How to Install GNS3 on Windows 10

As you know, GNS3 is a graphical network simulator program that you can easily run devices such as Cisco Switch, Router, Firewall, or virtual machine.

How to Install GNS3 on Windows 10

How to Set Up GNS3 2.2 (2.2.18) on Windows 10

With GNS3 software, you can improve yourself by making network designs and become a system and network expert. Since this network simulator has been developed in accordance with the technology by its developers, it is good to always check for updates to get new features.

Although the working logic of this program is very similar to the Cisco Packet Tracer program, the biggest difference between them is that Cisco Router and Switch IOS images can be used more comprehensively and in detail. For example, Packet Tracer includes entry-level IOS commands, while other software offers advanced commands for more advanced projects.

With this simulator software, you can use the IOS images of real Cisco devices to make network designs on your computer, but the IOS image of each device may not work compatibly. However, it is a more advanced segment software compared to the Packet Tracer program because the IOS images in other software are insufficient and have limited features.

For those preparing for Cisco’s entry-level networking exams, the first program they should use is Packet Tracer. If more advanced and professional network designs and projects are planned to be developed, then it would be more appropriate to choose and use the Graphical Network program.

Before proceeding with the steps to install GNS3, you can download the latest version of the program by visiting this article or you can create a new account on the official website and download it to your computer.

Minimum System Requirements

  • Operating System: It should be at least Windows 7 64.
  • Processor: You must have at least a Dual-Core processor.
  • RAM (Memory): 4 GB minimum is sufficient.
  • Disk Space: A minimum of 1 GB is sufficient. However, more space may be needed for Cisco images.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Operating System: Again, it should be at least Windows 7 64 Bit.
  • Processor: 4 or more logical processors. Core i7 or i9 is recommended.
  • RAM (Memory): 8 GB is sufficient, but if it is 16 GB, it will be more stable.
  • Disk Space: Definitely using it with an SSD disk helps you get more performance. Also, you must have a minimum of 35 GB of free space.

In addition to the system requirements of the recommended GNS3 simulator program, you can enable the virtualization setting from the BIOS menu of your computer.

GNS3 Setup, Configuration, and Usage

Follow the steps below to install, configure and use GNS3, the most advanced network simulator program used to prepare for Cisco exams on your Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and Windows 10 computer.

   Step 1

After creating a new account, log in and click the Free Download button on the homepage.

Downloading the Simulator Program

   Step 2

Since you will install it on the Windows 10 operating system, click the Download button under the Windows platform option.

Selecting the Windows Version

   Step 3

When the download process starts on the Google Chrome web browser, you can see the program downloaded from the lower-left corner.

Downloading Setup File

   Step 4

After downloading the setup file, right-click on GNS3-all-in-one-regular.exe as in the image below, and then click Run as administrator.

Running Exe File as Administrator

   Step 5

Click the Next button to start the installation in the Setup window and continue.

Setup Wizard

   Step 6

Click the I Agree button to accept the license agreement for the Cisco network simulator program.

Accepting the License Agreement

   Step 7

Click Next to use the folder name configured by default in the Choose Start Menu Folder window.

Configuring the Start Menu Folder

   Step 8

In the Choose Components window, check one of its new features, WebClient, and click on Next.

Selecting Components

   Step 9

In the Choose Install Location window, select where you want to set up the program and click Next.

Choosing Installation Location

   Step 10

Wait while the Cisco simulator program is installed on your Windows 10 computer.

Installing Simulator Software

   Step 11

One of the necessary applications for the simulator software during the installation phase is WinPcap. Click Next to install the WinPcap software.

Installing WinPcap

   Step 12

Accept the license agreement of the WinPcap software and continue the installation process.

Accepting the WinPcap License Agreement

   Step 13

In the Installation Options window, if you want to run WinPcap when you restart your computer, check “Automatically start the WinPcap driver at boot time” and click Next.

Automatic Start of the WinPcap Service

   Step 14

After completing the WinPcap installation, click the Finish button and continue the installation.

WinPcap Installation Complete

   Step 15

Npcap needs to be installed separately for the software. In this step, continue by clicking the I Agree button to accept the Npcap license agreement.

Confirming the Npcap License Agreement

   Step 16

In the Installation Options window, continue with the option configured by default.

Setting Npcap Setup Options

   Step 17

In the Installation Options window, continue with the option configured by default.

Npcap Setup Complete

   Step 18

Click Finish to close the Npcap setup wizard.

Closing the Npcap Wizard

   Step 19

Finally, if the Wireshark package analysis program is not installed on your system, it will be downloaded and installed over the Internet.

