GNS3 2.0 (Alpha) Release

Posted by mblackwe Employee Sep 29, 2016

What’s new in GNS3 version 2.0


Version 2.0 is a new major release of GNS3 which brings major architectural changes and also  new features.


GNS3 was only a desktop application from the first version up to version 0.8.3. With the more recent 1.x versions, GNS3 has the possibility to use remote servers. Now, in version 2.0, multiple clients could control GNS3 at the same time, also all the “application intelligence” has been moved to the GNS3 server.


What does it mean?


  • Third parties can make applications controlling GNS3.
  • Multiple users can be connected to the same project and see each other modifications in real time.
  • No need to duplicate your settings on different computers if they connect to the same central server.
  • Easier to contribute to GNS3, the separation between the graphical user interface and the server/backend is a lot clearer.

All the complexity of connecting multiple emulators has been abstracted in what we call the controller (part of GNS3 server). From a user point of view, it means that it is possible to start a packet capture on any link, connect anything to a cloud etc.
Finally, by using the NAT object in GNS3, connections to Internet work out of the box. Please note this is only available with the GNS3 VM or a Linux OS with libvirt installed.

Before upgrading

No rollback is possible. Backup all your projects, settings and snapshot the GNS3 VM. Version 2.0 is in alpha stage which means many things could be broken or not work as expected.


  • When can I expect the final release of version 2.0?
    • Around the end of 2016 or early 2017. We will ship many beta and release candidate version before that date. We want to make sure this version is well tested with no unexpected regressions.
  • Will a new 1.5.x version be released?
    • Version 1.5.3 will be released in order to fix remaining bugs found in 1.5. This version will not introduce new features in order to keep it stable.
  • Will my projects made with 1.5.x be compatible with 2.0?
    • Yes excepting unexpected bugs.
  • I have a certification exam next week, should I upgrade?
    • NO! Upgrade only if you are not in the middle of something important. We put huge effort to make sure to test each release but due to the nature of GNS3 we cannot possibly test all the scenarios, environments, images etc. 
  • What is not included with 2.0?
    • No web app is provided with version 2.0. We have experimental application on Github but it is only to validate our architecture.

    • Appliances management is still fully in the GUI, we hope to move it to our back-end and expose that part to third parties.



New features


Save as you go

Your projects are automatically saved as you make changes to them, there is no need to press any save button anymore. An additional benefit is this will avoid synchronisation issues between the emulators’ virtual disks and projects.

Smart packet capture

Now starting a packet capture is just as easy as clicking on a link and asking for new capture. GNS3 will guess the pick the best interface where to capture from.
The packet capture dialog has also been redesigned to allow changing the name of the output file or to prevent automatically starting Wireshark:
Capture d’écran 2016-04-27 à 11.04.18.png

Capture on any link between any node

Their is no longer any restriction on what kind of node can be used for a packet capture. Previously VPCS and Qemu were not supported.

Select where to run a VPCS node

Like for hubs and switches, it is possible to select which server to use when VPCS node is dropped into a project .


Delete a project from the GUI

Now you can delete a project from the file menu. All files will be deleted from your hard drive and remote servers.

Capture d’écran 2016-05-26 à 11.22.50.png
Or via the project dialog

Project options

There are now multiple options allowing you to load a project with GNS3 in background and even to auto start the nodes.

The cloud is a real node

n previous versions of GNS3, the cloud was in fact a direct usage of the emulator capabilities to connect to external networks. In version 2.0, the cloud is a real node, this means:

  • Possibility to connect anything to any cloud
  • All links to a cloud support packet capture
  • There is no need to run emulators as root to connect to a cloud (only uBridge requires admin permission).


Cloud templates

You can create cloud templates with your favorite interfaces and symbols.


New cloud interface

The cloud interface is simpler with a unique select dialog for ethernet interfaces. We also merged host object into the cloud since the difference between the 2 objects was not clear for most users.

