Introduction

Supported Operating Systems

Minimum Requirements

Recommended Requirements

Optimal Requirements

Video

Download GNS3

GNS3 Setup Wizard

Last updated
February 2, 2017

Contributors
David Bombal
Julien Duponchelle
Ricar Ganancial
Edit this Article
Last updated
February 2, 2017

Contributors
David Bombal
Julien Duponchelle
Ricar Ganancial
Edit this Article

Windows Installation

Introduction

This document explains how to install GNS3 using a Windows environment. You will learn how to:

  • Download the required software
  • Install prerequisite and optional software

Supported Operating Systems

GNS3 supports the following Windows operating systems:

  • Windows 7 (64 bit)
  • Windows 8 (64 bit)
  • Windows 10 (64 bit)
  • Windows Server 2012 (64 bit)
  • Windows Server 2016 (64 bit)

For older operating systems (or 32 bit CPU) please read this documentation.

Note: The 32 bit version is not discussed in this guide.

Minimum Requirements

The following are the minimum requirements for a Windows GNS3 environment:

ITEM

REQUIREMENT

Operating System

Windows 7 (64 bit) or later

Processor

2 or more Logical cores

Virtualization

Virtualization extensions required. You may need to enable this via your computer's BIOS.

Memory

4 GB RAM

Storage

1GB available space (Windows Installation is < 200MB).

Additional Notes

You may need additional storage for your operating system and device images.

         

IMPORTANTThe hardware requirements listed here are minimum requirements for a small GNS3 environment. If you want to create complex environments with many devices, your hardware requirements will increase.

Recommended Requirements

The following are the recommended requirements for a Windows GNS3 environment:

               

ITEM

REQUIREMENT

Operating System

Windows 7 (64 bit) or later

Processor

4 or more Logical cores - AMD-V / RVI Series or Intel VT-X / EPT

Virtualization

Virtualization extensions required. You may need to enable this via your computer's BIOS.

Memory

8 GB RAM

Storage

Solid-state Drive (SDD)

35 GB available space

Additional Notes

Virtualizing devices is processor and memory intensive. More is better but properly configured device trumps RAM and Processing power.

IMPORTANTThe hardware requirements listed here are recommended requirements for a small GNS3 environment. If you want to create complex environments with many devices, your hardware requirements will increase.

Optimal Requirements

The following are the optimal requirements for a Windows GNS3 environment:

               

ITEM

REQUIREMENT

Operating System

Windows 7 (64 bit) or later

Processor

i7 CPU

4 or more Logical cores - AMD-V / RVI Series or Intel VT-X / EPT

Virtualization

Virtualization extensions required. You may need to enable this via your computer's BIOS.

Memory

16 GB RAM

Storage

Solid-state Drive (SDD)

35 GB available space

Additional Notes

Virtualizing devices is processor and memory intensive. More is better but properly configured device trumps RAM and Processing power.

IMPORTANTIf you want to create complex environments with many devices, your hardware requirements will increase.

Video

Download GNS3

Follow these steps to download GNS3 on a local Windows PC.

Using a web browser, browse to https://gns3.com and click the Free Download link:

                     

                                         

If you have not already registered on the GNS3 site, create an account and then click Create Account & Continue:

                                                 

Or, if you already have an account, click Login, fill in the your details and then click Login & Continue:

After login, you will be prompted to select the version of GNS3 to download. In this guide, we will select the Windows installation. Click the Download button to download the GNS3-all-in-one package:

 

NOTEThe GNS3-1.5.0-all-in-one.exe file is about 51MB in size. The amount of time it takes to download will depend on your Internet speed.

IMPORTANTThe GNS3-1.5.0-all-in-one.exe file is an execute Windows file. If you have issues downloading, ensure that your security policies such as firewall and antivirus rules allow for the downloading of .exe files..

The GNS3-all-in-one package will automatically be downloaded to your PC:

               

If the download doesn't start automatically, click the Click Here link to manually start the download:

Install GNS3

Follow these steps to download GNS3 on a local Windows PC.

NOTEThis guide only discusses a local Windows installation (Dynamips). If you are using the GNS3 VM, please refer to the GNS3 VM installation guide..

Navigate in Windows Explorer to your Downloads folder and then double click the GNS3-1.5.0-all-in-one.exe file:

           

NOTEIf you have configured your browser to download files to a different directory to the default Downloads directory, look for the GNS3-1.5.2-all-in-one.exe file (or the version of file you downloaded) in that directory.