Downloading Wireshark

   Step 20

Likewise, wait for the Solar-PuTTY software to be downloaded and installed, which is necessary for managing network devices such as Routers or Switches.

Downloading Solar-PuTTY

   Step 21

After installing Wireshark process, click the Accept button to accept the Solar-PuTTY license agreement.

Accepting the Solar-PuTTY License Agreement

   Step 22

For Solar-PuTTY use, click Continue after typing in your email address.

Typing a Mail Account for Solar-PuTTY

   Step 23

After the Start menu folder and desktop shortcuts created, and the Uninstall.exe copied to the corresponding location to uninstall it, click Next.

Simulator Software Installation Completed

   Step 24

If you want to use Solarwinds tools for free, you can select Yes. If you do not want it, select the No option and click Next.

Solarwinds Standart Toolset

   Step 25

After successfully installing the program, click Finish to run the program.

Running the Simulator Software

Local Server Configuration Settings

After installing GNS3, click the desktop shortcut to run it and the Setup Wizard window will open to check the Local Server settings. In this window, you need to configure the Localhost connection and port.

   Step 1

In the Setup Wizard window, select Run appliances on my local computer and click Next.

Run appliances on my local computer

   Step 2

In the Local Server Configuration window, check that the Host Binding setting is localhost, and also, if there is an application using the 3080 TCP port in your system, specify a different port number in this window.

Local Server Configuration

   Step 3

You can see that there is no problem to use Graphical Network Simulator on your system in the Local Server Status window.

Local Server Status

   Step 4

Check the server’s type, path, host status, and port number in the Summary window and click Finish.

Local Server Summary

   Step 5

Finally, you can check the version of the program from Help / About.

Checking the Version

Adding Router/Switch Router Image

After installing and running the Cisco simulator, you need to add an IOS image to the program. After adding and configuring the IOS images of Cisco network devices to GNS3, you will now be ready to do your projects. To add an IOS image, click on the image below and browse the related article!

Adding Cisco IOS

Adding Routers to the Workspace and Connecting Two Routers Each Other

After adding the Router IOS image to the simulator program, you can see the device you added by clicking on Devices.

   Step 1

Now, create a new project and add two c7200 Routers to the workspace.

Adding a Cisco Router to the Workspace

   Step 2

To connect the two routers, click on the cable-like vehicle and click once on R1 to view the empty ports. For example, connect one end of the network cable to the FastEthernet0/0 port of R1 and the other end to the FastEthernet0/0 interface of R2.

Connecting Two Cisco Routers with FastEthernet

   Step 3

After connecting the two Cisco Routers with the FastEthernet interface, run them by clicking the start button.

Running Cisco Routers

   Step 4

You can open the CLI prompt by double-clicking on Router R1, or you can right-click and click Console from the displayed options.

Opening the Router's CLI Console

   Step 5

To give an IP address to the FastEthernet0/0 interface of the router R1 and to activate the port, follow the commands below.

R1(config)# interface fastethernet 0/0
R1(config-if)# ip address
R1(config-if)# no shutdown

To verify that the Fa0/0 port is open, execute the following command in the CLI:

R1# show ip interface brief

Assigning an IP Address to the Router's FastEthernet Interface

   Step 6

Likewise, make the settings you have made on R1, also on R2.

R2(config)# interface fastethernet 0/0
R2(config-if)# ip address
R2(config-if)# no shutdown

Ping R1 via R2 to test the connection between the two routers.

R2# ping

Assigning an IP Address to the Router's FastEthernet Interface and Checking the Port Status

How to Use SecureCRT Instead of Solar-PuTTY in GNS3

As you can see while installing GNS3, Solar-PuTTY is configured as a console application by default. However, if you do not want to use Solar-PuTTY software, you can use SecureCRT instead.

Install SecureCRT on your computer before changing the Console application.

   Step 1

After installing SecureCRT, run GNS3 again and click Edit / Preferences. In the General Preferences window, click the Edit button under General / Console Applications.

Select SecureCRT in the Choose a predefined command section and change the location where the program is installed and click the OK button to save the setting.

Console Applications

   Step 2

Double click on Router R1 and check if the SecureCRT console application is opened. SecureCRT works fine on GNS3 as shown below.

Connection to Router with SecureCRT Program


Installing Older Versions

GNS3 Version
YouTube Video

   Final Word

Using GNS3 on your Windows computer, you can create detailed network projects and study more specifically for Cisco exams. Thanks for following us!

   Related Articles

How to Use VPCS
Cisco Switch Basic Configuration
VMware Connection
Adding a Cisco Router
Router Interface Configuration

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.