How to Add a Virtual Machine in GNS3

GNS3 is really an amazing simulator that allows you to do a lot. It is not just limited to adding Cisco routers and switches, it also allows you to add Juniper routers. In addition, GNS3 let you add VirtualBox and VMware virtual machines so you can perform lab exercises similar to perform in a real-life environment. In this post, we will explain how to add a virtual machine in GNS3. For this, we will add a VMware virtual machine in GNS3. Similarly, you can add a VirtualBox machine in GNS3. Choosing the type of virtual machine depends on your choice and comfort. However, steps will remain same both types of VMs.

In order to add a virtual machine in GNS3, you need to perform the following steps:

  1. First, create a virtual machine in VMware workstation. We assume that you have already created a virtual machine using VMware workstation. In the following figure, you can see we have created two virtual machines named SVR1 and SVR2. In this demonstration, we will add SVR1 virtual machine to GNS3.add VMware virtual machine to GNS3
  1. If you have not created any virtual machine yet or facing any issue to create the virtual machine, visit the following link for the step by step instructions.

  1. Once you have created the virtual machine, open the GNS3 console, click Edit and select Preferences.
  2. On the Preferences window, select VMware VMs in the left pane and click New to add a new VMware virtual machine in GNS3.connect virtual machine to GNS3
  3. In the VMware Virtual Machine page, your virtual machine should be available in the VM list drop-down menu as shown in the following figure. Select your virtual machine that you want to add in GNS3 and then click Finish.New VMware VM template in GNS3
  4. In the GNS3 console, drag your virtual machine in the work view area. Right-click virtual machine and select Start to start it.Connect VirtualBox virtual machine to GNS3
  5. Now, this virtual machine can be connected to routers, switches and other devices in GNS3. Open the console of the virtual machine and use it as a real machine to perform the hands-on lab exercises.VMware virtual machine in GNS3 console

In this post, we have explained how to add virtual machines in GNS3. Don’t hesitate to share the article as it can help others too. Stay connected us for more upcoming posts.

Posted in CCNA, Cisco, GNS3 Tutorials Tagged with: , , ,
One comment on “How to Add a Virtual Machine in GNS3
  1. Ramez Dous says:


    I tried this method several times but the vm doesn’t appear in the VM List, The only option is the GNS3 VM. I use a GNS3 VM Server so I can emulate Switches.
    I use VMWare Workstation 12 player.