Best way to setup virtual lab for switch?

ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
I heard it can be done in GNS3, but it appears you can't actually put a switch .bin IOS file within it, but rather need to throw down for a VIRL subscription that is $200 / year.

I have a trove of switch image files to use virtually, but that VIRL price is making me think of just ditching any non 15.x gear and trim the lab down a bit, as I'd rather pay for another L3 physical switch then a subscription fee to Cisco for VIRL images.

I already have Workstation 10 setup and working with GNS3 with internet connectivity, I'm kind of bummed I am running into this, any suggestions on how to make this work?

Right now I am just trying to "add appliance", I downloaded the all-in-one.exe from GNS3 and the program is completely empty so I am working on filling it in.



I think I may have found a way to import the IOS images, haven't got it running yet, but it looks promising!

Edit Edit:

Fail, invalid IOS image :\


  • wseyllerwseyller Member Posts: 44 ■■■□□□□□□□
    It isn't easy and I am not even sure it gives the full experience in any option. Things change all the time so I am not current but I have done it before. I was really difficult and there are certain things that didn't work right even then but I honestly dont' recall that.

    According to the GNS3 site here are your options in summary
    Switching and GNS3 - GNS3

    The OUI option I believe is what I had tried. I don't have that setup anymore, but I search through several websites and youtube videos to make it work and it was tough. I would dred having to go through it again. I believe it requires a separate GNS3 VM installation.

    Lucky I am currently doing the ROUTE training so I don't really have to worry about it right now. When switch comes I am sure I will have to consider my options. I know a guy that works for an ISP that swears how good VIRL is but I am cheap so I will have to wait and see what route (no pun intended) I go.
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    Yes I enjoy my physical lab and already, and $200 for a single year is kind of crazy, unless you can download and store / use the images at any time after that years subscription has ended which I can't seem to find an answer to (though from the language I've read it leans toward no as the VM's need to communicate out to the internet on special ports).

    I got my ROUTE attempt #2 in the afternoon today, so I better stop looking at SWITCH stuff half the night before I get that squared away, thanks for your input though!
  • Welly_59Welly_59 Member Posts: 431
    ande let us know how route goes!

    in regards to switching in gns3, yes it can be done and it now works well, provifing you have the correct IOU images which support private vlans etc. Standard ios images wont work.

    I wont link to anything here but you will need to add the relevant appliance from the gns3 storefront, gather a license for it(google), and then use the i86bi-linux-l2-ipbasek9-15.2d.bin image which you can find by searching
  • Hammer80Hammer80 Member Posts: 207 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You can't simulate switches with GNS3. Yes you can set up an entire network which has both routers and switches but the switches have to be physical. GNS3 can only simulate routers using the router images. The only only exception is when you use IOU images but have fun finding one that is not screwed up somehow. The time it takes to find one would be better spent on buying a couple switches of ebay, you can buy 3 switches for about $150.

    I hate what Cisco did with VIRL, they promised it for years and they finally made it available and then within a year they pulled the student subscription and now it's freaking $200 a year.
  • keenonkeenon Member Posts: 1,922 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • Welly_59Welly_59 Member Posts: 431
    Switch works fine in gns3 trust me.

    Ande pm me if you want
  • esr0159esr0159 Member Posts: 80 ■□□□□□□□□□
    yea switch works fine in gns3, you just need VM + images
    CCNP R&S | Planning to hit IE R&S or JNCIA or Security path|
  • Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Member Posts: 1,034 ■■■■■■□□□□
    gns3 server hosting L2 IOU images. you need only a 256mb vm for maybe 20 switches.
    *was* For internal employees only though.

    I like it. works great and is much better.
    2019 Goals
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  • IsmaeljrpIsmaeljrp Member Posts: 480 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Any luck with your setup.

    David Bombal has an excellent youtube series on integrating the GNS3VM in vmware, as well as adding appliances and VIRL images. It's very great, helped me completely set up my lab.

    Electricity costs where I live are about 3 times US average, so doing switch virtually is a much better option for me. It works amazingly well.
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