VPCS / Ethernet Switch / Ethernet Hub templates

You can create template for these nodes just like other nodes.


Search OS images in multiple locations

OS images can be stored in selected folder and used without providing the full path. GNS3 will scan these folders in order to find the correct images.

VM wizards offer a list of images available locally or remotely. GNS3 will upload an image for you if it can only be found locally.

Periodic extraction of startup configs for Dynamips and IOU

Startup configs are extracted at regular interval to avoid configuration loss if Dynamips or IOU crashes.


Custom cloud, Ethernet hub and Ethernet switch templates

It is possible to create custom templates (symbol, name format etc.)


Snap to grid for all objects

In version 1.5, we introduced the snap to grid feature. Now you can use it for rectangles, ellipses, images etc.


Synchronize the node templates when using multiple GUI

Node templates are sync between all the GUIs.


Link label style

The style of link labels can be changed just like labels for nodes (color, font, orientation etc.)


New place holders in command line for opening consoles

%i will be replaced by the project UUID

When you open a console to a node you can pass %i to the console command line, this will be replaced by the project UUID allowing scripts to interact with your project.


%c will be replaced by the connection string

When you open a console to a node you can pass %c to the console command line, this will be replaced by the connection string to the GNS3 server allowing your scripts to know how to connect to the GNS3 API.


Export a portable project from multiple remote servers

It is possible to export a project and reimport it to a single GNS3 VM if you a have a project running on multiple remote servers.
Note: You cannot re-import a project to the original multiple remotes or non GNS3 VM server. This a limitation of the export file format.


New save as

The old “save as” has been replaced by a project duplication feature. This feature will duplicate not just the .gns3 but also the disk data from all GNS3 servers.
With evolution of emulators, the complexity of the tasks to duplicate was bigger and we could no longer just duplicate the raw data. Behind the scene the import / export system introduced in version 1.5 using .gns3project extension is now used for duplicated projects.


Snapshots with remote servers

Snapshots are not supported when using remote servers. Behind the scene the import / export system introduced in version 1.5 is used for snapshots.


Better start / stop / suspend all nodes

Start / stop / suspend all nodes feature will limit the amount of process starting at the same time to optimize CPU usage.

Edit config

Dynamips, VPCS and IOU nodes support configuration editing from within GNS3. Note: this feature doesn’t automatically reload the config in the node.

NAT node

NAT node can be used to connect GNS3 nodes to the Internet without any configuration, this requires the GNS3 VM or Linux. This node uses the libvirt nat interface.
This also replaces the Internet VM, the conversion will be automatic for internet VM users. An additional benefit is that this will consume less RAM and CPU.

Support for colorblind users

The stop symbol is now a square in order to help colorblind users to see the differences with running devices.

Support for non local server

In previous version, disabling the local server was not officially supported.
Now if you disable the local server you can put settings for a remote server that will replace your local server.


Support for profiles

GNS3 can be started with the parameter --profile PROFILNAME in order to have different settings applied. This can be useful if one needs different settings for different usage of GNS3 (home vs office). Or enable a dialog at startup

Suspend the GNS3VM when closing GNS3

For fastest exit and restart of GNS3 you can now suspend the VM. This works well with an SSD disk. For instance, it takes less than 4 seconds on an old macbook when previously the start time was 30 seconds.

Edit the scene size

The scene size can be changed if your project is bigger than the standard one.


Developers can find out how to control GNS3 using an API here: http://api.gns3.net/en/2.0/
Thanks to our controller, it is no longer required to deal with multiple GNS3 servers since most of the information is available in the API.
All the visual objects are exposed as SVG.
This API is quite complete, the only major missing part at the moment is creation and use of node templates.



Opening a project in version 2.0 will automatically convert it to our 2.0 file format. This means you will no longer be able to open it using previous versions of GNS3. Note this is the normal case with any new major version of GNS3.

Please, backup your projects and settings before upgrading. Also create a snapshot in the GNS3 VM before upgrading it.

