How to Import GNS3 VM in VMware

When using the GNS3 network simulator, we sometimes encounter performance issues with our computers. When we add Cisco Router IOS images locally on the GNS3 program, we have problems in terms of both storage and performance.

How to Import GNS3 VM in VMware

How to Setup GNS3 VM on Windows 10

First, let’s talk briefly what the GNS3 VM is.

GNS3 VM Server is a virtual machine integration program developed on a Linux platform. After downloading the GNS3 VM.ova file, you need to use a virtualization program to import/install it on your computer.

With the GNS3 VM, you can upload Cisco Router IOS images to the Server and store them in one place. Also, the uploaded IOS images work more performance. You can get even more performance if you run this structure on an external drive.

As an external disk, we strongly recommend using SSD external disks …

GNS3 developed the GNS3 VM.ova file for the VMware Workstation virtualization program. Also, this file is available in the VirtualBox  virtualization program. In this article, we will use VMware Workstation. You can also use the VMware virtualization program.

You can also add and use GNS3 Server.ova on VirtualBox by following the steps in this article.

How to Install GNS3 VM on VMware

With VMware, we can now proceed with the GNS3 VM installation steps.

After installing VMware Workstation, download the GNS3 VM.ova file from the developer’s website.

Extract the downloaded archive file to the folder and follow the steps below in order for step-by-step installation.

   Step 1

Double-click the GNS3 VM.ova file you downloaded.

Opening the GNS3 VM.ova File

   Step 2

The VMware Workstation program will open as follows. To import on an external disk, click the Browse button.

Storing the Virtual Machine in a Different Location

   Step 3

From the disk options, create a new folder on your external disk, then click OK.

Creating a New Folder

   Step 4

After checking that the location is on the external disk, press the Import button.

Starting Import Process

   Step 5

GNS3 Server import started.

Importing GNS3 VM.ova

   Step 6

After importing the GNS3 virtual machine, click Network Adapters as in the image below to configure the network connection settings. Then, delete Network Adapter 2.

Configuring the Network Adapter Hardware

   Step 7

Configure the Network Adapter 1 setting to VMnet0 (Bridged). Don’t forget to configure VMnet0 as Bridged in Virtual Network Editor.

Virtual Network Editor

   Step 8

After completing the above steps, run the GNS3 virtual machine.

Running the VM in VMware

   Step 9

Opening the GNS3 server …

GNS3 VM

   Step 10

The first boot image after the GNS3 virtual machine is turned on is as follows. Click OK to access the advanced settings section.

You can examine that the GNS3 server obtains its IP address from the DHCP server on the local network.

GNS3 Server IP Address

   Step 11

After the import has been successfully completed, test the connection by pinging the IP address from the CMD command prompt.

Ping the Server

How to Add a GNS3 VM to a Virtual Machine ⇒ Video

You can watch the video below to import GNS3.ova into the virtual machine, and you can also subscribe to our YouTube channel to support us!

   Final Word


In this article, we have performed the steps to install GNS3 VM with VMware in order to use GNS3 more efficiently and provide centralized IOS management.

You can now use all the features of an L2 Switch and L3 Switch. Thanks for following us!

   Related Articles


How to Add Router in GNS3 VM
How to Install L2 Switch
How to Install L3 Switch
♦ How to Configure VPCS
♦ How to Backup IOS to TFTP

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