How to troubleshoot networking on Windows



Multipass uses the native “Hyper-V” hypervisor on Windows, along with the “Default Switch” created for it. That, in turn, uses the “Internet Sharing” functionality, providing DHCP (IP addresses) and DNS (domain name resolution) to the instances.

Known issues

Default Switch going awry

Unfortunately the Default Switch is known to be quirky and Windows updates often put it in a weird state. This may result in new instances failing to launch, and existing ones timing out to start.

The broken state also persists over reboots. The one approach that has helped is removing the network sharing from the default switch and rebooting:

PS> Get-HNSNetwork | ? Name -Like "Default Switch" | Remove-HNSNetwork
PS> Restart-Computer

Hyper-V will recreate it on next boot.

Stale Internet Connection Sharing lease

Another reason for instance timeouts may be that a “stale” IP address for a particular instance name is stored in the Internet Connection Sharing hosts file.

Using Administrator privileges, edit C:\WINDOWS\System32\drivers\etc\hosts.ics and look for any entries that have your instance name in it. If there is more than 1 entry, remove any of them except for the first listed. Save the file and try again.

Anti-virus / security software blocking instances

Anti-virus and network security software are not necessarily virtualization-aware. If you’re having issues with connectivity, temporarily disabling this software to test can result in a positive outcome. Examples of this software are Symantec, ESET, Kaspersky, and Malware Bytes.

Last updated 16 hours ago.