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How to Install and Configure GNS3 VM

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By: Parvez Ahmed

July 6, 2017

The blog is for the new GNS3 VM (Virtual Machine) users on Windows 7/8/10.

What is gns3?

It’s a graphical network simulator that allows you to design complex network topologies, where you can run different devices (irrespective of vendors) like cisco, juniper, chCheckpointFortinet, PFSense etc.

New features:

Gns3 has introduced VM which is referred to as gns3 VM and makes it easier to configure and install network devices as per the users wish without interrupting the host os (windows)

è The VM is introduced to overcome the shortcomings of hosts OS

è The VM is powered by Ubuntu

è The VM is installed on the virtual box, VMware workstation, KVM, hypervisor


è Core i3/i5/i7 Processor with 8/16 Gb ram

è Windows 7/10 operating system (Windows 7 would be ideal)

è VMware workstation/virtual box (VMWare workstation would be ideal)


è You can download VMware Workstation

è You can download gns3 VM

è You can download gns3 application GUI

è Please Install the VMWare workstation then import gns3 VM Into VMware and allocate enough memory 8 GB would be ideal and click start

è Now install gns3 GUI after installation, disable windows firewall to allow GUI to get connected to VM.


è After starting VM Please enter default username and password

1.       User Name: root/gns3

2.       Password: gns3vm/gns3

è You can configure different port and location of file saving in gn3 by navigating to Preferences in the edit menu.

è  Let’s define few setting briefly General preferences are the options defines users project storing location.

è Server preferences allow user to set GNS3 VM application and Ports.

è Packet Capture preferences specify location of packet capture.

è VPC for virtual private cloud path or location.

è Dynamips->IOS Routers to install IOS Devices.

è IOS on Unix->IOU Devices for old version devices installed on Unix/Linux or Linux images

è QEMU->Qemu VM’S for Cisco ASA and other firewalls.

è Virtual Box, VMWare for type of application we are using to host GNS3 VM

Installing and Configuring Devices:

                The GNS3 VM has a new feature called “New Appliance Templet” where we can import images of devices such as routers, firewalls etc.

                You can download this temple from GNS3 Marketplace.

Apart from the appliances specified here, We can configure other appliances as well, These appliances will take us to the right OS (operating system) image link to install respective devices OS.

Let’s look at some example steps:

  1. Click on New appliance templet.
  2. Then Click on Import appliance to import a file downloaded from the GNS3 marketplace.
  3. Click on download to download the image from a website, it may ask you to sign to start the download after download you can configure a device to for first use.
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