GNS3 server
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This is the GNS3 server repository.

The GNS3 server manages emulators such as Dynamips, VirtualBox or Qemu/KVM. Clients like the GNS3 GUI and the GNS3 Web UI control the server using an HTTP REST API.

Software dependencies

In addition of Python dependencies listed in a section below, other software may be required, recommended or optional.

  • uBridge is required, it interconnects the nodes.
  • Dynamips is required for running IOS routers (using real IOS images) as well as the internal switches and hubs.
  • VPCS is recommended, it is a builtin node simulating a very simple computer to perform connectitivy tests using ping, traceroute etc.
  • Qemu is strongly recommended on Linux, as most node types are based on Qemu, for example Cisco IOSv and Arista vEOS.
  • libvirt is recommended (Linux only), as it's needed for the NAT cloud.
  • Docker is optional (Linux only), some nodes are based on Docker.
  • mtools is recommended to support data transfer to/from QEMU VMs using virtual disks.
  • i386-libraries of libc and libcrypto are optional (Linux only), they are only needed to run IOU based nodes.

Docker support

Docker support needs the script program (bsdutils or util-linux package), when running a docker VM and a static busybox during installation (python3 install / pip3 install / package creation).



master is the next stable release, you can test it in your day to day activities. Bug fixes or small improvements pull requests go here.

2.x (2.3 for example)

Next major release

Never use this branch for production. Pull requests for major new features go here.


GNS3 is perhaps packaged for your distribution:

Linux (Debian based)

The following instructions have been tested with Ubuntu and Mint. You must be connected to the Internet in order to install the dependencies.


  • Python 3.6, setuptools and the ones listed here

The following commands will install some of these dependencies:

sudo apt-get install python3-setuptools python3-pip

Finally, these commands will install the server as well as the rest of the dependencies:

cd gns3-server-master
python3 -m pip install -r requirements.txt
python3 -m pip install .

To run tests use:

python3 -m pytest tests

Docker container

For development, you can run the GNS3 server in a container

bash scripts/

Run as daemon (Unix only)

You will find init sample scripts for various systems inside the init directory.

Useful options:

  • --daemon: start process as a daemon
  • --log logfile: store output in a logfile
  • --pid pidfile: store the pid of the running process in a file and prevent double execution

All init scripts require the creation of a GNS3 user. You can change it to another user.

sudo adduser gns3


For ubuntu < 15.04

You need to copy init/gns3.conf.upstart to /etc/init/gns3.conf

sudo chown root /etc/init/gns3.conf
sudo service gns3 start


You need to copy init/gns3.service.systemd to /lib/systemd/system/gns3.service

sudo chown root /lib/systemd/system/gns3.service
sudo systemctl start gns3


Please use our all-in-one installer to install the stable build.

If you install via source you need to first install:

Then you can call

python install

to install the remaining dependencies.

To run the tests, you also need to call

pip install pytest pytest-capturelog

before actually running the tests with

python test

or with

py.test -v

Mac OS X

Please use our DMG package for a simple installation.

If you want to test the current git version or contribute to the project, you can follow these instructions with virtualenvwrapper: and homebrew:

brew install python3
mkvirtualenv gns3-server --python=/usr/local/bin/python3.5
python3 install


If you want enable SSL support on GNS3 you can generate a self signed certificate:

bash gns3server/cert_utils/

This command will put the files in ~/.config/GNS3/ssl

After you can start the server in SSL mode with:

python gns3server/ --certfile ~/.config/GNS3/ssl/server.cert --certkey ~/.config/GNS3/ssl/server.key --ssl

Or in your gns3_server.conf by adding in the Server section:


Running tests

Just run:

py.test -vv

If you want test coverage:

py.test --cov-report term-missing --cov=gns3server

Security issues

Please contact us using contact form available here: