Setting Up a Virtual Network Lab with VMware Workstation and pfSense – Part 1 the router

In this part I’ll create a new pfSense virtual machine┬áthat will act as our router. It will have two NIC’s, one for the WAN and the other for the LAN that our virtual network will use to keep itself on its own private network. The first thing we have to do is create a new custom virtual network in VMware Workstation by going to Edit > Virtual Network Editor… and then click on Add Network… select a network to add from the dropdown list (I selected VMnet11) and click OK, under VMnet Information check the Host-only radio button and make sure that everything else is unchecked. You can leave the Subnet IP and Subnet mask to whatever VMware has given you.

Virtual Network Editor

Now we can create the pfSense virtual machine. Click “Create a New Virtual Machine” on the VMware Workstation home screen.

VMware Workstation Home Screen

Select “Typical (recommended) from the Welcome to the New Virtual Machine Wizard screen.

Welcome to the New Virtual Machine Wizard

Select “I will install the operation system later.” radio button and choose Next.

Guest Operating System Installation

Select “Other” for the Guest operating system and choose FreeBSD from the version dropdown.

Select a Guest Operating System

In the next screen you can name your virtual machine and choose its location. I named mine pfSense.

Name the Virtual Machine

Next, you can specify the disk capacity of the virtual machine, I kept the defaults.

Specify Disk Capacity

Now we have to customize the hardware of the virtual machine, click the “Customize Hardware…” button.

Ready to Create Virtual Machine

Select the Network Adapter and change it to “Bridged: Connected directly to the physical network”.

Hardware

Now add an other network adapter by clicking Add… and the choosing Network Adapter.

Add Hardware Wizard

Change the newly added Network Adapter connection type to the Custom one we added at the start of this post.

Network Adapter Type

Hardware

now drop the pfSense iso into the DVD by selecting the DVD drive and then selecting the “Use ISO image file:” radio button and browsing to the location of the pfSense iso.

Hardware

We can now start the virtual machine and it will start installing pfSense.

pfSense Install

let it do its thing until you get to the following screen and press “I” to launch the installer. you have 10 seconds to do this.

pfSense Install

Choose “Accept these Settings” and hit enter.

pfSense Install

Choose the “Quick/Easy Install” and hit enter.

pfSense Install

Confirm the “Are you Sure?” screen.

pfSense Install

Choose the “Standard Kernel”.

pfSense Install

And then reboot.

pfSense Install

Once the machine has rebooted you can set the IP that you want to use for your network. Choose option number 2.

pfSense Install

Choose your LAN interface by choosing 2 once again.

pfSense Install

Enter the IP that you want to use. I chose 192.168.10.1

pfSense Install

Now enter the subnet bit count. I chose 24 for a class c network.

pfSense Install

for the next screen just hit ENTER.

pfSense Install

in the next screen also hit ENTER

pfSense Install

Choose no to enable the DHCP server. We are going to let the windows server hand out IP addresses and don’t want the router to do this.

pfSense Install

Choose no to revert to HTTP as the webConfigurator protocol.

pfSense Install

Press ENTER to continue.

pfSense Install

You now have a virtual machine that will act as our network router with a WAN nic for internet access and a LAN nic for our private network.

pfSense Install

In Part 2 we will add a Windows 7 virtual machine to act as one of our clients in the network, stay tuned!