Define a network bridge using Ubuntu’s / Linux Mint’s Network Manager application

I’m regularly passing large amounts of data between my Windows VM and my Linux host. To avoid bottlenecks, I use a virtual network bridge that creates a 10 GBit link between the guest and the host, enough to challenge the fastest SSD on the market.

When running Ubuntu or Linux Mint, Network Manager offers a convenient way to configure a network bridge.

Here is how you set up a virtual network bridge for connecting a Virtual Machine to the Linux Host. Please note that this will not work with a wireless network connection, at least not without some modifications:

  1. Click on the Network Manager icon (near the bottom right in the Linux Mint panel). Then select “Edit connections…”.
wired connection
Network Manager before editing
  1. Click “Add”, then select “Bridge” from the drop-down menu.
add bridge
Add bridge

Then click “Create…”.

  1. Select the Bridge tab and click “Add”.
bridge connection
Add a connection to the bridge
  1. From the drop-down menu, choose “Ethernet” as the connection type.
Ethernet link
Create an Ethernet link for the bridge

Click “Create…”.

  1. Under the Ethernet tab, select your network link next to the “Device:” specification. I have selected enp3s0 which is the fixed Ethernet link to my router.
Ethernet bridge device
Specify the Ethernet link enp3s0 as the bridge slave device

Click “Save” to save the configuration and to close the window.

  1. Back in the “Editing Bridge connection 1” window, select the IPv4 Settings tab.
DHCP configuration
The IPv4 Settings tab to select DHCP or manual configuration

If you wish to automatically assign an IP address every time you start your PC, you can click “Save” and close the window. Congratulations – you are done!

If, like me, you prefer to use a static IP, select “Manual” from the “Method:” drop-down menu. Fill in the IP address, network mask, gateway address, and the DNS server address. Mine are as follows:

manual IPv4 settings
Manual configuration of IPv4 settings for the bridge

I also selected “Require IPv4 addressing for this connection to complete” (not sure this is needed). Once you are done, click “Save”. Close the “Network connections” window.

  1. Check the new configuration by clicking on the Network Manager icon, then select “Connection Information”. Here is my configuration:
bridge configuration
Bridge configuration in Network Manager
  1. To enable the new network configuration, reboot your computer!

Good luck!

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3 thoughts on “Define a network bridge using Ubuntu’s / Linux Mint’s Network Manager application”

  1. I have tried this, but I can’t get it to work with my Virtual Machine Manger VM’s. Which device do you specify in the VM for connection?

    1. I choose “Bridge device” and it should select the network bridge, in my case I had named it “bridge0”. The question is: Do you connect your PC via wireless? If yes, a network bridge won’t work. Unless you try your luck in creating a L3 tunnel for L2 networks (there is a way to do it, but I gave up eventually).

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