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Host only networking set up for QEMU

In this short note I will try to describe how to set up host-only network for QEMU hypervisor. It means that guest system (run in QEMU) will be in LAN network with a host system (physical machine). I used it for some experiments with SSH functionality of a guest system.

Connection will be establish by virtual bridge and TAP interface. After host setup you will need to assign IP address to the guest system.

Firstly, create a bridge on the host machine:

sudo ip link add br0 type bridge

If you want to use already created bridge don't forget to clean out IP.

sudo ip addr flush dev br0

Assign IP to the bridge.

sudo ip addr add brd dev br0

Create TAP interface.

sudo ip tuntap add mode tap user $(whoami)
ip tuntap show

Output should contains name of created TAP interface:

~ tap0: tap UNKNOWN_FLAGS:800 user 1000

Add TAP interface to the bridge.

sudo ip link set tap0 master br0

Make sure everything is up:

sudo ip link set dev br0 up
sudo ip link set dev tap0 up

Assign IP range to the bridge.

sudo dnsmasq --interface=br0 --bind-interfaces \

Make sure that interfaces are UP. If not run previously mentioned commands to set TAP interface up (br0 will change its state automatically). Run Qemu with some MAC address:

qemu -device e1000,netdev=network0,mac=00:00:00:00:00:00 \
        -netdev tap,id=network0,ifname=tap0,script=no,downscript=no

In the guest system assign static IP address to the network interface:

ip addr add broadcast dev eth0

Don't forget to add root password:


Now you can connect to the Qemu guest system using SSH:

ssh root@


If you get an error that tap0 is already in use, possibly, you are trying to run more than one version of QEMU for one TAP interface. Described configuration is used only for two peers (host and guest). For multiple connection you need different configuration.

As mentioned before make sure that both TAP and Bridge are up. Otherwise you will fail to connect via SSH.


Hey👋 I'm Andrey. In this blog I post my personal short tutorials or interesting technical notes. Over the day I work as a Software Engineer developing and testing Linux filesystems. I use free software mainly #NixOS #Neovim #Kitty. Btw I use NixOS. Subscribe for updates on: