Running vEOS in GNS3 1.5

How to Run vEOS 4.16.6M in GNS3 1.5

Intro

This document will go over how to install a vEOS vm instance on both your Windows 7 OS as well as Mac OS X. The steps are exactly the same between OSes. We will first start with Windows 7 installation and will then show a few screenshots on the Mac. Finally we will conclude this post by going over the steps to run vEOS all locally off your machine (however this isn’t recommended as running vEOS in a  QEMU vm is much more efficient than running it locally).

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Prerequisites

  • Aboot-veos-8.0.0.iso
  • vEOS-lab-4.16.6M.vmdk
  • GNS3 version 1.5
  • GNS3 VM
  • Have your local GNS3 client able to ping the GNS3 vm

 

Running vEOS and GNS3 on a Windows machine

First, run preferably VM Workstation or vSphere to host your GNS3 VM. In older GNS3 0.8.3 versions, you could run everything locally on workstation. Now with the new GNS3 1.x, we have the ability to offload the running of vms by running these instances in a different vm called “GNS3 VM”. On a laptop or PC with enough resources, you can run both the GNS3 app and GNS3 VM on one box. I personally am using for the Windows implementation VM Workstation with a the GNS3 VM on the same subnet as my GNS3 app.


You could run VirtualBox but issue is per GNS3 VM’s documentation page, “We highly recommend VMware because VirtualBox doesn’t support nested virtualization, this means any VM running inside the GNS3 VM will be slow because the guest VM cannot access to your CPU virtualization instructions (VT-x or AMD-V).”

So for this setup, either run VM Workstation, VM Player, vSphere, or another hypervisor that allows for nested virtualization. You can follow this feature request here.

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Make sure your GNS3 app can reach this IP listed in your setup. To add this server to your GNS3 app, go to Preferences > Server > Remote Servers and type in the IP and username (gns3/gsn3 by default). Then make sure you enable the GNS3 VM under the GNS3 VM server tab and select the remote server you entered.

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Now that you’ve added the GNS3 VM to the GNS3 app, let’s create the vEOS template. You can either import a pre-configured template from the GNS3 Marketplace, or create one from scratch. I personally prefer the “from-scratch” method as it’s quicker to do than downloading a gns3 appliance.

 

To create a vEOS template, go to Preferences > QEMU VMs > New.

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Select Run the Qemu VM on a remote computer and select the GNS3 VM we defined before. Next, name the template “vEOS” or whatever naming convention you’d lilke.


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Next change the binary type used to -x86_64 and change the RAM from 1G to 2G. vEOS requires at least 2GB of RAM to work properly. On the next pages, enter in the aboot iso file. If you haven’t uploaded it to the GNS3 VM, it will upload it here. Click Finish.

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Now let’s click Edit on this template and go to the HDD tab. Choose for HDB Slave (primary slave) the vmdk file. Also, under the Network tab, tick up the number of NICs you’d like on the vEOS vm.

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Finally as a last step, click under Advanced settings of the template and under the Additonal settings type in “-enable-kvm”

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Once completed, you can now drag & drop from the All Devices dock the vEOS vm. Being that this is now a template you will create new vm instances every time you drag out a template. You can from here configure each vm in the workspace uniquely.

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From here, right click or select all VMs and click Start. Now you can right click and select Console to get into the console of your QEMU vm!  

Running vEOS and GNS3 on a Mac OS X machine

The steps above are exactly the same you would do on a Mac. To show a screenshot of the final product. We still have our GNS3 VM as well as our GN3 app running locally on my Mac.

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Running vEOS and GNS3 locally on one box

The last way we can run vEOS and GNS3 is all on one box. If you have a beefy PC or server, you can keep all roles on one box. To do this, follow the same steps as before, the only different is to omit the part where we check off Use GNS3 Server and when you create the QEMU vm choose to use the local machine. To do this under Preferences > GNS3 VM server > tick off Enable the GNS3 VM

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Then, we we go under QEMU VMs and select New. This time, we choose to run the QEMU VM on your local computer.

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Notice that the path towards the QEMU binaries change from the /usr/bin location (where we originally used the resources off the GNS3 VM) we now are running the processes locally. Ensure you’ve selected the x86_64w.exe QEMU binary.


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From here, follow the same steps we did when we configured the vEOS vm in Windows.


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Start off the vm just like we did previously by right clicking the vm and selecting Start.

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An issue with running this locally is the delay — it is noticeably much much longer for the vm to fully bootup compared to running it off the GNS3 VM. Even entering commands is delayed, so its best to run this from QEMU. Testing off my PC took almost 40 minutes (see output below).

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Running vEOS in VMware vSphere (without GNS3)

If you’d like to run vEOS without using GNS3 you can do this also in VMware vSphere or VirtualBox. There is already an article on this here.