[vbox-dev] Fwd: VirtualBox Networking Model - from my current point-of-view plus an idea for major improvements

Alexey Eremenko al4321 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 7 12:57:12 PST 2007

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Alexey Eremenko <al4321 at gmail.com>
Date: Feb 7, 2007 10:49 PM
Subject: VirtualBox Networking Model - from my current point-of-view
plus an idea for major improvements
To: vbox-users at virtualbox.org

and a bit more about networking:

- Why is the TAP driver is "so needed"?
You say that Linux has something like this already, so you provide it
only for Windows.

a. Actually, all Windows NT-based systems has something like this included.

The MS loopback can be added via Control Panel/Add Hardware/New
Hardware/Manual/Network Adaptors/Microsoft.
It is treated as just another NIC.
Does your TAP driver provide you with features that you *absolutely* must-have?
If not, then it's better to use the MS one, because it's signed. (and
gives no stupid driver signature warnings during adding of an extra

b. I think that the current networking model needs new revision: (if I
understood your networking model correctly)
it can be much more scalable, if it will be done the "Microsoft
Virtual PC 2004"-way; (or if you hate MS way, then look at the
Open-Source emulator "Dynagen"-way)
 that is: I think that we don't have to use any such TAP driver at
all. We can use the host network interface directly - of course we
need some way to enumerate them - two ways exists: Windows Registry or
WinPCap. (BTW: Open-Source Wireshark, while not an emulator, also uses
this technique)

With this approach hubs will be created automatically, without any
need to define bridges manually. Windows 2000 host will be supported
much better this way (because AFAIK it doesn't have bridging) and
Windows XP host won't be limited to one bridge as it is now.

As a bonus, the Linux host networking will become piece-a-cake -
instead of manually creating TAP interfaces and then bridging them to
real host interfaces (manually again, all via command-line), this new
approach will enable to integrate it all nicely within a GUI so
click-click-click will solve it all. Basically a Linux user, working
with a GUI-only, will be able to achieve host-networking effect under
Linux very easily !

The possible downside costs is an extra dependency: libpcap/WinPCap
(to make things cross-platform).

Please be patient, because I might be incorrect in some cases;
after-all I looked at your software for only one day.
Please tell me where I'm right and where I'm not.

-Alexey Eremenko (CCNA, Cisco Certified Network Associate)

More information about the vbox-dev mailing list