Burning and rebuilding bridges

… of the network kind, of course 😉

This past weekend I decided to take the plunge and start virtualising some of the many things my home server does, such as printing via CUPS, hosting my dev sites and documentation, backing up all computers in the flat and so on. I managed to get 2 Debian Lenny VMs up and running with this tutorial, and all seemed good and well with the world. Well, apart from one thing.

It seemed that the new VMs I had created were unable to see the outside world, and likewise could also not be pinged. The one existing VM used as a Jabber server, however, was working perfectly fine.

This was an immensely frustrating problem, which consumed pretty much all of my weekend with no luck. However, after over 4 days of searching with little luck (and many edits to this post), I finally found a network setup that worked for me. In /etc/xen/xend-config.sxp, I only enabled (network-script network-dummy) and (vif-script vif-bridge), while my /etc/network/interfaces is set up as:

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto br0
iface br0 inet static
        address 192.168.1.x
        gateway 192.168.1.1
        network 192.168.1.0     
        netmask 255.255.255.0
        bridge_ports eth0
        bridge_stp on
        bridge_maxwait 0

And each virtual guest having this bridge specified in the networking section of its respective config file:

vif         = [ 'ip=192.168.1.x, bridge=br0' ]
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