Define a network bridge using Ubuntu’s / Linux Mint’s Network Manager application

I’m regularly passing large amounts of data between my Windows VM and my Linux host. To avoid bottlenecks, I use a virtual network bridge that creates a 10 GBit link between the guest and the host, enough to challenge the fastest SSD on the market.

When running Ubuntu 16.04 or Linux Mint 18.3, Network Manager offers a convenient way to configure a network bridge.

Here is how you set up a virtual network bridge for connecting a Virtual Machine to the Linux Host. Please note that this will not work with a wireless network connection, at least not without some modifications:

  1. Click on the Network Manager icon (near the bottom right in the Linux Mint panel). Then select “Edit connections…”.

    wired connection
    Network Manager before editing
  2. Click “Add”, then select “Bridge” from the drop-down menu.
    add bridge
    Add bridge

    Then click “Create…”.

  3. Select the Bridge tab and click “Add”.

    bridge link
    Add a link to the bridge
  4. From the drop-down menu, choose “Ethernet” as the connection type.
    Ethernet link
    Create an Ethernet link for the bridge

    Click “Create…”.

  5. Under the Ethernet tab, select your network link next to the “Device:” specification. I have selected eno1 which is the fixed Ethernet link to my router.
    Ethernet bridge device
    Specify the Ethernet link eno1 as the bridge slave device

    Click “Save” to save the configuration and to close the window.

  6. Back in the “Editing Bridge connection 1” window, select the IPv4 Settings tab.
    DHCP configuration
    The IPv4 Settings tab to select automatic (DHCP) or manual configuration

    If you wish to automatically assign an IP address every time you start your PC, you can click “Save” and close the window. Congratulations – you are done!

    If, like me, you prefer to use a static IP, select “Manual” from the “Method:” drop-down menu. Fill in the IP address, network mask, gateway address, and the DNS server address. Mine are as follows:

    manual IPv4 settings
    Manual configuration of IPv4 settings for the bridge

    I also selected “Require IPv4 addressing for this connection to complete” (not sure this is needed). Once you are done, click “Save”. Close the “Network connections” window.

  7. Check the new configuration by clicking on the Network Manager icon, then select “Connection Information”. Here is my configuration:

    bridge configuration
    Bridge configuration in Network Manager
  8. To enable the new network configuration, reboot your computer!

Good luck!

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