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Learn How to Setup GNS3 Server With The Help of Demonstration

GNS3 server Banner 

In the previous versions of GNS3, it was working as a client application. But, in the major released GNS3 version 2.x, we can run it as server and the multiple clients can access the same project or different project simultaneously. This new and advanced feature provide us the flexibility of saving our projects at the central location, from where any client can access and configure them If more than one client accessing the same project, whatsoever changes will be done by any client, the other clients will also be able to see those changes.

GNS3 version 2.x
GNS3 VM 2.x
VMware Workstation

Note: The GNS3 and GNS3 VM version must be same, e.g. I used Version 2.0.0 for both.

For the demonstration of this feature, I used two VMware machines which are running in the VMware Workstation 11.1.0:
1. GNS3 VM as a Remote Server
2. Window 10 as a client.

Step 1:

Import GNS3 VM and power on it. Then note down the IP address, which we will use later. This GNS3 VM will work as a server, where we will save our projects at the central location, from that place GNS3 client will be able to access them. 

Main remote server


Step 2:

We require a machine on which our GNS3 will work as a client. Here, I used VM Windows 10 for this purpose.

Install the GNS3 version 2.0. on this VM and main machine (PC, Laptop).

GNS3 On Client VM

GNS3 On Main OS

Step 3:

Run the GNS3 on the main machine. In the 'Servers Summary’ section a Local Server ‘APOLLO’ exists, which is the name of Main Machine. But, we have to setup GNS3 VM as a Remote Server, which we will achieve from ‘Preferences’.

GNS3 Local Server


In the ‘Main Server’ setting, we can see that ‘Enable local server’ option is checked. Uncheck that option, then we will receive the settings for ‘Remote Server’.

Disable Local Server

In this demonstration, the IP address of GNS3 VM is, type it under ‘Host’ and uncheck the ‘Auth’ option because we are configuring the project only for testing purpose.

Main Remote Server

Then click on Apply.

Main Remote Server Running

Step 4:

During this step we will manage IOS images. In the GNS3 version 2, we can configure the path of the IOS images folder. At the time of Adding the IOS image, how many images we will place in this folder, we would be able to see them at one place.

In the ‘General Preferences’ click on the ‘Binary images’ and browse the folder, where we placed IOS images and click on Apply. Then follow the instructions mentioned in the below pictures.

IOS Image Folder

IOS Image Templates

IOS Image New

IOS Image Router

IOS Image settings

IOS Image Name and Platform


IOS Image Network Adapters

IOS Image Idle PC

IOS Image

In this way, we can Add IOS image in GNS3. Similarly, if we want to add more images, repeat the same procedure.

IOS Image Apply

Step 5:

In this step we will create the project on one machine and the same project we will open on another machine, which will work as a client.
We are on the main machine, here create the topology and save the project e.g. I assigned the project name (Test for IOS image on Remote Server). And start the GNS3 on the virtual machine.

Draw Topology

GNS3 on VM

For starting the project on VM, click on ‘Projects library’. In the list of projects, we will find the project which we created on the main machine and saved on remote server.

Run Project on Client GNS3

We can observe that the project ‘Test for IOS image on Remote Server’ is in the list and its status is opened, i.e someone also running this project. Select it and click on OK.

Select The Project

The same topology will appear on the client machine. The important point here is that the number of clients can access the one topology and they need not to create it on their own machine.

Project on Client

In the Preferences of the client GNS3, the same setting will appear as the GNS3 on main machine, if not then change those.


IOS Image Folder

Main Remote Server

After the Preferences setting, we will start the devices or nodes and make some changes at the client machine. We can also see those changes on main machine.

Start Project

Topology At Client

Topology At Client enhancement

On the main machine, we can see the topology is identical to the client. In this way, from any machine we can make changes and the rest of clients those are running the same project, can see those changes.

Topology At Server

It is not compulsory that all the machine should run the same project, they can create their own or can run another project from the Projects library list.

Another topology at Client

Another topology at Client Running


 In this way we can setup our GNS3 Version 2 as a server and the multiple clients can access the centralized saved projects. This is really a powerful feature in the new GNS3.

What do you think about this explanation and demonstration? Your feedback and suggestions are valuable for us.



This article is written & published by Ms. Meena, Senior Manager - IT, at Luminis Consulting Services Pvt Ltd, India. She can be reached at Email:  and/or Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meena1 


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Islam deraz
0 # RE: Learn How to Setup GNS3 Server With The Help of DemonstrationIslam deraz 2017-07-01 01:14
Very clear explanation especially with images, really thank you very much
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