I was running an ESXi host in my home network and I wanted to dedicate on NIC of the ESXi for VM traffic. Since I was planning on having different networks, I decide to plug this NIC into a trunk port of the dd-wrt router. This way, I can just assign the VM to an appropriate virtual network and it will have access to it’s corresponding network.

Add another VLAN to dd-wrt

So I decided to allow vlans 1 and 3 to go through port 4 of the dd-wrt router. First let’s add vlan 3 to the dd-wrt configuration and assign a network range to this vlan. This is done in the management UI. Point your browser to the dd-wrt router, after you login you should see the following:

dd wrt admin ui Tag Multiple VLANs on Trunk Port on DD WRT Router

Now let’s add vlan3 to port 4:

  1. Go to Setup -> VLANs.
  2. Uncheck port 4.
  3. Place port 4 into VLAN3.
  4. Click Save, then Apply Settings.

Next let’s configure vlan 3’s network:

  1. Go to Setup -> Networking -> Port Setup
  2. Set Vlan3 to unbridged
  3. Set the IP address to
  4. Set the Subnet Mask to
  5. Save the configuration

dd wrt port setup Tag Multiple VLANs on Trunk Port on DD WRT Router

Let’s also enable DHCP for VLAN3:

  1. Go to Setup -> Networking -> DHCPD
  2. Set DHCP 0 to vlan3 with a Leasetime of 3600.
  3. Click Save and Apply Settings

dd wrt dhcp Tag Multiple VLANs on Trunk Port on DD WRT Router

Now let’s bring up the vlan3 interface on boot. To do this:

  1. Go to Administration -> Commands
  2. Enter the following in the commands text field

    ifconfig vlan3 netmask
    ifconfig vlan3 up
  3. Click Save Startup

After it’s done you should see the following under the Start up section:

dd wrt startup commands Tag Multiple VLANs on Trunk Port on DD WRT Router

If you have SSH enabled on the router you can run the following to assign vlan3 to port 4:

nvram set vlan1ports="3 2 1 8*"
nvram set vlan3ports="4 8"
nvram set vlan3hwname="et0"

Since I was enabling DHCP and defining the network range, I just did that in the UI.

Enabling Trunk VLANs on port 4

These commands have to be run from the command line. To enable SSH on the dd-wrt, follow the instruction laid out here. Before making any changes, I checked out my vlan configuration and here is what I saw:

root@DD-WRT:~# nvram show | grep "vlan.ports"
vlan2ports=0 8
vlan3ports=4 8
vlan1ports=3 2 1 8*

root@DD-WRT:~# nvram show | grep "port.vlans"
port5vlans=1 2 3 16
port3vlans=1 18 19
port1vlans=1 18 19
port4vlans=3 18 19
port2vlans=1 18 19
port0vlans=2 18 19

The ports are described here. From that page:

0 = WAN 1 = port 1 2 = port 2 3 = port 3 4 = port 4

Gigabit routers

[0-4] = Can be forward or reverse like above 8 = CPU internal 8* = CPU internal default

Here are the other numbers mean:

16 = Tagged is checked 17 = Auto-Negotiate is unchecked 18 = 100 Mbit is unchecked or greyed because Auto-Negotiate is checked 19 = Full-Duplex is unchecked or greyed because Auto-Negotiate is checked 20 = Enabled is unchecked.

So from the above we can see port 4 allows vlan3, which is perfect. Now let’s set up vlan1 and vlan3 to come in tagged on port 4 and then enable both VLANS on that port. This can be accomplished with the following:

nvram set vlan1ports="4t 3 2 1 8*"
nvram set vlan3ports="4t 8"
nvram set port4vlans="1 3 18 19"

Then apply the change and reboot the router:

nvram commit

Allow Vlan3 to talk to the internet

The following commands will allow access to the WAN for vlan3:

iptables -I FORWARD -i vlan2 -o vlan3 -j ACCEPT
iptables -I FORWARD -i vlan3 -o vlan2 -j ACCEPT
iptables -I FORWARD -i br0 -o vlan3 -j ACCEPT
iptables -I FORWARD -i vlan3 -o br00 -j ACCEPT
iptables -I INPUT -i vlan3 -j ACCEPT

I was using fwbuilder, so I had to add the vlan3 interface to the configuration and allow access to and from it.

Now I can configure two Virtual PortGroups on my Virtual Switch and tag vlans 1 and 3 on them. Then I can put any VM on any of those networks just by assigning their nics to the appropriate port group.