Win8/Hyper-V: “What Works and What Doesn’t” Edition

UPDATE: I learned a lot since I first wrote this blog post, so I basically re-wrote this with all of the latest details. Thanks to David F. (in comments) for the extra info too.

Over the past weeks I’ve been getting some VM’s set up on Hyper-V, on Windows 8 Pro, on my laptop. I wrote another blog post about how to set that up.

If you set up a “network switch” in Hyper-V that uses a wireless card, many operating systems won’t see it correctly. So, here is a trick to make it so Hyper-V can work for more operating systems over WiFi. Basically you create an Internal Network Switch, then in the host OS, you turn on Internet sharing and share your WiFi connection with that Internal connection – and that works well! In fact, since I am doing this primarily from a laptop, I only have one network switch set up – it’s an “Internal Network Switch”, then I shared my WiFi connection with that. I just have all my VM’s use this because that’s sort of the lowest-common-denominator, many OS’es work with that.

Secondly, for the older Linux distributions that don’t detect a network card at all – apperently Hyper-V emulates a DEC 21140 ethernet card – so if you can manually load the driver for that – that can help. Note that you need to delete the default network card in the setup for a virtual machine, and then add a “Legacy Network Card” for this to work. It seems to show up as “DEC 21140” or a “tulip” network card in these older Linux operating systems.

So – I installed a bunch of operating systems in Hyper-V on Windows 8 and below is what I found worked and didn’t work:

  OS Status
IconGreen CentOS 6.3 Required legacy network card, and “Internal Switch” workaround to work with WiFi card. Install went fine, network works fine. No seamless mouse/keyboard integration
IconGreen Debian 6.0.5 Required legacy network card, and “Internal Switch” workaround to work with WiFi card. Install went fine, network works fine. No seamless mouse/keyboard integration
IconYellow Fedora 17 Installs went OK, but after install you get the “Oh no! Something has gone wrong” screen – couldn’t continue. Found this link which said to run “yum remove fprintd” – and that gets it to boot. Even with the Internal Switch and with the legacy network card, it sees the ethernet card but claims the cable is unplugged. So – I could not get networking going for this.
IconYellow FreeBSD 9.0 Installs OK – and recognized the legacy NIC as the Digital 21140 – but DHCP didn’t work. I’m not good enough to troubleshoot why – but I believe the OS does see the NIC, I just didn’t configure it correctly.
IconYellow Haiku (BeOS) Installed OK, but does not recognize the Hyper-V network card with regular or legacy NIC.
IconGreen LinuxMint 13 Cinnamon Installs OK. Works on wired connection or the “Internal Network Switch” (see NOTE, above) – but not WiFi directly. Has seamless mouse/keyboard integration.
IconYellow Mageia 2 Installs OK – sees the network card, but for WiFi or wired, shows “cable unplugged”. Haven’t found a fix. Also, graphics are a little messed up (black bars around menu items). “Internal Network Switch” trick above doesn’t help either.
IconGreen OpenBSD 5.1 Required legacy network card, and “Internal Switch” workaround to work with WiFi card. Install went fine, network works fine. No seamless mouse/keyboard integration – and egads, this still uses Motif X-Windows!!
IconGreen openSUSE 12.1 Required legacy network card, and “Internal Switch” workaround to work with WiFi card. Install went fine, network works fine. Has seamless mouse/keyboard integration
IconGreen openSUSE 12.2 Pretty much exactly the same as 12.1 (12.2 came out today, so I thought I’d check it out)
IconRed ReactOS (open source WinXP) Installed OK, but on first boot-up hangs while loading AFD.SYS
IconGreen Solaris 11 Required legacy network card, and “Internal Switch” workaround to work with WiFi card. Install went fine, network works fine. No seamless mouse/keyboard integration
IconGreen Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Installs OK. Works on wired connection or the “Internal Network Switch” (see NOTE, above) – but not WiFi directly.
IconGreen Windows 7 No Issues.
IconGreen Windows 8 No Issues.
IconGreen Windows 2008 R2 No Issues.
IconGreen Windows 2012 Std and DC No Issues.
IconGreen Windows XP No Issues – but did have flaky network with anything except the “Internal Network Switch” workaround.
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5 comments on “Win8/Hyper-V: “What Works and What Doesn’t” Edition
  1. […] did this blog post which covers which operating systems worked and didn’t work in Hyper-V: Win8/Hyper-V: “What Works and What Doesn’t” Edition Share this:EmailTwitterDiggRedditStumbleUponFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This […]

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  2. David F. says:

    For the cases where Linux doesn’t recognize the Hyper-V network card, you can solve the problem by first installing a “Legacy Network Card” (the option is available under the add devices option under the VM settings). This will emulate a (slow) Tulip driver that any Linux install should be able to use.

    The ability to use the native Hyper-V network driver and other integration features depends on whether the Hyper-V integration package is loaded. Mint seems to have this by default; the Redhat variants require the legacy network adapter until you can get the integration disk drivers loaded (it’s available as an ISO from Microsoft Downloads). I am still having trouble with Fedora 17, though. It sees the legacy adapter, but thinks it is unplugged.

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    • Rob Seder says:

      David – thanks!! It didn’t dawn on me to try the legacy NIC in Hyper-V. When I couldn’t get it working, I just assumed there was some other step I was missing.

      All the examples above were with a ‘regular’ network card in Hyper-V. I will give this a try and update this post if I can get more of these OS’es working. Thanks very much for this!

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      • Marko Jokela says:

        Hi there!
        I’ve been struggling some time with Hyper-V and Freebsd and thought I share my information with you.

        So in FreeBSD you need to install Legacy Network Card and after this, use these commands;

        ifconfig de0 down
        ifconfig de0 up
        dhclient de0

        And after these commands Freebsd can get the DHCP address from network. But i have another problem; mouse is not working with Freebsd and Hyper-V. So if anyone got any solution for this, I will appreciate it. (Used code tags in my post, but Im not sure if they are working…)

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  3. boucz says:

    Hi 🙂
    networking is working in Fedora 17 following this post : http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showpost.php?p=1609746&postcount=14
    great, looking for lis now

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