As a presales engineer at a small big data company with our own database that runs on many platforms, I now use VMWare Fusion all the time.

Here’s some of the grunt work I do when creating new VMs for which I want a fixed IP address and a changed hostname.

If I make the new VM and it’s linux, I may use the VMWare rapid installation feature. Then I want to change the root password. That just requires a restart. During restart, hit any key on the keyboard to bring up the Linux GRUB screen. Then hit “e” on the keyboard to edit the start parameters. Use the down arrow to get to the line starting with “kernel”. Then hit e again to edit that line. Delete the last two words, “rhgb quiet” and replace them with “1”. Then hit enter to preserver your change and then b to boot. You will start in single user mode as root. From there, you can use the command “passed” to provide a new password for user root.

Then to change the hostname, I use these three steps on Centos Linux, after becoming root of course.
1. Use the hostname command to change the host name.
[root@localhost ~]# hostname yournewhostname.local

2. Edit /etc/sysconfig/network to include the new hostname.

3. Back on my Mac, I figure out what the static IP address will be. With VMWare Fusion 5 (and apparently 4 or higher) this involves editing the following file:
/Library/Preferences/VMware Fusion/vmnet8/dhcpd.conf

Here’s a great write up on what to do.

4. Edit /etc/hosts to include the new hostname. Also include the static ip you chose in step 3.

5. I’ve been using Centos for my VMs. I’ve been using the GUI “Network Connections” tool under the System – Preferences menu to create the static ip address. On the first screen, select your ethernet card. Mine shows up as eth0 on the Centos Linux VMs I’ve created. Then click the Edit button.

On the resulting screen, I click on the IPv4 tab.

Then I switch the method to Manual. I click Add and make the address my new static IP that I chose in step 3 above. Netmask is The gateway is the IP address of your Mac. I also make the DNS server the IP address for my Mac.