Setup for a Macintosh Machine

Setup for a Macintosh Machine

The GNS3 Network Simulator / Emulator for mac OS

Go to and click on “Free Download”.  You will be asked to sign up, so enter the details and continue.  Select the installer for your OS, and click on that version.

After installing the GNS3 GUI, you need to return to this page and download the GNS3 Virtual Machine.  To install the VM, you will first need to download and install your virtualization software, as described below.

Advanced Option – Dual-booting

Advanced computer users could consider the possibility of dual-booting Ubuntu.  As a first step before attempting this, you must make a full backup of all your important files – applications and system files included.  You may find that you need to restore your whole system, as I did after making a mistake in the procedure!  If you are not certain of your ability to dual boot your computer without disrupting your workflow, I recommend you skip ahead to the simpler solution:  just stick with the Native OS and install what you need.  In the case of Macintosh, you could start with VirtualBox, and then after you gain experience you may decide to get VMWare for a license fee.  The price of VMWare could pale into insignificance compared with the time you may waste if you make a small mistake in the dual-boot process and need to wipe your hard disc drive and start again. 

Only if you are an advanced user with the confidence and patience to dual-boot your machine, dual-booting can be a good option.  I do not recommend it for casual computer users who do not get “under the hood”.  Detailed guidance for dual booting Ubuntu is available on-line.

telnet for High Sierra

High Sierra (10.13.2...) does not support telnet, although it has been supported in previous releases of macOS.  In the real-world it is better to use Secure Shell, but in the GNS3 environment, telnet is fine.  If your computer does not do ‘telnet’ you can copy a telnet binary to /usr/local/bin.  If you have not yet upgraded to High Sierra, you will find a suitable telnet binary at /usr/bin on your Mac.

Virtual Box

Virtual Box is not quite as effective for GNS3 as VMWare but has the advantage of being free, and is highly recommended as a starting point.   Later you can decide whether you want to purchase VMWare or to dual boot Ubuntu.  Go to and follow the instructions.

After installing your virtualization software, install the GNS3 VM on it, following the instructions at After installing your virtualization software, install the GNS3 VM on it. Also note the instructions for “Guest Additions".

Wireshark for mac OS

Although it is not absolutely necessary, I recommend you download your own copy of Wireshark, for your own OS.  Then you will be able to examine packet traces that have been previously collected and stored.  Go to and click on “Download”.  Follow the instructions to download and install Wireshark.

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