How to Add Cisco ASA in GNS3 – A Step By Step Guide

ASA stands for Adaptive Security Appliance. It is the fundamental operating system for the Cisco ASA family products. It provides enterprise-level firewall abilities for ASA devices. GNS3 supports the Cisco ASA that can be used to perform hands-on practice labs for study purpose. Since GNS3 is a simulated platform, it may not support all of the features as supported by a physical Cisco ASA device. However, for the practice and self-study purposes, it is really great to add Cisco ASA in GNS3.

In this post, we will explain how to add Cisco ASA in GNS3 in such a detailed steps that a candidate having the basic knowledge of GNS3 can do it easily.

Steps to Add Cisco ASA in GNS3

In order to add ASA in GNS3, following steps need to be followed:

  1. Download the ASA image file and extract the ASA files in a folder such as E:\GNS3\ASA. You will see three files after extraction.

Download Cisco ASA image file. [Credit Mediafire]

  1. In the GNS3 console, open the Preferences window, select Qemu VMs and then click New.
  2. In the New QEMU VM template window, select ASA from the Type drop-down list and then click Next.Adding Cisco ASA in GNS3
  3. In the QEMU VM Name page, specify a name and click Next.
  4. In the QEMU binary and memory page, customize memory size or accept the default memory size and then click Next.
  5. In the Disk Image page, (select an existing image, if available or select the New Image radio button to create a new one) type ASAImage in the Disk image text box and then click Create.using ASA in GNS3
  6. In the QEMU Image Creator window, select the appropriate image format such as Qcow2 and then click Next. In the Qcow2 options page, click Next.Selecting Cisco ASA Image format
  7. In the Size and location page, click Browse and select the location where you want to store it or accept the default location and then click Finish.
  8. The Disk image page will return, click Next.Cisco ASA image Size and Location
  9. In the ASA VM page, select the New Image radio button. Click Browse to add the initial RAM disk file and select the initrd file that you have extracted. In the Image message box, click Yes.
  10. Click again Browse to add Kernel image file and select the vmlinuz file that you have extracted. In the Image message box, click Yes again and then finally click Finish.Selecting initrd and kernel image for Cisco ASA
  11. Click Edit to open the Node properties window. In the General settings tab, set the Memory size as 2048 MB (otherwise, you might get an error due to insufficient RAM).
  12. Next, select the Network tab and then select the Use the legacy network mode check box (to avoid any network error).Use the legacy network mode for ASA in GNS3
  13. Next, select the Advanced settings tab. In the Kernel command line text box, type no-hlt -append ide_generic.probe_mask=0x01 ide_core.chs=0.0:980,16,32 auto nousb console=ttyS0,9600 bigphysarea=65536
  14. In the Options text box, type -vnc none -vga none -m 1024 -icount auto -hdachs 980,16,32Cisco ASA Node properties options in GNS3
  15. Close the Node properties window and drag the Cisco ASA into the work view area. Select and right-click ASA-1, select Start to start it and open the console of ASA.Starting cisco ASA in GNS3

Opening Cisco ASA Console

Please wait until the files are uncompressed. You have done your job, you can take a cup of coffee because it may take half or an hour to load the files. Once the files are uncompressed the ASA console prompt will be displayed, as shown in the following figure.Cisco ASA CLI prompt

Now, you have successfully added Cisco ASA in GNS3. Hope, you have loved it. Please like and share the post as it will encourage us to serve you more articles.

Posted in Cisco, GNS3 Tutorials, Security Tagged with: , ,
One comment on “How to Add Cisco ASA in GNS3 – A Step By Step Guide
  1. Dinesh Chandra says:

    Hi ,

    I get this error

    Warning: Warning ASA 8 is not officialy supported by GNS3 and Cisco, we recommend to use ASAv. Depending of your hardware this could not work or you could be limited to one instance.
    Server error from ASA 8.4(2): hda disk image ‘C:/Users/C5253014/GNS3/images/QEMU/ASA 8.qcow2’ is not accessible