(Last Updated On: January 10, 2019)

In this blog post, we will look at how to Install Latest GNS3 on Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 16.04. GNS3 is an open source, free Network Simulator used by hundreds of thousands of network engineers worldwide to emulate, 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.

For Fedora, use:

How to Install GNS3 on Fedora 29 / Fedora 28

GNS3 started with the emulation of Cisco devices using software called Dynamips. But it has now evolved to support many devices from multiple network vendors including Cisco virtual switches, Cisco ASAs, Brocade vRouters, Cumulus Linux switches, Docker instances, HPE VSRs, multiple Linux appliances and many others. With GNS3, you can test interoperability between many vendors and even try out esoteric setups using network technologies with SDN, NFV, Linux, and Docker.

GNS3 consists of two software components:

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

Features of GNS3

Below are some good features of GNS3 Network Emulation software

  • 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 need for additional virtualization software

How to Install Latest GNS3 Network Simulator on Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04

There are two ways to Install the latest release of GNS3 on Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 16.04

  1. Install from apt repository
  2. Installing from source

This guide will concentrate on the installation of GNS3 on Ubuntu 18.04  and Ubuntu 16.04 from apt repository. This is recommended method since it is easy to update GNS3 packages to the latest release.

Installing GNS3 on Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04 from apt repository

GNS3 packages are available on a GNS3 ppa repository, first, add the repository by running the commands below:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gns3/ppa

Update system package list and install GNS3:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gns3-gui

This may take a bit of time depending on your internet speed. There will be an installation of a lot of packages and GNS3 dependencies.

When prompted to allow non-root user to run Wireshark and GNS3, answer yes:

vpcs which is a Virtual PC Simulator will also be installed. It allows you to simulate a PC supporting DHCP and ping when simulating Networks with GNS3.

GNS3 – Add Support for IOU (Optional)

If you would like to allow GNS3 support for  IOS on Unix (IOU), you’ll have to enable running of x86 packages on a 64-bit system.

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update

Once it is enabled, install package.gns3-iou

sudo apt-get install gns3-iou

GNS3 – Add Support for Docker (Optional)

By default, GNS3 allows you to use Docker containers when building networking labs. But first, you need docker engine installed and running so that you can create Docker Containers. Use our official guide to Install Docker on your system:

How to install Docker CE on Ubuntu / Debian / Fedora / Arch / CentOS

Don’t forget to add your user to docker group

sudo usermod -a -G docker username

Also, add your user to the following groups to avoid permission issues:

sudo usermod -aG ubridge libvirt kvm wireshark username

 Launch GNS3 on Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04

On your Desktop Environment Launcher, search for GNS3 to start initial configuration. On the first page, select “Run the topologies on my computer”

On the second page, confirm local server configuration location.

The third page should display a successful installation message

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.

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

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 Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop

That’s all. Enjoy using GNS3. If you’re preparing for exams with this tool, I wish you happy learning and success in your certification exams.