I've just posted something in stackoverflow and was asked to post this question here. I have a problem I could use some help with... I am really not an expert in virtualization, so I don't know if what I want to achieve is actually feasible or not.

I have a RTL8192CE wireless network miniPCI card, which definitely doesn't work properly on linux (running Ubuntu 12.04 64bit). I have already tried everything I could think of: downloaded the latest drivers from the Realtek homepage, tried using NDISmapper with several different sets of Windows drivers, tried using also generic wireless backports, etc. None of it solved my problem.

It does, on the other hand, work perfectly on Windows... I dual-boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04, both 64-bit. Apparently, there is a bug in Ubuntu (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/902557) related to this card.

I want to know whether there is a way to use a virtualized Windows installation (XP or 7, preferably not Vista) under my Ubuntu 12.04 64bit that uses a native Windows driver (since the network card works perfectly in Windows). The virtualization software can be either Virtualbox (prefered), VMWare or any other. There is no problem if I have to manually config that by shell scripting or anything similar.

So, to make it clearer, I have a VirtualBox installed in my Ubuntu 12.04 (my host), which I use to run Windows 7 (my guest). I wanted to know whether this virtualized (guest) Windows 7 could have "direct" access to my wireless interface -- such as the dual-booted Windows 7 I have installed, without passing through the Ubuntu drivers.

Apparently I could not achieve that by using VirtualBox's guest additions, could I (http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html)?

ps.: I believe none of VirtualBox's networking modes (NAT, bridged networking, internal networking and host-only networking) would allow me to do that, am I correct? Does anyone have an idea on how I could solve that problem?

Someone pointed me the following: "This is only possible if the host has proper access to the card; otherwise the guest cannot get access to it since all hardware for the guest is virtualized through the host."

It depends on what "proper access" means in that case. The host (linux) has the network interface installed and running. The problem is that the driver available to the host is buggy, so even though it's "available and running" the quality is less than acceptable. So, I'd like to completely skip this driver, if possible.

Again, thanks!

  • The point of a VM is to separate the guest from the hardware. If your network adapter was USB I'd say to had a chance (due to USB pass-through), but if it's an add-in PCI adapter then I think you're out of luck. But maybe someone knows netter. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 26 '12 at 14:53
  • It's not USB, it's a miniPCI adapter... Tnx for the tip. Any other ideas? – i.calixto Aug 27 '12 at 0:21
  • A similar question concludes that this isn't possible: superuser.com/questions/278515/… – m000 Aug 27 '12 at 13:27
  • If someone is interested, I've asked the same question in superuser.com and it seems to be possible, even though complicated and subject to some limitations. – i.calixto Aug 28 '12 at 15:19

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