Install CSR1000v on GNS3



This post is a brief translation of my previous post published in Chinese. It introduces how to install Cisco CSR1000v on GNS3, which provide a platform for various labs, such as DMVPN, FlexVPN, Performance routing, multicast, OTV, MPLS, VPLS and etc.


I finished writing 4 FlexVPN labs by far, but in Chinese. I will gradually translate them into English.





Installation Preparation

The following installation uses ISO.


Installation Steps

  1. Install VirtualBox (not introduced in this post)
  2. Install GNS3 (not introduced in this post)
  3. Create VM on VirtualBox with following specs:
  • OS: Other Linux (64-bit)
  • RAM: 2.5-4GB, I tried 2GB it worked as well
  • Hard disk: 8GB IDE


  1. Upon finishing creation and before power on the VM, open ‘Settings’ and add the CSR ISO file (csr1000v-universalk9.03.16.01a.S.155-3.S1a-ext.iso) in ‘Storage’.


  1. Open ‘Settings’ and configure adapters under ‘Network’. I configured ‘Adapter 1’ as ‘Bridged’ mode for sake of obtaining DHCP. Enable the rest adapters but keep the settings as default ‘Not Attached’


  1. Power on the VM and CSR will be automatically installed.


  1. Upon finishing the installation, CSR VM will automatically reboot. ‘Router>’ prompt will show after installation being completed. Since Adapter 1 is configured as attached. It should have ‘up’ status.


  1. Add the newly built CSR VM to GNS3, under GNS3 ‘Preferences’. For MAC ‘Preferences’ sits under ‘GNS3’ menu; while it may be under ‘Edit’ menu for Windows.Select ‘linked base VM’, so that we can drag and drop multiple CSR instances based on one VM built in VirtualBox.


  1. Edit CSR VM template in GNS3 and tick ‘Enable remote console’ under ‘General settings’ tab. Adapters can be modified under ‘Network’ tab – means you can add additional ports here.


  1. Shut down CSR VM in VirtualBox first (it will cause error in GNS3 if not shut down the VM in VirtualBox) and then drag-n-drop CSR VM from GNS3 to use. Since ‘linked base’ has been configured before, we can drag and drop multiple CSR instances to use. The default VM symbol is a computer, but we can change it to router symbol.


  1. Shut down CSRs from GNS3 first before adding any cables.   Configure management interface IP (using Adapter 1 i.e. interface G1) and telnet. Happy labbing~!


Other Thoughts

I particularly like using lab to understand how things work, such as protocols and concepts, which may appear abstract when first look, instead of just remembering configuration. Configuration syntax can always be Googled, but concepts and protocols are universally applicable. In addition, it is the new concepts that constitutes new technology, but not the configuration details.


In this sense, verify, observe and understand results are much more important than configuration itself in lab study. This approach also import in CCIE exams and real work. Step-by-step verification and troubleshooting also help mitigate human errors and avoid mess up in the end – all configuration has been done, but not working then start random troubleshooting.




4 thoughts on “Install CSR1000v on GNS3

  1. Pingback: Site-to-Site DMVPN IKEv2 + VRF + OSPF + Dual Hub Single Domain | MengMeng

  2. Pingback: Multicast over Encrypted DMVPN | MengMeng

  3. Pingback: Use pfSense to Load Balance Web Servers (1) | AUTRUNK

  4. if you can use the QEUM otherwise virtual box then will be much better. hope to see another way to install XE in gns3


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s