Welcome to our guide on how to install GNS3 Network Simulator on Debian 10 Buster. GNS3 is free to use and open-source Network Simulator used to simulate, configure, test and troubleshoot virtual and real networks. GNS3 has helped in virtualizing real hardware devices and preparation for certification exams such as the Cisco CCNA, CCNP, CCIE, Juniper certifications e.t.c. With GNS3, you can test interoperability between many vendors and even try out esoteric setups using network technologies with SDN, NFV, Linux, and Docker.

For Ubuntu, use How to install GNS3 on Ubuntu guide.

Features of GNS3

  • Fully free and Open Source – No monthly or yearly license fees
  • There is no limit on the number of devices supported – CPU and RAM hardware is your only limitation
  • GNS3 supports all VIRL images (IOSv, IOSvL2, IOS-XRv, CSR1000v, NX-OSv, ASAv)
  • GNS3 can run with or without hypervisors in multi-vendor environments
  • It has support for multiple switching options (ESW16 Etherswitch, IOU/IOL Layer 2 images, VIRL IOSvL2)
  • GNS3 supports both free and paid hypervisors – Virtualbox, VMware Workstation, VMware Player, ESXi, Fusion
  • GNS3 has native support for Linux without the need for additional virtualization software

GNS3 Components

GNS3 consists of two software components:

  • The GNS3-all-in-one software (GUI)
  • The GNS3 virtual machine (VM)

Install GNS3 on Debian 10 (Buster)

Install the following dependency packages:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y python3-pip python3-pyqt5 python3-pyqt5.qtsvg \
python3-pyqt5.qtwebsockets \
qemu qemu-kvm qemu-utils libvirt-clients libvirt-daemon-system virtinst \
wireshark xtightvncviewer apt-transport-https \
ca-certificates curl gnupg2 software-properties-common

Install GNS3 from Pypi:

sudo pip3 install gns3-server
sudo pip3 install gns3-gui

Choose if to allow unprivileged users to run GNS3.

install gns3 debian 10 buster 01

Enable Docker support (Optional)

If you want to use Docker runtime engine in your Labs, install it on Debian 10 using our guide below.

Install Docker and Docker Compose on Debian 10 Buster

If any permissions errors are encountered, ensure your user belongs to the following groups:

for i in ubridge docker wireshark; do
 sudo usermod -aG $i $USER
done

Launch GNS3 on Debian 10 (Buster)

On your Desktop Environment Launcher, search for GNS3 to start the initial configuration.

install gns3 debian 10 buster 02

On the first page, select “Run the topologies on my computer”

install gns3 ubuntu 18.04 setup wizard 01 min

On the second page, confirm the local server configuration location.

install gns3 ubuntu 18.04 setup wizard 02 min

The third page should display a successful installation message

install gns3 ubuntu 18.04 setup wizard 03 min

If you want to add your Virtual machines, Docker containers, vpcs or Network devices images, do it in the next step. This can also be done later after the installation.

install gns3 ubuntu 18.04 setup wizard 04 min

Once configured, you should have a ready GNS3 installed on your Ubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 16.04 server.

install gns3 ubuntu 18.04 setup wizard 05 min

To be able to capture GNS3 packets for analysis, you need Wireshark. You can install it using our guide in the link below.

How To Install Wireshark on Debian Desktop

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