GNS3 for Learning Lab

This post will document my setup of GNS3 and my initial impressions.

While I am initially earning the three most popular COMPTIA certifications I have my eye on a Cisco path down the road. I had been contemplating buying a router learning lab from eBay when I learned of GNS3, an emulation environment and I thought it would be a good way to get started without having the (very reasonable) $300-$600 investment for a full lab.

My Acer Aspire ES1-511 laptop runs Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. The CPU is a N2830 (2.16GHz × 2) and I upgraded the RAM to 8GB so it meets the minimum requirements for GNS3.

I downloaded the software according to the instructions and it installed without a problem. When i tried to run the program the icon did not appear in the search dialog so I ran “sudo gns3 start” and it booted up. Apparently the missing icon is not uncommon and there are a few guides on how to get it back.

I ran through the initialization wizard and chose that the emulations would run on my local machine. Choosing a VM machine would have required installing a hyper visor with a VM and I wanted to get started quickly.

I added a binary so the software could emulate a router. The software itself can emulate things like switches and devices, but it needs a BIN to create a router.

From there I added two routers and connected them to each other on on port 0.

My initial impression is that I need to watch a few startup videos to get up to speed on the system. I will document that on additional posts.


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