Setting Up a Virtual Network Lab with VMware Workstation and pfSense – Part 5, DHCP server

Now that we have our server set up for DNS and Active Directory we need to add one final role. We need a DHCP server on our network to handle giving out IP addresses. Since we turned DHCP off on our pfSense router in part 1 of this tutorial we need to add it to the server. So here we go… On the Server Manager dashboard click add roles which will start the add roles and features wizard. on the before you begin screen click next.


For installation type choose role based and click next.


select your server and click next.


Select the DHCP Server role.


Setting Up a Virtual Network Lab with VMware Workstation and pfSense – Part 4 DNS and Active Directory

Now that we have a clean server install we can start adding roles for DNS and the Domain Controller. The first thing we must do is give the server a staticĀ IP address and a preferred DNS server. For the static IP I’ll use and I’ll use a local DNS address of since this server will act as the DNS server. Then reboot the server.


Once we have our IP set up we can start by adding the DNS role to the server. From the Server Manager dashboard choose “Add roles and Features” to start the Add Roles and Features Wizard.


Click next and under select installation type choose “Role based or feature based installation and click next.


in the Select destination server screen you should see the static IP that you set earlier. Highlight the server and click next.


Setting Up a Virtual Network Lab with VMware Workstation and pfSense – Part 3 the server

In part 3 of this tutorial I’ll set up a virtual Windows 2012 R2 server that will act as our DNS server, Domain Controller and a DHCP Server for our virtual private network. The server install is pretty straight forward and I won’t go into much detail. So here we go. First we’ll create another typical virtual machine.


Once again choose to install the operating system later.


Select Microsoft Windows version Windows Server 2012 for the operating system.


Name the virtual machine and choose a location for it.


Setting Up a Virtual Network Lab with VMware Workstation and pfSense – Part 2 the client

In part 2 of this tutorial we’ll add a Windows 7 client to our virtual network. The client will be added to the Active Directory once that is set up in a future part of this tutorial. So lets create another virtual machine. Here we can accept the default “Typical (recommended)” radio button.


We’ll install the operating system later.


Select Microsoft Windows for operating system and Windows 7 x64 for the version.


Name the client whatever you like, I named mine Windows 7 Client 01 and choose a location where you want to save this virtual machine.


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 machineĀ that 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