I have been searching for a long time on this forum, and although there are many questions about the topic, I wasn't able to get a concrete solution to the problem.

I want to have multiple IP addresses assigned by DHCP to a single computer using a single network adapter. The purpose of this is that the computer emulates various end nodes involved in a network simulation.

I know that this must be possible, since virtual machine software like VMware can also use a virtual network adapter with its own MAC address bridged with the real network adapter of the host to get an external IP address for the virtual machine from DHCP. Also software like GNS3 can do those tricks, where it is possible to assign an external IP from DHCP to various simulated network nodes.

An often proposed solution is to use a Microsoft loop-back adapter in bridged mode with the real network adapter. However, I don't understand how this is supposed to work. If I install a loop-back adapter and bridge it with the real network adapter, a new 'multiplexor driver' adapter is created called 'Ethernet 3'. This adapter gets assigned an IP from the DHCP, however there is no sign of a second IP address for the virtual network adapter, nor for the real adapter.

I would be really happy if you can help me and explain how the solution of the loop-back adapter is supposed to work. If it can't work that way, I hope you can help me with another solution to achieve the same goal. I have read in many places that it is possible to setup, but nowhere a detailed solution is given that helps me out.


If you want to try to work with virtual networks, it is likely to virtual switches work with various virtual machines. Separately, as a part of the distribution protocol or operating system component or as part of a virtual machine.

Or you can install virtual adapters and assign IP addresses and MAC addresses, but in this case you will have only an additional interface that is suitable for example in the case of the automatic application of RDP server, or to redirect network application activity on the virtual adapter.

Here are some resources to be brought to the attention of some of the features and virtual implementations of switches. Thank you for a good question.

Creating V-switches within the hyper-V environment fails

Hyper-V Network Virtualization and Virtual Switch

Virtual Networking for Hyper-V (Part 1)

Microsoft Hyper-V Networking and Configuration - Part 1

Hyper-V Virtual Networking Maximum Configuration:

  • Support For MAXIMUM Remark
  • Virtual NICs Per Virtual Machine 12 NICs 4 Legacy and 8 VMBus NICs
  • VLAN Unlimited
  • Virtual Machines Per VLAN Unlimited
  • External Network Virtual Switch Per Hyper-V Server 1 Per Physical NIC
  • Internal Network Virtual Switch Per Hyper-V Server Unlimited
  • Private Network Virtual Switch Per Hyper-V Server Unlimited
  • Virtual Machines Per Virtual Network Switch Unlimited
  • Wireless No support for wireless
  • VLAN ID Tagging External, Internal
  • VLAN ID Tagging On Virtual Machines One per Virtual MAchine

Open Virtual Switch

Supported Platform Open vSwitch can operate both as a soft switch running within the hypervisor, and as the control stack for switching silicon. It has been ported to multiple virtualization platforms and switching chipsets. It is the default switch in XenServer 6.0, the Xen Cloud Platform and also supports Xen, KVM, Proxmox VE and VirtualBox. It has also been integrated into many virtual management systems including OpenStack, openQRM, OpenNebula and oVirt. The kernel datapath is distributed with Linux, and packages are available for Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora. Open vSwitch is also supported on FreeBSD and NetBSD. The Open vSwitch release in development has been ported to DPDK.

The bulk of the code is written in platform-independent C and is easily ported to other environments.

  • Thanks for you answer. I'm not very experienced with virtualisation, but it seems that the virtual switches you are talking about are meant to connect different virtual machines to a single real network adapter. Now is it also possible to connect a single real machine with different virtual network adapters to a single real network adapter? This way, the machine should be able to obtain multiple IP addresses from the DHCP. – Niels May 20 '15 at 7:00
  • Well, it seams that my processor is not even capable of running Hyper-V, although virtualisation is enabled in the BIOS. Furtermore, Open Virtual Switch seams to be only for Linux systems? – Niels May 20 '15 at 8:38
  • How to create virtual network using Virtualbox?: youtube.com/watch?v=bAxpBChGxas VMware Workstation Tutorial - VMware Virtual Network Overview: youtube.com/watch?v=QkKQrngBbbs ;Yes, Open Virtual Switch seams to be only for Linux systems. And may use virtual switch adapter without Hyper-V - Creating V-switches within the hyper-V environment fails: support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2486812 – STTR May 20 '15 at 21:15
  • I know how to creat virtual networks for virtual machines, but that's not what I want. I want a virtual network for the real machine with multiple virtual network apdaters for the same real machine. How can I do that? – Niels May 21 '15 at 8:11

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