Installing GNS3 Network Simulator

- select the contributor at the end of the page -
There are two main ways that GNS3 can be installed, either by using the all-in-one installer or by using one of the standalone packages. The standalone packages are not installers but simply an archive that can be extracted and run directly; this is a very useful option for those who do not want to run through the installation process. The option that will be covered in this article is the installer which includes the installation of Dynamips, Qemu/Pemu, Putty, VPCS, WinPcap and Wireshark.

GNS3 Installation

The installation of GNS3 is simple and the different options to select are based on the specific configuration of the target machine. The installation shown in this article will install all required programs and assumes nothing has been previously installed.

The first thing to do is to obtain the GNS3 installer available at http://www.gns3.net/download/. Once this file is downloaded, click on the executable file as shown in Figure 1:

Click on the GNS3 Installation Executable

Once the installer has been launched, the screen shown in Figure 2 will be displayed; once at this screen press the Next button.

GNS3 Installer Setup Wizard Screen

The next screen will display the license information to install GNS3 and its associated programs.  If the terms are agreeable press the I Agree button.

GNS3 License Screen

The next screen will allow the user to select a Start Menu folder name to insert the associated GNS3 shortcuts into; most people just leave this at the default of GNS3.  Once a name has been selected you will press the Next button.

Start Menu Name Selection

The next screen will allow the user to customize the installation by selecting which components will be installed; select the components that are required for the specific installation and press the Next button.

GNS3 Component Selection

The next screen will allow the user to select where the GNS3 programs and most of its components will be installed. Select the appropriate path and press the Install button.

GNS3 Install Location

If WinPcap was selected to be installed, the next few screens will be shown as the WinPcap installer is completed.  Once this screen is shown, press the Next button. If WinPcap was not selected move to Figure 11.

WinPcap Installer Screen

Read the next screen and press the Next button.

WinPcap Installer Setup Wizard Screen

The next screen will display the license information to install WinPcap.  If the terms are agreeable press the I Agree button.

WinPcap License Screen

On the next screen select whether the WinPcap driver will be automatically started at boot. This is typical.

WinPcap Driver on Startup

Once the installer has finished it will display the final screen shown in Figure 11, press the Finish button.

WinPcap Installer Finish

If Wireshark was selected to be installed, the next few screens will be shown as the Wireshark installer is completed; once this screen is shown press the Next button. If Wireshark was not selected move to Figure 21.

Wireshark Installer Setup Wizard Screen

The next screen will display the license information to install Wireshark.  If the terms are agreeable press the I Agree button.

Wireshark License Screen

The next screen will allow the user to customize the installation by selecting which components will be installed; select the components that are required for the specific installation and press the Next button.

Wireshark Component Selection

The next screen will ask which shortcuts to install as part of the Wireshark installation and ask if a number of different file associations should be associated to Wireshark. Select the wanted options and press the Next button.

Wireshark Additional Tasks

The next screen will allow the user to select where Wireshark will be installed. Select the appropriate path and press the Next button.

Wireshark Install Location

The next screen will ask if WinPcap should be installed as well.  Since WinPcap was probably already installed first by the GNS3 installer, this option will probably not be selected; once done press the Install button.

Install WinPCap (Wireshark Installer)

At this point the Wireshark installer will start as shown in Figure 17.

Wireshark Installing

Once the Wireshark installation is complete the screen shown in Figure 18 will be displayed; once done press the Next button.

Wireshark Installation Complete

At the next screen don't select the Run Wireshark option (this is because the GNS3 installer is still running) and press the Finish button.

Completing the Wireshark Installation

The next screen will show that the installation of GNS3 is proceeding.

GNS3 Installation Proceeding

Once the GNS3 installation is complete the screen shown in Figure 21 will be displayed; once done press the Next button.

GNS3 Installation Complete

The last screen in the installation process is shown in Figure 22; at this screen it is possible to run GNS3 for the first time.

GNS3 Setup Complete

Summary

Once the installation is complete, the user has the ability to use all of the GNS3 capabilities. A couple of other articles will be written as a follow-up to display the way that these different capabilities can be used to help in studying for Cisco based courses.

Get our content first. In your inbox.

Contributor

Sean Wilkins

Sean Wilkins is an accomplished networking consultant who has been in the IT field for more than 20 years, working with several large enterprises. He is a writer for infoDispersion and his educational accomplishments include: a Master’s of Science in Information Technology with a focus in Network Architecture and Design, and a Master’s of Science in Organizational Management. Sean holds certifications with Cisco (CCNP/CCDP), Microsoft (MCSE) and CompTIA (A+ and Network+).