How to Install GNS3 VM on Windows 10

In this article, after installing GNS3 VM on VMware Workstation, we will test its functionality by configuring its network connection.

How to Install GNS3 VM on Windows 10

How to Build GNS3 VM 2.2.5 on Windows 10

With the GNS3 network simulator, you can make more detailed and complex network designs. You can create and test a real network scenario using the actual Cisco Router IOS on the GNS3 program.

After introducing more advanced network designs, the GNS3 program’s Local Server will consume a lot of computer hardware.

To solve this problem and get more performance, you can use the Cisco Router / Switch devices more efficiently and performance by configuring the GNS3 VM. In this structure, all IOS images you add to the program collect in one place.

In our previous articles, we installed GNS3 VMs on Linux / Ubuntu and macOS operating systems;

In this article, we will import and run the GNS3 VM into VMware Workstation Pro software on a Windows PC.

How to Setup GNS3 VM on VMware Workstation and Configure its Networking Settings

Before proceeding with the installation steps, you must have VMware Workstation and GNS3 installed on your computer. After installing the necessary programs, you can now start configuring a GNS3 Server on your computer.

NOTE: The latest version of the GNS3 VM is 2.2.5. You can also easily install the 2.1.21 version on your computer by following the steps in this article.

   Step 1

After visiting the GNS3 website to download the current version of “GNS3 VM.ova”, you will see the screen as shown below. Click the Download VM for GNS3 link in the For Optimal Performance section.

Download GNS3 Server

   Step 2

When the Download window opens, you will see three options. These are VirtualBox, VMware Workstation, and VMware ESXi.

In this article, we will make an installation with VMware software in Windows 10. Click the Download button under the “VMware Workstation” option and download the .OVA file to your computer.

VMware Workstation

   Step 3

Extract the downloaded archive file to the folder. Then double-click the GNS3 VM.ova file to integrate it into the VMware program.

Opening VM.ova File

   Step 4

Continue by selecting VMware Workstation in the window that asks which application you want to open this file with.

Opening .OVA File with VMware

   Step 5

VMware Workstation program opened, and we faced with the Import window. We recommend that you install on an external drive. To do this, click the Browse button to specify the location you want to install.

Import Virtual Machine

   Step 6

Create a new folder on a Portable HDD or SSD disk and select the location and click OK.

Selecting the Virtual Machine Location

   Step 7

After specifying the installation location, click the Import button to start the integration.

Starting Import Process

   Step 8

The GNS3 VM is being integrated …

Importing VM

   Step 9

Once the GNS3 Server integrated, run the virtual machine.

Starting the Virtual Machine

   Step 10

The first boot screen of GNS3 VM is as follows.


   Step 11

Wait while the GNS3 Server is starting up.

Starting VM

   Step 12

This problem is related to Virtual Network Editor if the virtual machine that has successfully completed the installation failed to obtain an IP address.

Shut down the GNS3 virtual machine and open the Virtual Network Editor program.

ETH0 is Not Configured

   Step 13

Open the virtual machine network card settings and configure the network adapter setting to VMnet0 as you see in the image below. Then, configure VMnet0 as a Bridged network in the virtual network editor and save the settings.

VMnet0 / Bridged Connection

   Step 14

After restarting the virtual GNS3 server, you can see from the following image that it receives IP addresses from the physical network.

GNS3 VM IP Address

   Step 15

When we test Ping from the physical computer at the CMD command prompt, you can see that the connection between the Host PC and the GNS3 VM is fine.

Ping Test

How to Configure GNS3 VM Network Settings in Windows 10 ⇒ Video

You can watch the video below to install GNS3 Server with VMware and also subscribe to our YouTube channel to support us!


   Final Word

In this article, we have examined how to install and configure GNS3 Server with VMware virtualization program in Windows 10. When designing a network, do not forget to upload Router / Switch IOS images onto the Server. Thanks for following us!

   Related Articles

How to Configure a Cisco Router
♦ Cisco Router Modes
How to Configure Interface of Cisco Router
♦ How to Configure Cisco Switch
♦ How to Install L3 Switch in GNS3

   IOS Image Download

You can download the Cisco Router IOS image by clicking the button below.

IOS Download


  1. Avatar for gerald foucha gerald foucha 10 March 2020

    I really like what this virtual computer can do. but I am a beginner and can”t understand any of it.

  2. Avatar for Alic Miguel Alic Miguel 1 June 2020

    Hello. I get this error when I install GNS3 VM:
    Cannot load the GNS3 VM settings in the preference dialog: not connected to the controller.
    Cannot load the IOU license in the preferences dialog: not connected to the controller


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