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How to Add Cisco ASA in GNS3 A Step By Step Guide

ASA stands for Adaptive Security Appliance. It is the fundamental operating system
for the Cisco ASA family products. It provides enterprise-level firewall abilities for ASA
devices. GNS3 supports the Cisco ASA that can be used to perform hands-on practice labs
for study purpose. Since GNS3 is a simulated platform, it may not support all of the features
as supported by a physical Cisco ASA device. However, for the practice and self-study
purposes, it is really great to add Cisco ASA in GNS3.

In this post, we will explain how to add Cisco ASA in GNS3 in such a detailed
steps that a candidate having the basicknowledge of GNS3 can do it easily.

Steps to Add Cisco ASA in GNS3

In order to add ASA in GNS3, following steps need to be followed:

1. Download the ASA image file and extract the ASA files in a folder such as
E:\GNS3\ASA. You will see three files after extraction.

Download Cisco ASA image file. [Credit Mediafire]

2. In the GNS3 console, open the Preferences window, select Qemu VMs and
then click New.
3. In the New QEMU VM template window, select ASA from the Type drop-down
list and then click Next.

4. In the QEMU VM Name page, specify a name and click Next.

5. In the QEMU binary and memory page, customize memory size or accept the
default memory size and then click Next.
6. In the Disk Image page, (select an existing image, if available or select the New
Image radio button to create a new one) type ASAImage in the Disk image text
box and then click Create.
7. In the QEMU Image Creator window, select the appropriate image format such
as Qcow2 and then click Next. In the Qcow2 options page, click Next.

8. In the Size and location page, click Browse and select the location where you
want to store it or accept the default location and then click Finish.
9. The Disk image page will return, click Next.

10. In the ASA VM page, select the New Image radio button. Click Browse to add
the initial RAM disk file and select the initrd file that you have extracted. In the
Image message box, click Yes.
11. Click again Browse to add Kernel image file and select the vmlinuz file that you
have extracted. In the Image message box, click Yes again and then finally
click Finish.

12. Click Edit to open the Node properties window. In the General settings tab, set
the Memory size as 2048 MB (otherwise, you might get an error due to
insufficient RAM).
13. Next, select the Network tab and then select the Use the legacy network
modecheck box (to avoid any network error).

14. Next, select the Advanced settings tab. In the Kernel command line text box,
type no-hlt -append ide_generic.probe_mask=0x01 ide_core.chs=0.0:980,16,32
auto nousb console=ttyS0,9600 bigphysarea=65536
15. In the Options text box, type -vnc none -vga none -m 1024 -icount auto -hdachs

16. Close the Node properties window and drag the Cisco ASA into the work view
area. Select and right-click ASA-1, select Start to start it and open the console of


Opening Cisco ASA Console

Please wait until the files are uncompressed. You have done your job, you can take a cup of
coffee because it may take half or an hour to load the files. Once the files are uncompressed
the ASA console prompt will be displayed, as shown in the following figure.

Now, you have successfully added Cisco ASA in GNS3. Hope, you have loved it. Please
like and share the post as it will encourage us to serve you more articles.

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1. Dinesh Chandra says

MARCH 8, 2017 AT 9:59 PM

Hi ,

I get this error

Warning: Warning ASA 8 is not officialy supported by GNS3 and Cisco, we
recommend to use ASAv. Depending of your hardware this could not work or
you could be limited to one instance.
Server error from ASA 8.4(2): hda disk image
C:/Users/C5253014/GNS3/images/QEMU/ASA 8.qcow2 is not accessible