If displayed, click the Run button to start the GNS3 installation:

NOTEThe GNS install process will run multiple installation wizards. If the process seems to have stalled, check if additional windows have been opened that are waiting for your input.

The GNS3 Setup wizard displays. Click Next > to start the installation:

                           

GNS3 is free open source software distributed under the GNU General Public License Version 3. Read the license agreement, and if you agree  with the contents, click the I Agree button to continue the installation:

                 

Select the Start Menu folder for the GNS3 shortcut. The default is the GNS3 folder. Click Next > to continue the installation:

                                           

GNS3 comes bundled with various prerequisite and optional software. By default most software is selected for installation, but you can decide to only install specific software.

If you are unsure, leave all software selections at their default selection and click Next > to continue the installation:

     

Here_is_a_brief_description_of_software

Item

Required?

Description

WinPCAP

Required

Required to connect GNS3 to your computer network. If you don’t install this devices in GNS3 will not be able to communicate with the real world.

Npcap

Optional

Modern replacement to WinPCAP know to fix issues with Win10 but less tested than WinPCAP.

Wireshark

Recommended

Allows you to capture and view network traffic sent between devices.

SolarWinds Response Time Viewer

Optional

Optional software for viewing captured traffic in an easy to read format.

Dynamips

Required

Required to run a local installation of GNS3 with Cisco routers. Only unselect if you are going to exclusively use the GNS3 VM.

QEMU 2.4.0 and 0.11.0

Required

A computer emulator used to emulate a full computer which could for example be Linux. The older Qemu version 0.11.0 is installed in order to support old ASA devices.

VPCS

Recommended

A very light PC emulator that supports basic commands like ping.

Cpulimit

Required

Used to avoid QEMU using 100% of your CPU (when it is running).

GNS3

Required

The core GNS3 software. This is always required.

TightVNC Viewer

Recommended

A VNC client used to connect to appliance graphical user interfaces.

Choose an install location. The default location is C:\Program Files\GNS3. Then click Install:                 

                     

The output displayed will not depend on what you have selected to install.

  • If you are new to GNS3 and this is a new install, go to the next step.  
  • For WinPCAP install instructions go to the next step
  •  For Wireshark install instructions
  • For SolarWinds Response Time Viewer install instructions
  • For GNS3 install instructions

     

If WinPcap is already installed, a warning message is displayed. It is not necessary to reinstall WinPcap. Click Cancel if you do not want to reinstall WinPcap to and go directly to the next step or click OK to continue re-installing WinPcap:

 The WinPcap installation wizard displays. Click Next > to continue the  installation:

The WinPcap License Agreement displays. Read the agreement and if you agree, click the I Agree button to continue with the installation:

      

             

 Leave the checkbox Automatically start the WinPcap driver at boot time checked and click Install:

         

 The WinPcap installation continues. Click Finish to complete the installation:

       

 If you selected that Wireshark should be installed, the GNS3 setup software will download the Wireshark install files. Wait for the process to complete:

       

 GNS3 will then perform a silent install of Wireshark. Wait for the process to complete:

                     

 The GNS3 installer will then download the SolarWinds Response Time Viewer (RTV) software. Wait for the process to complete.

You will be prompted to enter your e-mail address in a separate window. Input your e-mail address and then click Continue:                                      

The SolarWinds Response Time Viewer (RTV) will display. Click Next > to start  the RTV install process:                              

Read the RTV license agreement, and if you agree with the contents, click the I accept the terms of the License Agreement checkbox and then click Next > to continue the installation:

       

 Select the RTV installation folder. The default in this example is C:\Program Files (x86)\Solarwinds\Response Time Viewer.

Click Next > to continue the installation:   

  Click Next > to install RTV:

                       SolarWinds RTV is installed. Click Finish once the process completes.

 The core GNS3 software is installed. Wait for the process to complete:                        

 Once installed a Completed message is displayed. Click Next > to continue:

OptionalIf you are interested, install the Solarwinds Standard Toolset. This is a $200 value free evaluation. Otherwise Select No and Next > to continue:

Leave the Start GNS3 checkbox enabled and click Finish to complete the GNS3 installation:

Congratulations! You have successfully installed GNS3. A browser window will open showing additional help and options:

 

     

GNS3 Setup Wizard

The GNS3 Setup Wizard will display:

                               

You now need to make a decision and then you can return to this document to complete to create an initial GNS topology:

  • If you are unsure, click here
  • If you are going to only use Cisco IOS images, use the Local server and click here for instructions
  • If you are going to use IOSvL2, IOU, ASAv or create complex topologies, then use the GNS3 VM and click here for instructions.