This content is part of the Essential Guide: Stay connected with tips and trends in vSphere networking

How do you connect to the Mac host on VM Fusion?

A user with an XP VM has a few options to try to connect that VM to the Mac host.

Our VM uses network address translation (NAT) to share the host's Internet connection. How do you access the host from the VM? The VM is on Windows XP. The host is a Mac running Fusion.

There are two methods to access the Mac host from the XP VM , one is with TCP/IP.

When you have configured your network with the setting "Share with my Mac," the VM does not have its own IP address on the external network. Rather, the VM gets a private IP address from the VMware virtual DHCP server.

If you execute the ipconfig command in your XP VM and find an IP address, the host will be in that same subnet -- typically as .1 in the fourth octet. For example, if your VM is, your host is likely

Be aware that a firewall in your VM could prevent you from accessing the host.

Another way to access the host to share the file system is to use the "shared folders" feature. This uses an internal process instead of networking and you need VMware Tools installed in your VM to do this. Once VMware Tools is enabled, you can browse to the host from Windows Explorer via this path:

\\vmware-host\Shared Folders\

It is also possible to map a drive letter to this location from Windows Explorer that will be enabled when you start the VM. To enable shared folders for your VM in Fusion, perform the following steps:

1. Select VM > Settings.

2. In the Settings window, in the System Settings section, select Sharing.

3. Drag the Share Folders slider to ON.

4. Click the add (+) button at the bottom of the display box.

5. In the Finder sheet, find the location of the folder to share, select it and click Add.

6. In the Permissions field, set the VM permission on the contents of the Mac's shared folder. You can select Read & Write or Read Only.

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