GNS3 on a Netbook

I have been thinking of how am I going to practice my CCNA while I’m not at home.

My original plan was, buy a new laptop, and install GNS3, so that I can simulate my routers. Since there is no way for me to bring my routers with me wherever I go.

Here is a short story:

On my Windows 7 x64 desktop at home, I do have a virtual machine installed running Ubuntu 10.04 x64. I discovered that when I ran GNS3 on Windows, it did not run that way I wanted to.

Here are the specs of my Windows 7 machine:
Intel Core i7 920 | Corsair Dominator 7-7-7-18 6GB of RAM @ 1600Mhz | OCZ Vertex 60GB SSD (OS & drivers only) | 1TB WD Caviar Black HDD (Software & data only) | 500GB WD Caviar Black HDD (Back up drive) | Evga GTX 260 in SLI | Corsair 850HX PSU | Windows 7 Ultimate x64.

The problem is with GNS3 under Windows 7 or even Vista, it devours all the system resources, and when you open the console it crashes. Not the GNS3 just the console. I think in XP it runs just fine.

I heard that GNS3 runs great under Linux; therefore, I installed GNS3 on my Ubuntu in VM.

This is the specs of my Ubuntu VM:
Two cores CPU | 2GB RAM | 10GB VHD.

I turned on 13 routers and opened the consoles, and guess what? It ran flawlessly. The CPU was at 100% load. When I used the idle PC, from 100% it dropped down to 78% load. And from here, I thought I should try this on my netbook.

My netbook is Asus 1005HA
Intel Atom N280 @ 160GHz with HT | Corsair 2GB RAM 800MHz | 320GB WD Scorpion Black (50GB Ubuntu 10.04 x32 & 266GB Windows 7 Pro x32).

I installed GNS3 0.7.2 in Ubuntu and tried to run it with six routers.

Here are the screenshots I took:

I was amazed that it works.

I also decompressed the IOS so that whenever I turn on the routers I don’t have to wait for like a minute or two. With an uncompressed IOS, it boots up like about three to five seconds. So that is a big improvement.

So I put this to the test, I went to Borders this morning to do some EIGRP labbing (same topology as pictured above), I was googling some stuff, too. It worked, and I did not get any problem.

Anyway the point of me posting this, is that if you have a netbook, and studying for Cisco/Juniper certifications, just install Ubuntu or any Linux OS as your second OS and install GNS3. Of course, if you have a laptop it that is much better.

Now, I don’t need to spend $1000+ for an i7 laptop to do some labbing.

About networkshinobi

My name is Karlo, I work as a Network Engineer. A little about myself. I started as a PC gamer back when I was in high school. PC gaming became my addiction and pushed me to learn more about computers. Slowly got my some certifications and landed an IT Tier 1 Helpdesk job. This job opened the door for me to work to push further on my certifications and going deeper into the IT world. My goal was to get my Cisco CCIE Routing and Switching, but my journey for CCIE has changed due to I always ended up working on non-Cisco network appliances. Therefore, I have to pivot and decided to jump to the dark side and go with Juniper. Hopefully, I would get my JNCIE in the near future. All the entries/post I made are based on my views, opinion and for educational purposes only. If you see some mistakes, feel free to drop some comments. I would appreciate all the helpful comments. Thanks
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