Install and Configure GNS3 with VMware Workstation Player Free

Share on:

Overview

In this article, I'll demonstrate how to install GNS3 on Windows 10 using VMware Workstation Player free to run the GNS3 VM.

Prerequisites

For VMware Workstation Pro, the VIX API is not needed, so if you either have the Pro version already installed, or plan to install the 30 days trial, or decide to buy the Pro version, you can skip VMware VIX API installation and "hack".

If you have an old version (<=14.x) of VMware Workstation Player installed, you most likely don't need to hack the VIX API, so you can skip that part.

Installation

  1. Install VMware Workstation Player (VMware-player-15.5.2-15785246.exe)
  2. Install VMware VIX 1.17.0 API (VMware-VIX-1.17.0-6661328.exe)
  3. Install GNS3 (GNS3-2.2.7-all-in-one-regular.exe)
    1. On Choose Components select GNS3 Desktop and GNS3 VM
      Choose Components
    2. On GNS3 VM, select VMware Workstation
      GNS3 VM
    3. Click Finish and unselect start GNS3
      Completing Setup

VIX API Hack

The latest available version of VIX API 1.17.0 was released in 2017 and is not compatible with VMware Workstation Player 15.x. Don't worry, in order to get it working, we will have to hack some configuration files.

  1. Open vixwrapper-config.txt in C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware VIX. (Take a copy of the file before making any changes)

     1#@Version-Info
     2#
     3# VixAllProducts revision mapping
     4#
     5# This file translates product version specifications into the appropriate Vix
     6# implementations.
     7#
     8# Each @Version-Info line has 5 white-space seperated entries:
     9#
    10#    provider-type: ws, esx, viserver, etc
    11#    apiVersion: the apiVersion supported, as passed in from VixHost_Connect()
    12#    ipc-type: none, vmdb, vmodl, cim
    13#    product-version: the product version string
    14#
    15#    implementation-directory: the path to the library that implements the
    16#          version described by the first 4 parameters
    17#
    18#
    19# The configuration is based on the first 4 fields, which describe
    20# the product.  The 5th field is the location.  To force it to try
    21# multiple location, the same configuration can be repeated.  Note that
    22# list is built in LIFO order, so the latest entry in the configuration
    23# will be the first used.  If for some reason that value fails, it will
    24# continue through any other matches.
    25
    26# Workstation 14.0.0
    27ws        19  vmdb  14.0.0 Workstation-14.0.0
    28player    19  vmdb  14.0.0 Workstation-14.0.0
    29
    30# latest un-versioned
    31ws        19  vmdb  e.x.p Workstation-14.0.0
    32player    19  vmdb  e.x.p Workstation-14.0.0
    33
    34# EOF
    35
    
  2. Add the following lines before # latest un-versioned

    1# Workstation and Player 15.5.2
    2ws        19  vmdb  15.5.2 Workstation-15.0.0
    3player    19  vmdb  15.5.2 Workstation-15.0.0
    4ws        19  vmdb   e.x.p Workstation-15.0.0
    5player    19  vmdb   e.x.p Workstation-15.0.0
    6
    

    Here is what the file looks like after making the changes:

     1#@Version-Info
     2#
     3# VixAllProducts revision mapping
     4#
     5# This file translates product version specifications into the appropriate Vix
     6# implementations.
     7#
     8# Each @Version-Info line has 5 white-space seperated entries:
     9#
    10#    provider-type: ws, esx, viserver, etc
    11#    apiVersion: the apiVersion supported, as passed in from VixHost_Connect()
    12#    ipc-type: none, vmdb, vmodl, cim
    13#    product-version: the product version string
    14#
    15#    implementation-directory: the path to the library that implements the
    16#          version described by the first 4 parameters
    17#
    18#
    19# The configuration is based on the first 4 fields, which describe
    20# the product.  The 5th field is the location.  To force it to try
    21# multiple location, the same configuration can be repeated.  Note that
    22# list is built in LIFO order, so the latest entry in the configuration
    23# will be the first used.  If for some reason that value fails, it will
    24# continue through any other matches.
    25
    26# Workstation 14.0.0
    27ws        19  vmdb  14.0.0 Workstation-14.0.0
    28player    19  vmdb  14.0.0 Workstation-14.0.0
    29
    30# Workstation and Player 15.5.2
    31ws        19  vmdb  15.5.2 Workstation-15.0.0
    32player    19  vmdb  15.5.2 Workstation-15.0.0
    33ws        19  vmdb   e.x.p Workstation-15.0.0
    34player    19  vmdb   e.x.p Workstation-15.0.0
    35
    36# latest un-versioned
    37ws        19  vmdb  e.x.p Workstation-14.0.0
    38player    19  vmdb  e.x.p Workstation-14.0.0
    39
    40# EOF
    41
    
  3. Save and Close the file. Notepad++ will ask for "Administrator mode"

  4. Go back to the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware VIX

  5. Make a copy of the folder Workstation-14.0.0 and rename Workstation-15.0.0. Here is the result:

Initial Configuration

  1. Import GNS3 VM into VMware workstation Player
    1. Unzip the VM image (GNS3.VM.VMware.Workstation.2.2.7.zip in your user's Downloads folder)
    2. Doubleclick GNS3 VM.ova to import the VM:
      Import VM
    3. Choose Import
      Importing VM
    4. If you get this error:
      Error powering on VM
      it means that Virtualization Support is disabled in you Laptop / PC. It must be enabled in the BIOS or UEFI. Please refer to your vendor's documentation on how to enable it.

If the GNS3 VM is configured correctly you should see the VM running on VMware Workstation every time you open GNS3 and you should also see 2 servers in the Server Summary screen:
Server running

To configure the GNS3 VM, click on Edit > Preferences > GNS3 VM
GNS3 VM preferences

  • Select Enable the GNS3 VM and click OK
  • Now the GNS3 VM should start and you should see 2 active servers
    Two Active Servers

Importing the router image

Proceed as follows:

  • Edit > Preferences
  • Select Dynamips > IOS routers > New
  • Run this IOS router on the GNS3 VM
  • New Image. Browse for the image
  • Answer Yes to decompress the image.
  • Click Next repeatedly until WIC modules and choose WIC-2T for the wic 0
  • Click Next and Idle-PC finder
  • Accept the value clicking OK
  • Click Finish

You are good to go!

See Also


comments powered by Disqus