Adding VPCS to GNS3 v1.1

gns3_icon_256x256I love using GNS3 when I am studying as I can integrate a Virtual Machine, running a TACACS+ server for example, however this does come at a cost of CPU and RAM utilization.

I don’t always need a full Linux VM running when all I want to do is ping or traceroute between two hosts on the network, this is where Virtual PC Simulator (VPCS) comes into play. VPCS is a lightweight PC simulator that has a basic set of network commands such as ping, traceroute and telnet. It does not consume the CPU and memory resources that adding another router or VM would use. VPCS can simulate up to 9 separate  PC at a time.

Install VPCS

All commands in the post will be run as root, so first use sudo to login to your root account:

The current version of VPCS supported by GNS3 version 1.1 is 0.5b1. We will be installing VPCS 0.5b1 from source, so next change to a directory you use for downloading applications (the download folder in my case) and grabbing the source tarball from GitHub:

After running the installation script, you should have a file VPCS in the ~/Downloads/vpcs-0.5b1/src directory:

Sample output:

Copy the VPCS binary file into /usr/bin so that it will be accessible to all users of the system:

Check VPCS is working

Next we need to execute the VPCS binary to make sure that it is running correctly, you should be able to run VPCS from any directory within your system:

Sample output:

Add VPCS to GNS3

Next we need to add the path to the binary file to the GNS3 VPCS preferences, click edit -> preferences and set the VPCS path to /usr/bin/vpcs:



Now you will be able to drag a VPCS host into you topology and use it to run simple ping and traceroute tests. In the following example I will use a simple OSPF network and two VPCS hosts to demonstrate.

untitled.gns3- — GNS3_003

We will use the following network topology to test ping and traceroute from the VPCS hosts:


Each of the interfaces will be configured with the IP’s listed in the diagram, and each router will have the following basic OSPF config applied:

PC1 will use the following command to set its IP address and gateway:

Sample output:

PC2 will use the following command to set its IP address and gateway:

Sample output:

Next we will ping from PC1:

Now we can do a traceroute:

Perfect everything is working as expected, now you can use VPCS for simple connectivity tests in you topology without having the burden of running a VM.

I hope this has been helpful and as always please let me know in the comments section if you find any problems in the post.



8 thoughts on “Adding VPCS to GNS3 v1.1”

  1. I like your website. Do you mind sharing what type of terminal you are using? i like the colors

          1. Hey… I have L3 and L2 up. Is L3 sufficient as and what’s your solution for switch. Also, have you thought about doing a guide on the explanation and or step by step way to set it up.

          2. @Genius, not sure I understand what you mean “my solution for a switch”? The IOU L2 images provide the Layer 2 switching features that you would require for doing your CCNA or CNNP switch exams. With regards to setting up the devices keep an eye on the blog because over the coming weeks there will be quite a few posts covering the topics in the ICND 2 exam.

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