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William Hall
William Hall

GNS3-0.8.6-all-in-one.exe: The Ultimate Network Simulator for Windows


GNS3-0.8.6-all-in-one.exe setup free: How to download and install GNS3 on Windows




If you are a network engineer, a student, or a hobbyist who wants to design, configure, test, and troubleshoot virtual and real networks, you might have heard of GNS3. GNS3 is a graphical network simulator that allows you to create complex network topologies and run them on your computer without the need for physical hardware. You can use GNS3 to prepare for certification exams, experiment with new technologies, or simply learn more about networking.




GNS3-0.8.6-all-in-one.exe setup free



In this article, we will show you how to download and install GNS3-0.8.6-all-in-one.exe, which is the latest stable version of GNS3 for Windows as of June 2021. We will also explain what GNS3 is, what are its features and benefits, how it works, and how you can use it to create and simulate network topologies.


What is GNS3 and why use it?




GNS3 stands for Graphical Network Simulator 3. It is an open source, free software that you can download from gns3.com. It was originally developed by Jeremy Grossman in 2007 as a tool to help him study for his CCNP certifications. Since then, it has evolved and expanded to support many devices from multiple network vendors, including Cisco, Juniper, Arista, Brocade, Cumulus, Docker, Linux, and more.


GNS3 features and benefits




According to the GNS3 documentation, some of the features provided by the simulator are:



  • Design of high quality and complex network topologies



  • Emulation of many Cisco router platforms and PIX firewalls



  • Simulation of simple Ethernet, ATM, and Frame Relay switches



  • Connection of the simulated network to the real world



  • Packet capture using Wireshark



Some of the benefits of using GNS3 are:



  • It is free and open source



  • It is actively developed and supported by a large community



  • It is flexible and customizable



  • It can help you prepare for certification exams or test real world deployments



  • It can save you money and time by avoiding the need for physical hardware



GNS3 architecture and components




GNS3 consists of two software components:



  • The GNS3-all-in-one software (GUI)



  • The GNS3 virtual machine (VM)



The GNS3-all-in-one software is the client part of GNS3 and is the graphical user interface (GUI) that you use to create your topologies using drag-and-drop. You install this software on your local PC (Windows, MAC, Linux) and connect it to a server process The GNS3 virtual machine is the server part of GNS3 and is the engine that runs the network simulations. You install this software on a virtualization platform such as VMware or VirtualBox and connect it to the GNS3 GUI. The GNS3 VM can run multiple network devices and appliances using different technologies such as Dynamips, IOU, QEMU, and Docker.


The GNS3 architecture is shown in the following diagram:



Source: GNS3 documentation


How to download GNS3-0.8.6-all-in-one.exe




Before you can install GNS3 on your Windows PC, you need to download the GNS3-all-in-one software and the GNS3 VM from the official website. You also need to check the system requirements for running GNS3.


System requirements for GNS3




According to the GNS3 documentation, the minimum system requirements for running GNS3 are:



  • A modern PC with a 64-bit CPU (Intel VT-x or AMD-V support recommended)



  • At least 4 GB of RAM (8 GB or more recommended)



  • At least 1 GB of free disk space (SSD recommended)



  • A Windows 7 or later operating system (Windows 10 recommended)



  • A virtualization software such as VMware Workstation Player, VMware Workstation Pro, or VirtualBox



The recommended system requirements for running GNS3 are:



  • A powerful PC with a quad-core CPU and 16 GB of RAM or more



  • A fast SSD with at least 100 GB of free disk space



  • A Windows 10 operating system with Hyper-V disabled



  • A VMware Workstation Pro software with nested virtualization enabled



Note that the system requirements may vary depending on the number and type of devices and appliances you want to run on GNS3. You should also have a stable internet connection for downloading and updating GNS3.


Steps to download GNS3 from the official website




To download GNS3 from the official website, follow these steps:



  • Go to gns3.com and click on the Download button at the top right corner of the page.



  • If you are not already registered, you will need to create a free account by filling in your name, email, password, and country. You will also need to agree to the terms of service and privacy policy. Then, click on Create Account.



  • If you are already registered, you will need to log in with your email and password. Then, click on Login.



  • Once you are logged in, you will see a page with different options for downloading GNS3. Click on the GNS3 All-in-one v0.8.6 option under the GNS3 for Windows section.



  • You will be redirected to a page where you can choose between two download methods: direct download or torrent download. We recommend using the direct download method as it is faster and easier. Click on the Direct Download button and save the file GNS3-0.8.6-all-in-one.exe to your desired location.



  • You will also need to download the GNS3 VM for VMware or VirtualBox. Click on the GNS3 VM v0.8.6 for VMware Workstation Pro/Player (Windows) or GNS3 VM v0.8.6 for VirtualBox (Windows) option under the GNS3 VMs for Windows section.



