How to Install GNS3 Network Emulation Software in Windows 10 & 11

Follow these instructions to install GNS3 Network Emulation Software in Windows 10 & 11:

  1. Open the official GNS3 website and click Free Download. You may need to signup/signin: gns3

  2. Download both GNS3 installer and GNS3 VM. Both components must be installed for optimal performance: gns3-platforms

GNS3 VM is available for many hypervisors depending on your preference: gns3-vm

  1. Install GNS3 application client first. Unselect Start GNS3 at the end of the setup: (Optional for Windows 10 and 11 users: you can Unselect Tools > WinPCAP since it’s no longer needed) gns3-setup

  2. Import GNS3 VM into your hypervisor, the following example shows the specific instructions for VMWare Workstation using ova file: ova ova2

  3. Edit VM settings network adapters:

Here is a summary of how networking work in VMWare workstation:


  1. Search and start GNS3 application, choose to run appliances in a virtual machine (GSN3 VM):


  2. Choose your hypervisor and VM name, in most cases GNS3 will automatically detect VM name, then adjust CPU cores and RAM based on how big of a lab you are trying to build, for complex labs with multiple devices and servers I recommend at least 4 CPU Cores and 8 GB of RAM, GNS3 will update VM settings and start/stop VM automatically for you:


Once VM is up and running, GNS should show you both client and VM up under servers summary:


Now start adding appliances to GNS3 inventory and build your lab. Please only use licensed or free appliances and avoid pirated software found on the internet. If you need to use Cisco software legally, you can subscribe to Cisco VIRL. Similar subscriptions are available for many vendors, or just use FOSS!