Install GNS3 client

The front-end for GNS3 is a separate application which you install on your laptop. It is available for Windows, macOS and Linux, and you get it from the GNS3 download page.

You will need to create a GNS3 user account if you don't already have one. This account will allow you to participate in the GNS3 forums.

Configure GNS3 client

Start the GNS3 client on your laptop.

You will need to configure it to use your server. The first time you run it, you should see the Setup Wizard.


You can re-run the setup wizard at any time by selecting the menu option Help > Setup Wizard

GNS3 setup wizard page 1

Select "Run appliances on a remote server (advanced usage)" then Next.

On the next screen you will be prompted for details of the remote server. Enter:

  • Host:
  • Port: 3080 TCP
  • Enable authentication: yes (checked)

If you used the gns3setup script, a default username and password have been created for you. Check the settings in /etc/gns3/gns3_server.conf to verify.

Once you have selected Next and confirmed the settings, you should be able to create a test project in GNS3. This proves that communication between the front-end and the back-end is working.


Another way to get back to these settings is to select GNS3 > Preferences....

Select Server in the left-hand menu, uncheck "Enable local server" (that would only be if you were running the backend within a VM on your laptop), and enter details under "Remote main server".

GNS3 Preferences

GNS3 client and server versions

The GNS3 client version must exactly match the version on the server; if they don't, the client will refuse to talk to the server.

For this reason, the gns3setup script puts an apt-mark hold on the server package, so it doesn't automatically upgrade.

To check the version on the server:

gns3server --version

To upgrade it, see GNS3 server.

GNS3 web interface

GNS3 server also has an experimental web interface: it is available at

The functions of this are limited at the moment: it can be used to view the topology, find out information about nodes, and start and stop them.

However, for now we recommend that you use the GNS3 client for normal operation.