VirtualBox - Changer adresse MAC VM

How to change the MAC address of a VirtualBox VM?

I. Presentation

In this tutorial, we will learn how to change the MAC address of a VirtualBox virtual machine. By default, VirtualBox generates a MAC address for each of the VMs registered on your computer. In some cases, it may be useful to change the MAC address, either to another randomly generated address or to a manually defined MAC address. I remember certain applications or services that bring real importance to the MAC address.

As a reminder, MAC address is the physical address of a computer’s Ethernet network interface. Each network interface (wired or wireless) has its own MAC address and it is very important for routing packets on the network.

For people new to VirtualBox, here are some articles to read:

II. Changing the MAC address of a VirtualBox VM

Since each VM has its own MAC address, changing the MAC address is done in the settings of each VM. Let’s take the example of a VM named “Windows 11 22H2”.

From the VirtualBox interface, select the VM and click on “Configuration” in order to access the parameters of this VM. Then, you must click on “Network” to the left then on the arrow next to “Advanced” to display additional parameters. Here there is the field “MAC address” which appears: by clicking on the arrow on the right, you can immediately generate a new MAC address for its virtual machine.

VirtualBox - Renew MAC Address

Whether in NAT mode, bridge access, internal network, etc… It is possible to customize the MAC address. However, pay attention to the restrictions that there may be on the network to which you are connected (MAC filtering, for example).

Beyond generating a random MAC address, we can also define our own MAC address, at hexadecimal format (16 symbols: from 0 to 9 and from A to F). It is imperative to respect this format. Also be careful not to set the same MAC address on the virtual machine as your physical host!

Here is an example with a MAC address where I modified the last 5 characters:

VirtualBox - Custom MAC Address

All that remains is to validate and start the virtual machine. Then, by running the command “ipconfig /all“, we can see that the physical address (i.e. the MAC address) corresponds to the value defined in the parameters of the VirtualBox VM! Here is an example:

VirtualBox - Adresse MAC custom Windows

III. Conclusion

This very simple parameter available in the options of each VirtualBox virtual machine offers the possibility of managing the MAC address used by the guest system installed in the VM!


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