Install the GNS3 network simulator version 1.x

July 5, 2015 — 4 Comments

The GNS3 development team produced a major new release, version 1.0, in October 2014. Since then, they have been regularly updating GNS3 and, at the time I write this, the latest version of GNS3 is version 1.3.7.

The latest version of GNS3 cannot be installed using a package manager like Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic because no packages have been created yet for GNS3 1.x. The Ubuntu repository and the GNS3 PPA only provide packages for old versions of GNS3. The latest version of the GNS3 package for Debian/Ubuntu is GNS3 0.8.7.

The GNS3 development team is working on packages for GNS3 1.x but, as of the time I post this, it is not clear when they will be available.

To install the latest version of GNS3 on an Ubuntu Linux system, install the dependencies, download the GNS3 source files, and compile the software. I provide the list of commands in this post.

Install GNS3 on Ubuntu Linux

We will use GNS3 to build a simulated network consisting of open-source routers, switches, and hosts so we only need to install the GNS3 GUI, the GNS3 Server, and VPCS. However, in the sections below, I also include optional instructions for installing Dynamips and IOU support for those who may wish to run Cisco router images in GNS3.

I installed GNS3 on Xubuntu 14.04 running on a Lenovo T400 laptop with a 2.4 GHz Core Duo processor and 8 GB of memory.

Download the GNS3 source code

To download the latest version of GNS3, go to the GNS3 web site and click on the Download button prominently displayed on the page. Save the downloaded archive file to your Downloads directory.

In this case, I downloaded the file to the folder ~/Downloads.

Check the GNS3 version

The GNS3 development team frequently releases new updates for GNS3 release 1.x. In this post, I install version 1.3.7 but a newer version may be available.

Check the GNS3 web site for the latest version and, if a newer version than 1.3.7 is available, replace the version numbers of the downloaded files in the commands below with the current version numbers.

GNS3 1.3.7 includes the following versions of its components:

  • gns3-gui 1.3.7
  • gns3-server 1.3.7
  • vpcs 0.6.1
  • dynamips 0.2.14
  • iouyap 0.95

Install GNS3 for Open Source Routers

To run open-source routers in GNS3, we will install GNS3, VPCS, and Dynamips — Dynamips is still needed to run the built-in GNS3 devices such as the generic Ethernet Switch device.

The following steps are provided as a script with no explanations. Detailed information about each step is provided in the GNS3 documentation.

To install GNS3, VPCS, and Dynamips, run the following commands in a terminal window:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install python3-dev \
  python3-setuptools python3-pyqt4 \
  python3-ws4py python3-netifaces \
  virtualbox wireshark qemu cpulimit
$ cd ~/Downloads
$ unzip
$ unzip
$ cd gns3-server-1.3.7
$ sudo python3 install
$ cd ~/Downloads
$ unzip
$ cd gns3-gui-1.3.7
$ sudo python3 install
$ cd ~/Downloads
$ unzip
$ cd vpcs-0.6.1/src
$ ./
$ sudo cp vpcs /usr/local/bin
$ cd ~/Downloads
$ sudo apt-get install libpcap-dev \
  libelf-dev uuid-dev cmake bison \
  flex git libssl1.0.0:i386
$ unzip dynamips-0.2.14
$ cd dynamips-0.2.14
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make
$ sudo make install
$ sudo setcap cap_net_admin,cap_net_raw=ep /usr/local/bin/dynamips 
$ cd

(Optional) Install Cisco IOU support

If you plan to run Cisco router images in GNS3, you need to install Dynamips and IOU support. We already installed Dynamips so the instructions below show how to install IOU support.

To install IOU support, enter the following commands:

$ cd ~/Downloads
$ sudo ln -s /lib/i386-linux-gnu/ /lib/
$ git clone
$ cd iniparser
$ make
$ sudo cp libiniparser.* /usr/lib/
$ sudo cp src/iniparser.h /usr/local/include
$ sudo cp src/dictionary.h /usr/local/include
$ cd ~/Downloads
$ unzip
$ cd iouyap-0.95
$ sudo make install
$ sudo cp iouyap /usr/local/bin
$ cd

Start GNS3

To start GNS3, enter the following command in a terminal window:

$ gns3

The GNS3 1.3.7 user interface will appear.

GNS3 1.3.7 user interface

GNS3 1.3.7 user interface


I installed GNS3 1.3.7 on a system running Xubuntu 14.04 and the instructions I listed above should work on any currently-supported version and variation of Ubuntu. Since GNS3 1.x installation packages are not available, I installed the latest version of GNS3 by downloading and compiling the GNS3 1.x source code.

I will explore the new features provided by this major update to GNS3 in a future post.

4 responses to Install the GNS3 network simulator version 1.x

  1. Worked as described for Debian 8 32 bit except you should follow installation instructions for virtualbox on the debian wiki

    Well Done 🙂

  2. Hi Brian,

    Ever since i upgraded my gns3 to version 1.3.9, I’ve been unable to successfully ping from one subnet to another with Quagga routers, Can’t figure out why. I want to downgrade my gns3 to version 1.2.3 but I’m new to Ubuntu so i don’t know how. Any help please?? Thank you

    Kind regards.

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