  • You will be redirected to a page where you can choose between two download methods: direct download or torrent download. We recommend using the direct download method as it is faster and easier. Click on the Direct Download button and save the file GNS3.VM.VMware.Workstation.v0.8.6.zip or GNS3.VM.VirtualBox.v0.8.6.zip to your desired location.



  • You have successfully downloaded the GNS3-all-in-one software and the GNS3 VM for your Windows PC.



How to install GNS3 How to install GNS3-0.8.6-all-in-one.exe




After you have downloaded the GNS3-all-in-one software and the GNS3 VM, you can proceed to install them on your Windows PC. The installation process is simple and straightforward, but you need to pay attention to some details and options.


Steps to run the installer and choose the components




To run the installer and choose the components, follow these steps:



  • Locate the file GNS3-0.8.6-all-in-one.exe that you have downloaded and double-click on it to launch the installer.



  • You will see a welcome screen with some information about GNS3. Click on Next to continue.



  • You will see a license agreement screen where you need to accept the terms of the license. Click on I Agree to continue.



You will see a components screen where you can choose which components of GNS3 you want to install. You can select or deselect the following components:



  • GNS3: This is the main component that includes the GNS3 GUI and server. You should always install this component.



  • Solar-PuTTY: This is a SSH/Telnet client that allows you to connect to your network devices from GNS3. You can install this component if you want to use Solar-PuTTY as your default console application.



  • Wireshark: This is a network protocol analyzer that allows you to capture and analyze network traffic from GNS3. You can install this component if you want to use Wireshark as your default packet capture application.



  • Npcap: This is a packet capture library that is required by Wireshark and GNS3 to capture network traffic from your PC. You should always install this component if you plan to use Wireshark or GNS3 for packet capture.



  • Dynamips: This is an emulator that allows you to run Cisco IOS images on GNS3. You can install this component if you want to use Cisco routers on GNS3.



  • VPCS: This is a simulator that allows you to run simple virtual PCs on GNS3. You can install this component if you want to use VPCS as your end devices on GNS3.



  • QEMU: This is an emulator that allows you to run various network appliances on GNS3, such as ASA, IOSv, JunOS, etc. You can install this component if you want to use QEMU devices on GNS3.



We recommend installing all the components except Solar-PuTTY, as you can use other console applications such as PuTTY or SecureCRT. Click on Next to continue.


  • You will see a destination folder screen where you can choose where to install GNS3 on your PC. The default location is C:\Program Files\GNS3. You can change it if you want, but make sure you have enough disk space and write permissions. Click on Install to start the installation.



  • The installation will take some time depending on your system and internet speed. You will see a progress bar and some messages indicating the status of the installation. Wait until the installation is complete.



  • You will see a completion screen where you can choose whether to launch GNS3 after the installation or not. You can also choose whether to create a desktop shortcut for GNS3 or not. Click on Finish to exit the installer.



  • You have successfully installed the GNS3-all-in-one software on your Windows PC.



Steps to configure the GNS3 server and GUI




To configure the GNS3 server and GUI, follow these steps:



  • If you have chosen to launch GNS3 after the installation, you will see a setup wizard screen where you can configure some settings for GNS3. If not, you can launch GNS3 from the Start menu or the desktop shortcut.



You will see a server configuration screen where you can choose whether to run the GNS3 server locally or remotely. The local server option means that the GNS3 server will run on your PC and use your PC resources for network simulations. The remote server option means that the GNS3 server will run on another machine (such as a cloud server) and use its resources for network simulations.


  • We recommend choosing the local server option for simplicity and convenience, unless you have a good reason to use a remote server, such as having a powerful cloud server or running multiple GNS3 instances. Click on Next to continue.



You will see a GNS3 VM configuration screen where you can choose whether to use the GNS3 VM or not. The GNS3 VM is a virtual machine that runs the GNS3 server and provides better performance and compatibility for network simulations. You can use the GNS3 VM in addition to the local server or the remote server, depending on your preference and needs.


  • We recommend choosing to use the GNS3 VM for optimal results, unless you have a specific reason not to use it, such as having limited resources or incompatible virtualization software. Click on Next to continue.



You will see a GNS3 VM import screen where you can choose which virtualization software you want to use for the GNS3 VM. You can choose between VMware or VirtualBox, depending on which one you have installed on your PC. You will also need to locate the file GNS3.VM.VMware.Workstation.v0.8.6.zip or GNS3.VM.VirtualBox.v0.8.6.zip that you have downloaded and unzip it to a folder.


  • We recommend choosing VMware as it provides better performance and stability for the GNS3 VM, unless you have a specific reason to use VirtualBox, such as having a license issue or a preference for VirtualBox. Click on Next to continue.



  • You will see a GNS3 VM import confirmation screen where you can review the settings for the GNS3 VM and confirm the import process. You will see the name, type, version, memory, and disk size of the GNS3 VM. You can change these settings if you want, but we recommend keeping the default values unless you know what you are doing. Click on Finish to start the import process.



