How To Install GNS3 on CentOS 8 | RHEL 8 To Prepare Your Certification

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GNS3 is an open source Network Simulator that is used to emulate, configure, test and troubleshoot virtual and real networks. GNS3 can run on Windows, Linux and MacOS. It can also run on a virtualized environment such as VMware, Docker and Virtualbox.

Below are some of the 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 need for additional virtualization software

Install GNS3 on CentOS 8 | RHEL 8

This guide will highlight what is needed to get your GNS3 up and running on a CentOS 8 / RHEL 8 server.

Step 1 – Update system

Update your CentOS system

sudo dnf update

Step 2 – Enable necessary Repositories

Enable the following repositories on your system:

Enable CodeReady for RHEL only

sudo subscription-manager repos --enable codeready-builder-for-rhel-8-x86_64-rpms

Enable PowerTools for CentOS only

sudo yum install dnf-plugins-core
sudo yum config-manager --set-enabled powertools

Step 3 – Install RPM packages

Install the following packages on your CentOS/RHEL system:

sudo yum install python3-devel elfutils-libelf-devel libpcap-devel python3-pyqt5-sip python3-qt5 xterm cmake
sudo yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'

Step 4 Clone GNS3 packages from Git

Navigate to /usr/local/src then clone the packages:

mkdir ~/gns3
cd ~/gns3

git clone https://github.com/GNS3/gns3-server.git
git clone https://github.com/GNS3/gns3-gui.git
git clone https://github.com/GNS3/vpcs.git
git clone https://github.com/GNS3/dynamips.git
git clone https://github.com/GNS3/ubridge.git

Step 5 – Install Packages

Navigate to the GNS3-server directory that has been cloned and install GNS3 server

cd ~/gns3/gns3-server/
sudo pip3 install -r requirements.txt
sudo python3 setup.py install

Install GNS3 GUI by running the following commands:

cd ~/gns3/gns3-gui/
pip3 install -r requirements.txt
python3 setup.py install
cp resources/linux/applications/gns3.desktop /usr/share/applications/
cp -R resources/linux/icons/hicolor/ /usr/share/icons/

Install VPCS:

cd ~/gns3/vpcs/src
./mk.sh
sudo cp vpcs /usr/local/bin/vpcs

Install Dynamips:

cd ~/gns3/dynamips/
mkdir build 
cd build/
cmake ..
make
sudo make install

Install Ubridge

cd ~/gns3/ubridge
make
sudo make install

Add Support for Docker (Optional)

GNS3 allows you to build networking labs on Docker containers. You however need to install Docker engine to be able to use this feature.

Follow the guide below to install Docker on your CentOS 8 system:

Install Docker CE & Docker Compose on CentOS 8 | RHEL 8

Add your user to docker group:

sudo usermod -a -G docker $(whoami)

Step 6 – Launch GNS3 on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8

Once the installation is done, you can launch GNS3 from the application menu and proceed with configuration.

Configure the Setup Wizard by choosing ‘Run appliances on my local computer‘ option on the first page.

GNS3 on CentOS 8

Leave the second page as it is if you are running GNS3 locally:

You will then have successfully configured GNS3 to run on your local server and you will receive a success notification:

You can now start setting up templates and building your labs.

That’s it. Good luck in your learning and certification preparation.

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