In this article, we will examine how to set up GNS3 VM 2.2 (2.2.33), which allows you to run Cisco Router IOS more efficiently and use L2/L3 images on Linux Debian 11 Bullseye computer, and how to import it to VMware Workstation.
How to Set Up GNS3 VM 2.2 (2.2.33) with VMware Pro on Debian 11 Bullseye
Using the GNS3 network simulator software, you can emulate IOS images of real Cisco devices on your host computer and create basic or advanced network designs.
The higher the performance of your host PC, the more efficiently you will use the GNS3 software. However, when you want to make a very professional network design, your PC’s performance will decrease and you will not be able to use IOU images. Therefore, by importing the GNS3 VM into a virtual machine, you can run Routers or Switches that you will use for advanced network projects with more performance.
If you have a Linux distribution installed on your host computer, you must first install GNS3 and VMware Workstation software on your system. After installing this software, you can use the GNS3 VM on your Linux PC.
After installing the necessary software on your Debian computer, you need to download the GNS3 virtual machine and import it into the VMware program. Next, you need to activate the virtual server from the GNS3 simulator settings and add an IOS router to it.
According to the virtualization software you have installed on your Debian PC, click the Download button next to the appropriate option, namely “VMware Workstation and Fusion”. In the window that opens, save the virtual machine file with the zip extension to your computer and wait for the download process.
After downloading the zip file, open the terminal in the relevant location and execute the “unzip GNS3.VM.VMware.Workstation.2.2.33.zip” command and extract the archived file to the folder.
After extracting the GNS3 VM.ova file, open the VMware Workstation 16 Pro software and click File / Open from the tool menu.
Select the GNS3 VM.ova file in Downloads and open it.
Configure the location where you want to backup the virtual machine and click the Import button.
Wait while the GNS3 virtual machine is installed in the location you specified.
When you run the GNS3 virtual server, you can see the IP address and other information when the system is ready.
How to Enable the GNS3 Virtual Machine
After installing GNS3 VM on Debian, you need to enable it in the simulator program’s settings. Thus, you can upload your IOS devices to the server and run them from there.
After running the GNS3 software, select the Run appliances in a virtual machine option in the Setup Wizard window that opens and click Next.
To connect GNS3 to GNS3 VM correctly, change the Host Binding IP address according to the IP address block of the virtual server and click Next.
After the virtual server verification is successful, click Next.
Select VMware as the virtualization software in the GNS3 VM settings and configure the vCPU value to 2 and click Next.
Check the GNS3 Virtual Machine settings one last time and click Finish.
How to Add a Router IOS to GNS3 Server
After connecting GNS3 and GNS3 virtual server, you need to add IOS Routers.
Click Edit / Preferences from the tool menu of the GNS3 simulator software and open its settings.
You need to select the platform on which you want to run the IOS Router. In the Server window, select the Run this IOS router on the GNS3 VM option and click Next.
Click the Browse button to specify the location of the IOS image.
Select and open an IOS image you downloaded to your computer.
Wait while the c7200 model Router IOS is being uploaded to the GNS3 virtual server.
Edit the name and platform of the Router you added and click Next.
Determine a suitable RAM size for the router to work efficiently on the virtual server.
If there are interfaces you want to add to your device, you can make these changes in the Network Adapters settings.
Click the Idle-PC Finder button and find a suitable Idle-PC value for the Router that will run on the virtual server.
After adding the router to the virtual server, you can check the server location from the template section.
How to Create a New Project
After configuring the GNS3 server, you can create a new project to test it and start creating new projects.
Open the project wizard by clicking the new icon or CTRL + N from the tool menu of the GNS3 software and type a name suitable for the project you will create and configure the location to be saved.
Click on the Routers category and drag and drop two c7200 Routers into the workspace.
Activate the cabling option from the left panel and connect one end of the cable to the FastEthernet0/0 port of R1 and the other end to the FastEthernet 0/0 port of R2.
Click the green arrow from the tool menu to run all the Routers you have added to the workspace and click the Yes button to confirm the operation.
Assign an IP address to the FastEthernet interfaces of Router R1 and R2 and open the ports.
R1# conf t
R1(config)# interface fastethernet 0/0
R1(config-if)# ip address 192.168.1.1 255.255.255.0
R1(config-if)# no shutdown
R2# conf t
R2(config)# interface fastethernet 0/0
R2(config-if)# ip address 192.168.1.2 255.255.255.0
R2(config-if)# no shutdown
Use the ping command to test the network connection between R1 and R2.
R1# ping 192.168.1.2
R2# ping 192.168.1.1
How to Disable the GNS3 Server
When you disable the virtual server and want to run your IOS devices on your local PC, you need to do this from the settings window and delete the Router you added and add it again.
Open Edit / Preferences and click GNS3 VM from the left panel, then uncheck Enable the GNS3 VM from the listed options and click OK.
Open Help / Setup Wizard from the tool menu and this time select Run appliances on my local computer and click Next.
Change the Host Binding IP address to Localhost in the Local Server configuration and click Next.
After making the local server connection, click Next.
In the Summary window, you can now check that the IOS will work on localhost, that is, on your local computer.
In the template section, you can see that the c7200 device is running on the GNS3 VM. Delete this Router as you have disabled the GNS3 server.
To add IOS again, click the New button to open the wizard and this time select Run this IOS Router on my local computer.
When you add the c7200 Router again, this time you can see that the server part is Debian.
How to Delete the GNS3 VM
To completely delete the VM from your host disk after you terminate the GNS3 VM connection, open Workstation and expand the left panel and click on Manage / Delete from Disk option and click Yes to confirm the deletion in the window that opens.
=> Error while getting the VMs: GNS3 version 126.96.36.199 is not the same as the GNS3 VM version 2.2.32. Please upgrade the GNS3 VM.
GNS3 version 188.8.131.52 is not the same as the GNS3 VM version 2.2.32. Please upgrade the GNS3 VM.
Error while getting templates list: Client version 2.2.32 is not the same as server (controller) version 184.108.40.206
If you are getting one of the above errors while connecting to the GNS3 server, the client and server versions must be the same as explained. To fix this issue, you must install either a newer or an older version.
If you’re getting this error on your Debian computer, it’s probably because you installed the network software via pip3. To fix this problem, open the terminal and upgrade your current software to the latest version.
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