  • The import process will take some time depending on your system and internet speed. You will see a progress bar and some messages indicating the status of the import process. Wait until the import process is complete.



  • You will see a GNS3 VM import completion screen where you can choose whether to start the GNS3 VM automatically or not. You can also choose whether to create a desktop shortcut for the GNS3 VM or not. Click on Finish to exit the setup wizard.



  • You have successfully configured the GNS3 server and GUI on your Windows PC.



Steps to verify the installation and launch GNS3




To verify the installation and launch GNS3, follow these steps:



  • If you have chosen to start the GNS3 VM automatically, you will see a window with the GNS3 VM console. You will see some messages indicating the status of the GNS3 VM and its IP address. You can also start the GNS3 VM manually from your virtualization software if you want.



  • If you have chosen to launch GNS3 after the installation, you will see a window with the GNS3 GUI. You will see a blank project with a toolbar and a sidebar. You can also launch GNS3 manually from the Start menu or the desktop shortcut if you want.



  • To verify that the GNS3 GUI is connected to the GNS3 server and the GNS3 VM, go to Edit > Preferences from the menu bar. You will see a preferences window with different tabs and settings.



  • Go to the Server tab and check that the Local server status is green and running. You should also see the IP address and port of the local server.



  • Go to the GNS3 VM tab and check that the GNS3 VM status is green and running. You should also see the IP address and port of the GNS3 VM.



  • If everything is green and running, it means that your installation is successful and you are ready to use GNS3. If not, you may need to troubleshoot your installation by checking your network settings, firewall settings, virtualization settings, etc.



  • You can close the preferences window and start creating your network topologies using GNS3.



How to use GNS3 to create and simulate network topologies




Now that you have installed and configured GNS3 on your Windows PC, you can use it to create and simulate network topologies using various devices and appliances. In this section, we will show you how to use GNS3 to create and simulate network topologies using various devices and appliances. We will use a simple example of a network topology that consists of two routers, two switches, and two PCs. You can follow along with this example or create your own topology using different devices and appliances.


How to add devices and appliances to GNS3




To add devices and appliances to GNS3, follow these steps:



  • On the GNS3 GUI, go to the Browse all devices section on the sidebar. You will see a list of categories and icons of devices and appliances that you can use on GNS3.



  • To add a device or appliance to your topology, drag and drop its icon from the sidebar to the main workspace. You can also double-click on its icon to add it to the center of the workspace.



  • You can add as many devices and appliances as you want, depending on your system resources and network design. For this example, we will add two Cisco routers, two Ethernet switches, and two VPCS.



  • After you have added the devices and appliances to your topology, you can rename them, change their symbols, or edit their properties by right-clicking on them and choosing the appropriate option from the context menu.



  • You can also move, resize, rotate, or align the devices and appliances on your workspace by using the mouse or the keyboard shortcuts.



  • You have successfully added the devices and appliances to your topology.



Your topology should look something like this:



How to connect devices and configure network settings




To connect devices and configure network settings on GNS3, follow these steps:



  • To connect two devices or appliances on your topology, click on the Add a link button on the toolbar. You will see a list of options for different types of links, such as Ethernet, Serial, ATM, etc.



  • To create a link between two devices or appliances, click on one of them and then click on another one. You will see a green line connecting them. You can also click on a specific interface or port of each device or appliance to create a link between them.



  • You can create as many links as you want, depending on your network design. For this example, we will create four Ethernet links: one between each router and switch, and one between each switch and PC.



  • After you have created the links between the devices and appliances on your topology, you can rename them, change their color, or edit their properties by right-clicking on them and choosing the appropriate option from the context menu.



  • You can also move, bend, delete, or suspend the links on your workspace by using the mouse or the keyboard shortcuts.



  • To configure the network settings of each device or appliance on your topology, you need to access its console. To do so, right-click on the device or appliance and choose Console from the context menu. You will see a new window with the console of the device or appliance.



You can use the console to configure the device or appliance using its specific commands and syntax. For example, you can assign IP addresses, subnet masks, default gateways, routing protocols, etc. For this example, we will use the following network settings:



Device/ApplianceInterface/PortIP AddressSubnet MaskDefault Gateway


Router 1F0/0192.168.1.1255.255.255.0N/A


Router 2F0/0192.168.2.1255.255.255.0N/A


Switch 1VLAN 1192.168.1.2255.255.255.0192.168.1.1


Switch 2VLAN 1192.168.2.2255.255.255.0192.168.2.1


VPCS 1Eth0192.168.1 .100255.255.255.0192.168.1.1


VPCS 2Eth0192.168.2.100255.255.255.0192.168.2.1


You can use the following commands to configure the network settings of each device or appliance:



  • For Cisco routers, use the enable, configure terminal, interface, ip address, no shutdown, and exit commands.



For Cisco switches, use the enable, configure terminal, interface vlan 1, ip address, no


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