Bridged Networking in KVM: Connecting Your Virtual Machines

Virtualization has revolutionized the way we manage and utilize computing resources, allowing us to create and manage multiple virtual machines (VMs) on a single physical server. One crucial aspect of virtualization is networking, as it enables seamless communication between VMs and the external network. Bridged networking is a networking mode that provides VMs with direct access to the physical network, making them appear as individual devices on the network. In this tutorial, we will delve into the concept of bridged networking in the context of Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), a popular open-source virtualization solution.

Understanding Bridged Networking

Bridged networking acts as a bridge between the virtual and physical network, allowing VMs to communicate with external devices as if they were separate physical machines on the same network. Unlike NAT (Network Address Translation) or internal networking, where VMs share the host’s IP address, bridged networking assigns unique IP addresses to each VM, enabling direct communication with other devices in the network.

Setting Up Bridged Networking


Before configuring bridged networking, ensure you have KVM installed on a host system with appropriate hardware support for virtualization. Additionally, have a basic understanding of networking concepts, IP addressing, and Linux command-line operations.

Step 1: Creating a Bridge Interface

To establish bridged networking, you need to create a bridge interface on the host system. The bridge interface acts as a connection point between the VMs and the physical network. This can be achieved using tools like brctl or ip command.

Step 2: Modifying VM Configurations

After creating the bridge interface, you’ll need to configure your VMs to use it. Update the VM definitions to associate them with the bridge interface. This ensures that the VMs are connected to the physical network through the bridge.

Step 3: Network Configuration within VMs

Within the VMs, configure the network settings to use static or dynamic IP addressing, depending on your network setup. This ensures proper communication between VMs and other devices on the external network.

Benefits and Considerations

Bridged networking offers several advantages, such as seamless communication, direct access to external resources, and improved network performance for VMs. However, it’s essential to consider security implications, as VMs are exposed to the external network. Implementing firewalls and proper network segmentation can mitigate potential risks.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While setting up bridged networking, you might encounter issues like network conflicts or improper configurations. Troubleshooting steps could include checking bridge configurations, ensuring proper firewall rules, and verifying network settings within VMs.


Bridged networking in KVM provides a powerful way to connect virtual machines directly to the physical network, enabling efficient communication and resource utilization. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can seamlessly integrate your VMs into your existing network infrastructure while considering both the benefits and security aspects.

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