10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 20, 2010 12:59 PM by Jim Folliard RSS

    VMWare for GNS3

    Jim Folliard



      I don't know anything about VMWare but want to use it with GNS3.  First, what VMWare product do I use?  I went to vmware.com but it was not obvious to me where to get the free version or what product to use.  Second, does anyone have any links that describe how to use VMWare with GNS3?





        • 1. Re: VMWare for GNS3

          Hi Jim


          VMware emulates PCs. GNS3 emulates routers. For example Cisco Call Manger uses PC to act as the Telephone System Manager so you could use VMware to run the software. GNS3 can connect to equipment in the real world so you might have GNS3 emulating a network and a soft phone running on your PC or even a real telephone. Look for VMware ESXi on the dowmload tab.


          Regards Conwyn

          • 2. Re: VMWare for GNS3
            Lorenzo Castelletti

            Hello Jim.


            Have a look at the Vmware howto in the docs section of the GNS3 website. It very clearly explains how to connect your virtual machines to GNS router.

            If you don't mind paying I would suggest Vmware workstation, but you might use the open source VirtualBox as well.


            Good luck

            • 3. Re: VMWare for GNS3

              try youtube.com and theblindhog.net


              free vmware are vmware player and vmware server (was in past, not ESXi, search for server in the name).



              on line http://vmcreator.com/virtual-machine.html;jsessionid=2511CE4BA8ED6C6B222BFD1D028F69F5,

              you can create a file to be used in vmware player, then use vmware player to open it and create virtual machine.

              vmware player cannot create new virtual machines from scratch.


              but if you need just a PC to ping or traceroute with GNS3, you can get by with VPCS (small program that runns 8 PCs, virtual ones)

              get it here http://www.freecode.com.cn/doku.php?id=wiki:vpcs

              • 4. Re: VMWare for GNS3
                Jim Folliard

                Wow!  Great advice from everyone.  Thanks so much!



                • 5. Re: VMWare for GNS3
                  Ahmed A

                  Hi Jim,


                  How're you getting on with VMware & GNS3? let me know!



                  • 6. Re: VMWare for GNS3
                    Jim Folliard

                    Unfortunately, I have been unable to get VMWare to work with GNS3.  I'm trying to do a simple lab with a syslog server running in VMWare and can't get any interface to access the VMWare system except the one on the same subnet (  That inferface on R3 can ping the VMNet8 network adapter in C3 but no other interface can.  Also, from the VMWare system, I can ping but no other interfaces.


                    The network is operating properly and every interface on every router can ping the others.  Also, I have the default gateway on the VMNet8 apapter set to on R3.


                    The same problems exist for the VMNet1 network adapter.  I have no idea how to fix it.  I've looked at it for hours.


                    I also don't understand why there are two VMNet adapters shown in my host when the guest has only one adapter installed.  That network adapter is installed in NAT mode in VMWare.


                    If anyone has any advice, I'd appreciate it.





                    • 7. Re: VMWare for GNS3
                      Ahmed A



                      I shall cut the long story short. Give the following a try.. let me know if it works and we can discuss later.


                      Let VMware do some of the IP default gateway work, so,


                      1. Set on your REAL OS the, VMware Network Adapter VMnet8 to obtain an IP address automatically ( will be assigned)
                      2. Manually set within the virtual OS installed on VMware, an IP address of, GW
                      3. Assign to R3's f0/0 interface
                      4. Ping from should be successful


                      Forgot mention, Under "edit virtual machine settings" for VMnet8 , select Network Adapter and set the Network connection to "custom:specific virtual network".

                      Select, VMnet8 (Host-only) option.


                      see attached image.




                      Message was edited by: Ahmed A


                      Message was edited by: Ahmed A

                      • 8. Re: VMWare for GNS3
                        Ahmed A

                        In addition to the configs as posted,


                        If the VMware Network Adapter on your REAL system is set to pick an IP address automatically (which is given)

                        and you were to set R3's F0/0 IP to, as well as set the virtual OS's ip address and default gateway manually set to and GW


                        A "Windows - System Error  There is an IP address conflict with another system on the network" may be generated.

                        Hence the choice of as the default gateway for the VMware Virtual OS, as well as R3 F0/0 interface.


                        Without doing any research into the ins/outs of the VMware Network Adpater installed on you real OS, and despite the "windows system error" a ping from the virtual OS to is still successful.


                        Any thoughts to this would be appreciated.



                        • 9. Re: VMWare for GNS3
                          Jim Folliard



                          Thank you for your response.  Unfortunately, when I switch the VMNet8 on the host to get the ip address automatically, it gets  I do not have DHCP configured on R3 so I'm not sure where it is getting this address.  My real network has DHCP configured but it only uses


                          I am unable to ping anything now from VMWare guest.  I can't even ping R3.  Is it possible VMWare player (free version) doesn't work fully?  I can't seem to get it to do the things you are doing with VMWare workstation.





                          • 10. Re: VMWare for GNS3
                            Jim Folliard

                            I finally got it working!  The issue was not with VMWare or GNS3.  The issue was with XP routing.  I have all this running on an XP system.  It did not have the correct routes to send any traffic from VMWare to anything beyond R3.  To make a long story short, I used wireshark to observe the problem.  I then googled XP routing to learn about it and get the commands needed.  I ending up doing the following.


                            For some reason, XP was adding a default route with a metric of 1 to the next
                            hop of the Microsoft Loopback adapter.  This was causing all the traffic for
                            anything beyond R3 to be sent to the loopback adapter and not the VMNet adapter.


                            This solution will allow me to use either VMNet1, VMNet8, or the Loopback adapter.
                            The networks used in GNS3 will have to be one of the networks listed below or
                            a subnet of that one.


                            I want the default route to have a next hop to my real router on my real network.

                            The networks that each of the adpaters in my system use are the following.  The second

                            address is the default gateway.  The 0x? number is from "route print" and used with

                            networking commands for XP.


                            Marvell Yukon     0x5
                            Microsoft Loopback    0x4
                            VMNet1       0x3
                            VMNet8      0x2


                            I picked the following networks to be used with GNS3 when using the associated adapter.

                   to be used with Microsoft Loopback
                   to be used with VMnet1
                   to be used with VMNet8


                            From the cmd prompt, I did the following.
                            First see existing routes and adapter numbers.
                            route print


                            Next clear routes.
                            route -f


                            Now add needed routes. (arguments used:  destination, mask, next hop, metric, interface)
                            route -p add mask METRIC 1 IF 0x5  (this is my real network)
                            route -p add mask if 0x4  (this is for Microsoft loopback)
                            route -p add mask if 0x3  (this is for VMnet1)
                            route -p add mask if 0x2  (this is for VMNet8)


                            Thanks for helping me work through this!  Now i can do all the CCNA Security labs with GNS3 and VMWare Player.