PLCSim Advanced from Siemens does not work

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PLCSim Advanced from Siemens does not work

Postby jimli » 5. Dec 2021, 15:23

Hi, I am testing a software from Siemens, the software is called "S7-PLCSIM Advanced V4.0", it is the first time that I found an automation software works on VMWare only, Siemens says that the software has been tested on VMWare but not mentioned Virtualbox, I tested the software with Virtualbox first but failed, but it works well on VMWare, and I created a virtual machine with VMware first with the software testing passed, then I tried to start this Virtual machine with Virtualbox, I am sure I have set all the relevant but still can't communicate with the software.
The network type from VMWare is 82574L while Virtualbox uses 82540EM(it is the same if I choose 82545EM), I am thinking maybe Siemens has some special setting in its software with 82574L. Many thanks in advance.
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Re: PLCSim Advanced from Siemens does not work

Postby mpack » 5. Dec 2021, 15:39

We would need to know more about the specific hardware requirements of the software, if any.

Also what OS does it require?

I would very much doubt that Siemens software cares what kind of Ethernet chipset is present: the OS cares about that stuff, not application software. You should not change the hardware selected by the OS template unless you know better than the template designer! Changing the NIC type will only lead you on a fruitless search for working device drivers. What will matter is that Ethernet is present and usable by the guest OS, not what chipset is used by the Ethernet NIC.

It might be different if you were trying to set up some kind of advanced firewall, the choice of PC NIC chipset will surely not matter to a PLC.
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Re: PLCSim Advanced from Siemens does not work

Postby jimli » 15. Dec 2021, 02:38

Many thanks for your concern, I extract the related information from Siemens as you asked:
S7-PLCSIM Advanced V4.0 supports following Operating Systems:

Windows 10 Home Version 1909
Windows 10 Home Version 2004
Windows 10 Home Version 2009/20H2
Windows 10 Professional Version 1909
Windows 10 Professional Version 2004
Windows 10 Professional Version 2009/20H2
Windows 10 Enterprise Version 1909
Windows 10 Enterprise Version 2004
Windows 10 Enterprise Version 2009/20H2
Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB
Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC
Windows Server 2016 Standard (Full installation)
Windows Server 2019 Standard (Full installation)

Supported virtualization platforms:

VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) 6.7
VMware Workstation Pro 15.5.0
VMware Player 15.5.0
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019

The OS I tested is Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC and Windows 10 Enterprise 2021 LTSC, I could build the virtual TCP/IP communication with both OS on VMware platform but failed on VirtualBox(6.1.28), for sure I selected the default network type at first, then I tried to use different network type manually.
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Re: PLCSim Advanced from Siemens does not work

Postby scottgus1 » 15. Dec 2021, 04:07

VirtualBox's default network setting of NAT will probably not get your software to communicate to a network device easily.

See Virtualbox Networks: In Pictures. Your best bet will be Bridged, using a wired Ethernet host network adapter.
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Re: PLCSim Advanced from Siemens does not work

Postby mpack » 15. Dec 2021, 11:29

jimli wrote:S7-PLCSIM Advanced V4.0 supports following Operating Systems:
...
Supported virtualization platforms:
VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) 6.7
...
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019

To me that reads as "we built the app for Windows 10, but don't care what build number". Also, since it supports both VMWare and Hyper-v, it doesn't much care about the VM platform either (because those two couldn't get much farther apart). Those are just the ones it was tested with. It's not unusual for VirtualBox to be omitted from such a list: Hyper-v is the official VM product on the Win10 platform, and VMWare is the best known third party offering.

I notice that your list said nothing whatever about hardware requirements.

This is exactly what I would expect from an "industrial" type app whose focus has nothing to do with PCs or operating systems. The only reason it specifies Windows 10 is probably just laziness: they couldn't be bothered to test compatibility with older cases. And the hardware requirements will be: it needs Ethernet plus a moderate amount of RAM and disk space.

So yes, configure the VM for Bridged Networking and it really shouldn't have any trouble.
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Re: PLCSim Advanced from Siemens does not work

Postby jimli » 16. Dec 2021, 03:01

Many thanks first, I have tried to use the wireless network to test it but failed (passed also on VMware), I have bought an USB network card and will try with hard wired connection.
Actually it is just my interest to test this technical software on Virtualbox, I like Virtualbox really :D
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Re: PLCSim Advanced from Siemens does not work

Postby mpack » 16. Dec 2021, 11:50

jimli wrote:I have bought an USB network card and will try with hard wired connection.

Does your PC or laptop not have Ethernet built in? That's quite an oversight.

It isn't obvious to me how your PLC could ever be accessible over WiFi. Presumably the PLC has an Ethernet port only, no wireless? Also IME PLCs have to be accessed using a specialised app and static IP, it isn't designed to be added to a LAN. I.e. the Ethernet connection is just being used as a master/slave comms cable, not for true networking.

I suggest that you let the host own the Ethernet connection, then bridge to it from VirtualBox. I would not attempt to use USB/Ethernet adapter from the VM unless I was forced to - I'm concerned that it would be prone to timing issues, and frankly it never seems to be a good idea for a virtual machine to be responsible for physical hardware.
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Re: PLCSim Advanced from Siemens does not work

Postby jimli » 17. Dec 2021, 08:56

For sure my laptop has a built-in wired ethernet adapter, I have tried setting bridged to the wired ethernet adapter and wireless ethernet adapter respectively on VMware platform and both setting passed, I could ping the virtual IP address created by this Siemens simulator in the virtual machine from my physical laptop, but the test were failed with the same setting on VirtualBox, my physical laptop could not access the IP address in the VM.
now I have to give up as it takes too much time, I will test it later on if new version like V7.x released, thanks anyway for your concern, have a nice weekend.
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Re: PLCSim Advanced from Siemens does not work

Postby jimli » 17. Dec 2021, 14:33

I made another trial to modify "promiscuous mode" from "Deny" to "Allow All", then the communication is ok. I never used this setting before, probably it is because this software depends on NPCap.
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