[vbox-dev] Using VirtualBox network drivers

Gary Palter Palter at clozure.com
Wed Dec 5 22:17:22 GMT 2012

I am working on a project for a client which involves migrating a 20+ year old application to Linux.  (All I can say about the application is that it's an emulator for an almost 30 year old computer architecture.)

The guest's operating system is aware that it's running in a virtual machine.  For network access, it communicates with the emulator through a set of queues to send and receive Ethernet packets.  In the original emulator, we attach a packet filter to the Ethernet interface in order to inject packets onto the wire and grab packets intended for the guest.

For the new emulator, we want to use the VirtualBox network drivers to setup a bridged interface.  I've spent several hours reading through the source code and, frankly, I'm lost.

How, exactly, does VirtualBox setup a bridged interface?  (I know that VboxNetFlt driver is involved but I don't know how it's hooked up.)  How is ARP handled?  How would I use the VirtualBox drivers in our emulator, keeping in mind that there's no VBox guest involved?

Thank you for your assistance,

 - Gary Palter
   Principal Software Engineer
   Clozure Associates

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