How I have setup my GNS3 | 10 Easy steps.

Saifudheen SidheeqGns3, NetworkingLeave a Comment

step by step install gns3 in windows

I have some of my friends and colleagues who are struggling to get their GNS3 up and running with no issues. After you got everything working and the next day when you come back some error pops up. You are again back to square one trying to figure everything out from the scratch.

Best way to configure GNS3 on your windows machine step by step.

In this article, I am gonna provide the best method that I follow to get my gns3 up and running on a windows host. Trust me this method is working so great for me since couple of years now. so if you are like me don’t want to mess around much of the gns3 configuration and focus on your lab then this guide is for you.

also let me know in the comments section below how it turned out for you.

  1. Install the Gns3 software
  2. Install the VMware workstation pro
  3. Download and import the GNS3VM to the the workstation
  4. Create an interface called vmnet2 from GNS3
  5. Allow internet sharing to the vmnet2
  6. Change the host binding to the VMnet2 IP address
  7. Connect the GNS3VM to the VMnet2 interface
  8. Connect GNS3VM to the GNS3 client.
  9. Configure the IP address for the GNS3VM
  10. GNS3 Verification.

Step 1. Install the Gns3 software

The first step of the method is of course to install the gns3 software, you may download it from here and install the gns3 software on your windows machine.

Step 2. Install the VMware workstation pro

You would have to also install VMware workstation pro to emulate the gns3vm in your machine. I know there are multiple hyper-visors are supported but I have been using Vmware workstation pro and it works great.
You can download the VMware workstation pro here.

Step 3. Download and import the GNS3VM to the the workstation.

  • In the same location that you have downloaded the gns3 from, you will have to also download the gns3 vm as well.
download gns3vm
  • Once the VM is downloaded you may extract the file and you would get an OVA file out of it.
  • To import the VM to the Vmware workstation double click on the OVA file and click on import on the pop up window. It may take couple of minutes to completely import the VM.
export gns3 vm

Step 4. Create an interface called vmnet2 from GNS3.

Note : You may skip this section if you already have VMnet2 installed in your system.

  • Open gns3 client. Since this you just installed the gns3 client you may get some setup wizard popup, just close it.
  • Click on Edit and preferences. In the gns3 preferences windows click on VMware and Advance local settings.
  • Under managed Vmnet interfaces select vmnet2 on both the field and click on configure
setup gns3 vm network
  • This would create a VMnet2 interface on your windows host.

Step 5. Allow internet sharing to the vmnet2.

  • Goto network adapter setting by typing ncpa.cpl under Run prompt in windows
  • Right click on the network adapter that you are currently using and click on properties, I am using a wired connection.
allow internet sharing to the gns3

Note: If you are using wireless you may righ click on the adapter which says Wi-Fi

  • In the properties windows click on Sharing tab and check the first option to share the network and select the VMnet2 interface which you have just created using gns3 client. Click on OK.
share the network to gns3

Step 6. Change the host binding to the VMnet2 IP address.

By default when the network sharing is enabled the VMnet2 interface would get an IP address from the private network range 192168.137.0/24.

  • Open command prompt and verify the VMnet2 IP address by typing ipconfig
change the host binding to Vmnet2 ip address

As you can see the IP address of Vmnet2 is

  • In the GNS3 preferences click on server and on the Main server tab click on Host binding address, and change it from to
  • Click on Apply and close it.

Step 7. Connect the GNS3VM to the VMnet2 interface.

  • Open the VMWare workstation and right click on the GNS3 vm that you imported and click on settings.
  • You can see two adapters in the gns3, you really don’t need to use two all the time, so let’s remove the second one.
  • In the Network adapter choose Custom and VMnet2 as the virtual adapter.
connect gns3vm to the gn3 client
  • And click on Ok.

Step 8. Connect-GNS3VM-to-the-GNS3-client

  • In the gns3 client preferences window click on GNS3VM and check the option enable the GNS3 VM.
  • Select the hypervisor as VMware workstation/Player
connect gns3 vm to the gns3 client
  • Click on Apply

Step 9. Configure the IP address for the GNS3VM.

Though VMnet 2 would provide the IP address automatically via DHCP to the gns3, I prefer to use static configuration.

  • Open VMware workstation again and power on the gns3vm by default you may have a DHCP IP address. Hit enter to click on OK.
  • Come to the network field and hit enter to configure the IP address as below.
    You can configure any IP address you want from the range as long as it is from the range
  • Since the GNS3vm is based out of Ubuntu it uses netplan to configure the IP address. Change the Value as below.
configure gns3 IP addresses
  • Save the configuration and it would restart the GNS3vm and once its back it would have the IP address that you have defined.

Step 10. GNS3 Verification.

That’s it you are all set now. Close the vmware workstation and the GNS3 client.

  • Reopen the Gns3 client again.
  • After Couple of seconds Gns3 would automatically start the Gns3VM if you have done the above steps correctly.
    Note : This may not work well if there is a firewall or Anti virus program which is blocking the connection between the Gns3 client and the Gns3VM. You may check this article if you ever face such issues.
  • Once everything is ready you can see the local PC and the Gns3 VM resources in green shows on the right screen under server summary.
Gns3 installed successfully