Vyatta – Router running on VMware Workstation – Part 1 basic networking

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Vyatta Logo

Have you ever thought of using your own router in your virtual lab? I did and previously I was using GNS with Cisco IOS images but with new lab I would like to use Vyatta as router and firewall. Configuration of GNS with VMware Workstation was not as easy as is Vyatta.

What is Vyatta?

Vyatta - as Wikipedia says is Debian based software-based virtual router, firewall, vpn. I find it very powerful (although I will not use more than 5% of its capabilities) and people familiar with Cisco and Juniper will feel like home. One feature which might be useful (Web GUI) was removed in version 6.3 - shame on them 😛

Ok let’s do it!

Basic Networking

  1. After downloading ISO create Virtual Machine deploy VM (I used 1 vCPU, 512MB RAM and 3GB of Storage) with Debian as Operating System. I used two network adapters - one will be connected to LAN (OUTER Network, we can call it public) network / 24 (to access Vyatta via SSH) and second one to VMNet1 which is network for Virtual Machines (INNER Network). Vyatta will do routing and firewall between networks.
  2. After boot screen hit enter and login to vyatta using following credentials:
  3. Username: vyatta
  4. Password: vyatta

    Vyatta Boot

  5. Next step is really simple - installation of Vyatta on local disk. In order to do that simply execute command: install system and confirm it.

    Vyatta - Install System

  6. I went with default settings for partitions but you can align them as you wish.
  7. Set vyatta user password.
  8. Reboot Vyatta by executing command: reboot.
  9. Login again to vyatta and we will start with setting hostname. Enter configuration mode by typing configure and type set system host-name your_hostname.
  10. Now we will setup network interfaces:
  11. set interfaces ethernet eth0 address / 24
  12. set interfaces ethernet eth1 address / 24
  13. Commit changes by executing command commit and save changes save.
  14. Now when we have both interfaces up and running we will enable SSH. In order to do it execute following commands: set service ssh. Commit and save.
  15. Before you will be able to connect to INNER Network you need to add route on your PC or even on your physical router. In my case I added following route using command(I am running Windows) route add mask -p.
  16. Now you should be able to reach VM’s in INNER Network - in my case subnet / 24.
  17. This is my current network diagram

    Home Lab Network Diagram V1


In next posts we will configure firewall rules and iSCSI storage for ESXi hosts.