-17
I have a physical RedHat server that runs an application which is licensed by the server's physical MAC Address.  I'd like to run P2V on this server but I need to change the VM MAC address to the same one as the RedHat server.

According to VMWare knowledge base, three entries must be removed from the .vmx file of the newly created virtual server.  Then the following must be added:  ethernet0.address = 00:50:56:XX:YY:ZZ

The MAC address of the RedHat server does not begin with 00:50:56:  The NIC on the RedHat server is embedded so I can not move it to the VMWare host server.

Any suggestions?
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Question by:hbsr
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Expert Comment

by:daravuth
ID: 22732871
What happen if you change the complete mac address in the vmx?
00:0C:29 and 00:50:56 are only virtual machine vendor id.

I think you can copy the red hat mac address into the vmx and the vm will still boot.
Be sure to not put the two on the network at same time.
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Expert Comment

by:michote
ID: 22733086
VMware ESX Server virtual machines do not support arbitrary MAC addresses, hence the above format must be used. So long as you choose XX:YY:ZZ uniquely among your hard-coded addresses, conflicts between the automatically assigned MAC addresses and the manually assigned ones should never occur.

That taken from the VMWare site

So I guess the answer is NO.

Your best bet is contact the person issuing the license, and tell the to generate a license for the Virtual Machine, maybe as a trial and if it works for you change your license to that. BTW I swear by VMware it is a great product.

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michote earned 250 total points
ID: 22735383
By the way,

The reason VMware will not allow you to do this:

1) There is a standards body that issues the first 3 hex of the Mac address, and those are unique to each provider of network equipment. VMware got assigned 00:50:56. Allowing their virtual net adapters to use any Mac would violate this assignment, and would probably get their assignment terminated.

2) This would allow script kiddies wannabe hackers to impersonate machines and do all sorts of bad stuff. BY knocking down the main server and impersonating the real one.

3) People could use them to circumvent license locked software. I know this is not your case, but it also could be wrongly used to do this.

4) Having same mac as other hardware makes conflicts in your network, and networking equipment. As all assume MAC to be unique. Mac spoofing can be done but requires modified drivers that permit this or modifying PICs in network cards.. As I know none exist for VMware.
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