OpenVPN bridge and VMware ESXi

When you configure a bridged OpenVPN setup on a VMware ESXi (vSphere Hypervisor) you will notice that you can’t reach anything over the VPN except the OpenVPN host.

This is because VMware by default prevents the NIC to go into promiscuous mode so the bridge won’t work.
To fix this you need to change the VMware security policy to accept promiscuous mode.

  1. Go to ‘Configuration’ in the vSphere client.
  2. Select ‘Networking’ on the left.
  3. Click ‘Properties’
  4. Select ‘VM Network’ on the ‘Ports’ tab.
  5. Click ‘Edit’
  6. Go to the ‘Security’ tab.
  7. Select the check box for ‘Promiscuous Mode’ and select ‘Accept’.

Installing VMware server 2.0.2 on debian 6.0.1 X64

Download VMware-server-2.0.2-203138.x86_64.tar.gz from the vmware website and place it in /usr/src (you need to register on the VMware website before you can download)

Download my install file below and unpack it to /usr/src:

cd /usr/src
tar xvzf vmware2.0.2-on-debian6.0.1.tar.gz
cd /usr/src/vmware2

This wil unpack the files, patch them for debian 6.0.1 and start the vmware installation.
Answer all the questions during the vmware install and the installation should complete.

Now reboot the server and you should be ready to go.

The above vmware2.0.2-on-debian6.0.1.tar.gz file has the following content:


All files except are from with some small modifications. is a simple setup script I created for easy install.