Deprecated features

Deprecated features should not impact you, these are rarely used features which are usually not documented.



Starting with version 2.0, the conversion from .net (project files made before version 1.0) will no longer been included in GNS3 builds. Conversion will still be possible using a separate program. This converter was a community effort but the author of this code stopped any development of it.
The converter to go from a IOU VM to a GNS3 VM will also be removed. We recommend to switch to version 1.4 or 1.5 with the GNS3 VM if you still use the IOU VM.

VPCS multi-host

The VPCS multi-host feature that could be found in the tools menu has been removed. This option was not documented and seldom used by anyone. Also, this feature is hard to support by design in version 2.0 (nodes are isolated from each other).

Temporary projects

Originally it was design has a playground for quick tests however this was confusing and some users would lose data. It was also complex to support because data needed to be moved to a new location on disk when a temporary project was saved to a permanent one.Now GNS3 guarantee that all data is saved in a real project and whatever happens you can be assured it is saved on your disk.

Run as admin

You should not have to run GNS3 as an admin user to connect to a cloud. We encourage you to switch to a normal user.


The cloud interface has been streamlined and the following cloud NIOs have been dropped:



We may reintroduce some of them if there is a demand (we must add support into uBridge in order to do so).

Upload the images via the web page / upload

Since version 1.4, OS images are uploaded for you, you no longer need to upload them manually. That’s why the upload page has been removed.


No automatic screenshot for projects

In version 1.X, a screenshot of your topology was taken every time a project was saved but due to the fact the project management has been moved to our backend, it is not possible to have the code  render a topology to a file.


You can still use the screenshot button in the interface in order to get one.


More information can be found there:


If you are new to SolarWinds products we've built some handy resources that provide you a quick reference on how to get started. These "New To" resource pages in the Success Center provide quick access to:


  • system requirements
  • installation instructions
  • configuration steps (Getting Started Guides)
  • SolarWinds Academy training


You can find resources for new users here:  New to SolarWinds - SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. Help and Support 

It's the 2nd annual IT Pro Day!


In case you’re unfamiliar, IT Professionals Day is the day to celebrate ALL IT professionals regardless of specific discipline.

If you’re a storage admin, this is your day.

If you’re a network engineer, this is your day.

If you’re a DBA, this is your day.

If you’re a do-it-all DevOps ninja with one foot in your data center, another in a remote office and your head in the cloud who also protects your infrastructure from dastardly villains, you guessed it, this is your day.


Happy IT Pro Day! Take a minute to celebrate today, you've earned it.


Of course, it wouldn't be a true IT holiday without a SolarWinds video... Enjoy!




For more IT Pro Day fun check out these pages:

From One IT Pro to Another: Happy IT Pro Day 2016

IT Pro Day 2016 Interactive Infographic: Choose Your Own Adventure

IT—Here, There, Everywhere (New Survey Data)

If you have one (or more) Orion platform products (NPM, SAM, NTA, NCM, SRM, etc.), you're likely to have an alerting question. Over the last year we've built a lot of resources around all things alerting. Please check out these resources and, as always, we love to get your feedback on how we can improve.


If you like to read.....



If you like to watch..........



Custom Properties makes monitoring more efficient:


If you like to read........


If you like to watch...........

Wendy Abbott

THWACKcamp surveys

Posted by Wendy Abbott Sep 15, 2016

Several of you have been asking about the final survey of the day (apologies we couldn't get it up before the final chat window closed).


Please take the survey here>>THWACKcamp 2016 End of Day 2


I also saw some had issues with the log management session survey, here's an updated link>> THWACKcamp 2016 What Every IT Pro Needs to Know about Log Management


If you had troubles with any other surveys throughout the day, please let me know.


I know we've said it a million times already... but seriously, BEST THWACKCAMP EVER!


Thank you to all of you for making it so great, I am so humbled and honored to be a part of this community.

