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How to add the "Virtual Network Editor" to VMware Player

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  1. #1
    Hopachi's Avatar

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    How to add the "Virtual Network Editor" to VMware Player



    This enhancement applies to VMware Player standalone. If you have VMware Workstation installed, you don't need to apply this as Workstation includes all the features (and also includes VMware Player).


    As the most VMware Workstation users know, there is a virtual network editor available that lets you configure the virtual networks, add new networks and delete networks for the virtual machines and also bridged networks with the host computer.

    Edit:
    One of the usage of the network editor is fixing the bridged network connection:
    How to fix bridged networking in VMware player - YouTube

    The editor is useful (mostly for advanced users...but you'll never now when it might be needed) to add, delete and configure the default virtual networks that come pre-installed with Player.

    VMware Player is Workstation's little brother, it's free and comes with less features. There is no Network editor with VMware Player (...or is it?)

    The network editor is available in the VMware Player installer but it's default set NOT to install with the rest of the features (don't know why).

    It seems different fixes need to be applied to each of Player's version 4, 5 or 6.

    If using version 4 of the Player, this also applies to version 3.

    I'm gonna show you how to add the network editor to VMware Player.
    It's easy, or it should have been... but each version has its surprise.
    Keep in mind that techniques used for one version apply for newer versions too but the files need to be extracted form other installers and other archives or additional files may be required.

    Player version 3 and 4
    To begin we first need to extract the VMware Player installer with some extra parameters (name-of-installer.exe /e .\extract). You put the installer in a folder of your choice and create a shortcut of it as shown below (1) with the extra parameters in the target:

    Click image for larger version

    Then you run the shortcut that creates a folder (extract) containing all the components.

    Go to folder "extract". We are interested in "network.cab": open or extract it and there you see "vmnetcfg.exe". It's the network editor.

    Copy or move it in the VMware Player installation folder ("\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player" should be the default path).
    This is shown below:

    Click image for larger version

    Now we are ready. The network editor is part of VMware Player just like in Workstation.
    The virtual networks that appear in the notification area in Windows Vista and later can be configured or deleted:

    Click image for larger version

    Don't delete them if you use networking in your virtual machines.
    The network editor works as seen in last screenshot.


    Player version 5
    The fix above doesn't work in VMware Player 5: the file we need is included with Workstation. (using "/e extract" parameter for the installer still applies).
    Read here: VMware Communities: Whither VMware Player 5.0 VMNetCfg.exe?

    Extra update:
    Thanks to Vertigo here later on the thread:
    How to add the "Virtual Network Editor" to VMware Player
    some extra info is provided how to simplify things out: VMware Player 5 already has a vmnetui.dll included and the whole procedure posted above is not needed anymore!


    Player version 6

    Then,
    See post here.
    Until a command is discovered to see if Player includes the network editor again, the extraction technique of vmnetcfg.exe still is considered as 'the' fix.



    That's it.

    Hopachi
    Last edited by Hopachi; 06 Sep 2013 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Added info regarding each version's different workaround(s)
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  2. #2
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    The /e .\extract parameter worked well up to version 4.0.2.
    With VMware Player 4.0.3 it didn't worked anymore (checked a couple of times) with the shortcut trick.

    Gotta try in command prompt.
    But I managed to copy the network.cab from temp when it was installing (..\user\AppData\Local\..)
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  3. #3
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    I thought this fix is not needed anymore starting with version 4.0.4 of VM Player but I was wrong. My mistake.
    The fix still applies because the network.cab doesn't get extracted to Program Files (x86).
    Last edited by Hopachi; 28 Jun 2012 at 03:56 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Updated for VMware Player 5.

    Again: this is not needed for those using VMware Workstation 9.
    This is needed for those of us using VMware Player 5 only.

    And the same problem to VMware Player 5: No network editor included, but this time the problem got bigger.

    It seems that the network editor isn't bundled with the Player's installer (no network.cab).
    To add vmnetcfg.exe, we need to extract it from Workstation's installer (the link below shows how: -e parameter still applies).

    So a 260-400mb file is needed to extract a 4-5mb piece of program we need...

    Read here: VMware Communities: Whither VMware Player 5.0 VMNetCfg.exe?

    I used a folder just as in my first descriptive post but this time using Workstation's installer + its shortcut with /e extract:

    As tested: /e extract works.
    This creates a folder named extract in the same folder as the shortcut, no need for command prompt but that works also.

    There we go to core.cab and inside we find vmnetcfg:
    1.
    Click image for larger version
    2.
    Name:  vmnet-new.png
Views: 29938
Size:  71.9 KB

    Then put the network editor in VM Player's folder (...\Program Files (x86)\...).


    That's it.
    At least it works.

    EDIT: similar workaround applies to Player version 6 but an additional file called "vmnetcfglib.dll" is also required.
    Last edited by Hopachi; 08 Sep 2013 at 08:53 AM.
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  6. #5
    TerryE's Avatar

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    This is extremely useful information, because the Virtual Network Editor adds a great deal of flexibility to the product.
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  7. #6
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    Good to know I'm not the only one using this stuff. Thanks!

    It is indeed a great tool for example: enabling the bridged adapter (vmnet0) that is disabled by default on most systems with more than one/two network adapters.

    Hopachi
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  8. #7



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    Vista


    While searching for this info, I ran across a post by emanresu at VMware Communities: virtual network editor disapeared? that has a simpler method. It turns out that Player 5 does include the network editor but it does not provide an easy way to run it.

    I created a shortcut with this as my target (all on one line):
    C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player\vmnetui.dll" VMNetUI_ShowStandalone

    You then need to set the advanced option to run as administrator or use the run as administrator option when you invoke the shortcut. Your path to the vmnetui.dll may differ from mine.

    Cheers!
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by vertigo View Post
    While searching for this info, I ran across a post by emanresu at VMware Communities: virtual network editor disapeared? that has a simpler method. It turns out that Player 5 does include the network editor but it does not provide an easy way to run it.

    I created a shortcut with this as my target (all on one line):
    C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player\vmnetui.dll" VMNetUI_ShowStandalone

    You then need to set the advanced option to run as administrator or use the run as administrator option when you invoke the shortcut. Your path to the vmnetui.dll may differ from mine.

    Cheers!
    Thank you very much for this!

    That's way easier and it works.

    I never thought about it but if you look at both files that do this job, they are (almost) of the same size, but the hashes are different.
    Name:  netw-size-files.png
Views: 22553
Size:  7.7 KB

    This is solved and it's even shorter to do, so next time I upgrade Player there's no need to copy the vmnetcfg.exe file from Workstation. ...that's why they took it out in the first place.. it was replaced by a dll. I wonder why it wasn't documented, or how I skipped that part...

    Thanks again!
    Welcome to the forums!

    Cheers
    Hopachi
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  10. #9
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    I've edited the first post, near end, to add the extra last-minute info...
    Things are simpler now with the latest program versions.

    Cheers
    Hopachi
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  11. #10



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    Unfortunately this doensn't work with version 6 any more. Any updates on that?
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