The Mikrotik Cloud Hosted Router (CHR) is a RouterOS distribution intended to be used in a virtual environment. The mikrotik cloud hosted router can be installed on vmware, oracle, hyperv and kvm hypervisors. Mikrotik CHR ships will all traditional routeros features except the licensing model used. This tutorial aims to provide a guide on how to install the Mikrotik CHR on VMware Workstation Pro 15.5
The Mikrotik Cloud Hosted Router has a different licensing model from the licensing model used on conventional mikrotik routers. There are 3 licensing tiers i.e Perpetual1 (P1), Perpetual
10 (P10) and Perpetual Unlimited (P-Unlimited). The perpetual licenses mean that you only have to buy once and use forever. A perpetual license can also be transfered to different/new CHR installation and a 60-day free trial license is available for all paid CHR license levels. Click HERE to learn more about how you can purchase a license.
1) To download the Mikrotik cloud hosted router image for vmware workstation player go to the official mikrotik website. Click on the SOFTWARE link and scroll down to the CLOUD HOSTED ROUTER section and click on the save button on the VMDK IMAGE row to download the CHR virtual machine disk file. 6.45.7 (Stable) is chosen in this tutorial you may choose any other version if you wish to do so.
1) Launch VMware Workstation Pro 15.5 and click on the “CREATE A NEW VIRTUAL MACHINE OPTION”.
2) Select the “CUSTOM(ADVANCED)” radio button. This will allow a ore customised approach to the virtual machine creation process by allowing to choose options such as selecting the SCSI controller type and virtual disk type. Click on the “NEXT” button to proceed.
3) On this page you define the virtual machine hardware compatibility with various vmware products. On the “HARDWARE COMPATIBILITY” drop down menu select “WORKSTATION 15.x”. If you would like to move the Mikrotik CHR to a different VMware product i.e VMware ESXi choose a lower hardware compatibility option from the dropdown menu. Click on the “NEXT>” button to proceed.
4) On this page of the “NEW VIRTUAL MACHINE” wizard select the “I WILL INSTALL THE OPERATING SYSTEM LATER” radio button and click :NEXT>”
5) On this page VMware workstation wants to know the type of guest operating system you would like to install on the virtual machine. This will enable VMware workstation to provide appropriate guest additional software for perfomance improvement if applicable.
For Mikrotik CHR choose the OTHER radio button under GUEST OPERATING SYSTEM and select OTHER 64-BIT on the VERSION drop down menu and clcik on the “NEXT >” button
6) On this configuration page of the “NEW VIRTUAL MACHINE WIZARD” enter any name in the “VIRTAUL MACHINE NAME” input box and click on the “BROWSE” button to choose a location to save your Mikrotik CHR virtual machine.
7) Select the number of processors and number of cores per processor for the Mikrotik CHR. In this case we select 2 processors and 2 cores per processor giving a total of 4 processor cores. Click on the “NEXT>” button.
8) Next, specify the amount of memory to be allocated to the Mikrotik CHR, the amount of memory that can be allocated depends on available host system memory resources. Adjust the memory to a suitable value and click on the “NEXT>” button.
9) Here, select the network connection type to be used by Mikrotik CHR it can be through a bridge interface, network address translation or host only networking. For this tutorial the “USE BRIDGED NETWORKING” radio button is selected, this will give the Mikrotik CHR virtual machine direct access to the physical LAN network attached to the host computer.
10) Configure the I/O controller to LSI Logic SAS and virtual hard disk type to IDE.
11) On the “SELECT HARD DISK” dialog, choose the “USE EXISTING VIRTUAL DISK” radio button and click on the “NEXT>” button. The dialog box will proceed to prompt you to browse for a virtual hard disk file (VMDK).
12) Browse and select the Mikrotik CHR VMDK file you downloaded on step one. Once selected VMware Workstation will produce a prompt asking to convert the virtual disk to a newer format. Click on the convert button to proceed.
14) Click on the “ADD” button on the “HARDWARE” popup window. Select “NETWORK ADAPTER” ass the type of hardware to install and click on the “FINISH” button.
15) Network Adapter 2 is now added to the hardware list. Select the “CONNECT AT POWER ON” check box and choose the “NETWORK CONNECTION” that this network adapter should utilize from the available options, this depends on available hardware resources and the network topology and use case for the Mikrotik CHR VM. Click on the “CLOSE” and “FINISH” buttons t proceed.
16) Click on the “POWER ON VIRTUAL MACHINE” option and if your VM configuration is okay, the virtual machine should boot using the attached Mikrotik CHR virtual disk and display a login prompt as shown in the image.
17) The default username for Mikrotik RouterOS is admin and the password is blank. To view current IP Address settings on the Mikrotik CHR vm login using above mentioned credentials. Type the command “ip address print” to view the IP address details and type “ip interface print” to view all available network interfaces on the Mikrotik CHR VM.
18) The Mikrotik CHR VM can also be accessed using the WINBOX configuration utility. This is a handy utility for those who prefer to use a graphic user interface that the command line. It is recommended to use VMware Workstation for testing purposes and to use the VMware ESXi hypervisor when deploying Mikrotik CHR in a production environment.