With September upon us, it can only mean one thing. Well, OK, it could mean a lot of things, but it only means one really important thing—the second annual IT Professionals Day 2016 is just around the corner, of course. Mark your calendar for September 20th!


In case you’re unfamiliar, IT Professionals Day is the day to celebrate all IT professionals regardless of specific discipline. If you’re a storage admin, this is your day. If you’re a network engineer, this is your day. If you’re a DBA, this is your day. If you’re a do-it-all DevOps ninja with one foot in your data center, another in a remote office and your head in the cloud who also protects your infrastructure from dastardly villains, you guessed it, this is your day.


The reality is that today, IT is everywhere, which is the theme of this year’s holiday. It’s true not just because corporate-connected smartphones, tablets and laptops tag along nearly everywhere, but because even personal devices in the workplace often fall under your care. Speaking of caring for technology outside your traditional scope of control, now, with hybrid IT on the rise, you are even responsible for the performance of services provided by third-party cloud vendors.


And that really just scratches the surface of what “IT professional” means today. With this in mind, a single day to honor you is clearly not enough, but it’s a start.


Stay tuned to ITProDay.org as we draw closer to the holiday as fun, exciting and interesting updates, videos, infographics and survey results on the expanding borders of IT are added.


Menacing workloads and increasing database complexity are out to destroy your day, only now you have a secret weapon.

Enter the SQL Squad: DEADLOCK alerting, ROOT BLOCKER analysis, TIME SLICE, and AGENTLESS.

These mercenaries of monitoring are ready to fight the never-ending barrage of issues that wreak havoc on your database world.


You’ve got 4 weeks to track down your biggest villains.

Start the mission and find out how the SQL SQUAD can help you fight for performance and put an end to DBA injustice.


Week 1: DEADLOCK alerting

Week 2: ROOT BLOCKER analysis





Use the mission’s resources to complete the tasks and answer the questions.

Correctly answer each question during the week and you'll be entered to win the weekly prize.

Correctly answer all 20 questions over the course of the month and you'll be entered to win the Grand Prize- Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition



A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on September 5th.

Once a question has opened, it will remain open until October 2nd @ 11:59pm CDT.

Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.


Correctly answer all five questions within a given week and you’ll be entered to win the weekly prize- Nerf N-Strike Elite Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster

    • Week 1 - Drawing on September 12th
    • Week 2 - Drawing on September 19th
    • Week 3 - Drawing on September 26th
    • Week 4 & Grand Prize - Drawing on October 3rd


150 points are being awarded for each correctly answered question.

    • There are 20 questions, which means you can earn a maximum of 3,000 points for this mission. Good luck!



Weekly PrizesMon
Week 1: Nerf N-Strike Elite Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster

Complete questions 1-5 by September 11th to be entered to win

Week 2: Nerf N-Strike Elite Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster

Complete questions 6-10 by September 18th to be entered to win

Week 3: Nerf N-Strike Elite Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster

Complete questions 11-15 by September 25th to be entered to win

Week 4: Nerf N-Strike Elite Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster

Complete questions 16-20 by October 2nd to be entered to win

Correctly answer all 20 questions before October 2nd and get entered to win the Grand Prize!
Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition

Updated 2/8/17


SolarWinds Academy

In 2017 we doubled the number of monthly training courses and added Office Hours (available every Friday). Learn more about eLearning and instructor-led training classes available in the SolarWinds Academy.

SolarWinds Academy - SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. Help and Support


SolarWinds Lab

This monthly show, put on by our Head Geeks (THWACK team and amazing video team), includes live chat on THWACK. Sign up for the next Lab and also view past episodes on demand.



Click here to view session videos from THWACKCAMP 2017.


On-site Training

SolarWinds does not offer onsite training, however, many SolarWinds partners offer this as a for-fee service. Please see this link for a list of partners who provide training and professional services on-site.

Filter Blog

By date: By tag:

SolarWinds uses cookies on its websites to make your online experience easier and better. By using our website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies, see our cookie policy.