Zach Gibbs, Content Developer, Juniper Networks 

vSRX and GNS3

Learning Bytes Security
Zach Gibbs Headshot
Slide of network topology with a heading of “vSRX and GNS3.” The left side shows an Internet cloud, a user and a server icon. Text says, “Internet, Untrust Zone, vSRX-1, User Zone, Server Zone, Server-1, and User 1 Right side has a bullet list that says, “Criteria for example, GNS3 is setup to use vSRX, Connect interfaces, Configure vSRX-1, Test communication, User – 1 to Server – 1, User -1 to the Internet, Local machine SSH to vSRX-1.”

Juniper Learning Bytes: How to set up vSRX with GNS3

If you’re new to working with vSRX, check out this step-by-step demo from Juniper’s Zach Gibbs on how to set up GNS3 to use with Juniper vSRX for educational purposes. 

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You’ll learn

  • How to configure the GNS3 VM with the proper resources

  • How to use the vSRX GNS3 appliance template 

  • How to route user traffic and connect to the correct interfaces 

Who is this for?

Network Professionals Security Professionals


Zach Gibbs Headshot
Zach Gibbs
Content Developer, Juniper Networks 


0:00 [Music]

0:11 hello my name is zach gibbs

0:13 and i'm a content developer within

0:16 education services

0:17 inside juniper networks and today we

0:20 will be going through the

0:21 vsrx and gns3 part 1

0:24 learning byte alright so in the topology

0:28 we have a few different devices we have

0:30 vs or x1 which

0:31 is the vsrx that we'll be using with

0:33 gns3

0:35 and then we have user one that uses that

0:37 ip address and connects in on the user

0:40 zone

0:40 and then we have server one which uses

0:42 that ip address and connects and on the

0:44 servers

0:45 zone and then vsrx1 connects to the

0:47 internet on the untrust zone and so with

0:50 this

0:50 learning byte what are we doing well we

0:52 are going to be focusing on

0:53 setting up gns3 to use vsrx

0:57 and we'll do a few different things but

0:59 the major highlights are we're going to

1:01 deploy the gns3 vm

1:03 with using the free vm player and then

1:05 we'll configure the gns3 vm with the

1:07 proper resources so we can

1:09 start up a vsrx device and then we'll

1:12 use the vsrx gns3 appliance template and

1:15 what we'll do is we'll download that

1:16 from the gns3 website

1:18 and then we'll use the vsrx qcal2 image

1:22 with that template so with that being

1:23 said let's go ahead and get started

1:27 alright so here is gns3 and here is

1:30 vmware player and gns3

1:34 is starting up and it's connecting to

1:36 the local server that i have on this

1:38 laptop

1:38 and it wants us to create a new project

1:40 we'll call this bsrx

1:44 gns3 lb

1:46 we'll create that project and if we go

1:48 to our devices

1:50 you see in routers there's nothing we

1:51 got some switches

1:53 we got some end devices nothing in

1:55 security devices

1:56 and this is where vsrx is going to show

1:59 up once we put it in here

2:00 and so the first thing we want to do is

2:02 we want to get

2:03 the gns3 vm going because what happens

2:07 is

2:08 we're going to be able to deploy vsrx

2:11 inside the gns3 vm which we'll be

2:14 running

2:14 in vm player and so that means that the

2:17 gns3 vm

2:18 will be running kvm and will launch the

2:21 vsrx qca2

2:22 image which is 4kvm inside that

2:25 gns3 vm which is in vm player so we're

2:28 going to be doing some nested

2:30 deployment with the vsrx vm

2:33 so keep that in mind and since this is a

2:36 lab scenario that you'll just be using

2:37 for testing

2:38 it's not going to matter with

2:39 performance now where you will see a

2:41 problem is

2:42 with boot up times and that can take

2:43 anywhere from 15 minutes to an

2:45 hour depending on your system resources

2:47 so if we go to

2:49 edit preferences on gns3

2:52 and then we go to gns3 vm we'll see here

2:55 that there's nothing we can select

2:58 and that's because we haven't actually

3:00 fired up the vm yet

3:01 we can go the gns3 website select this

3:04 link here that will take you right to

3:06 the website where you can download it

3:08 let's go ahead and click that and my

3:11 browser opened up on my other monitor

3:12 but you can see here we can download a

3:14 zip file that contains that and i've

3:16 already done that so i'm not going to

3:17 download that again

3:18 so let's go ahead and cancel that and

3:20 then go back to vm player

3:21 and once you've downloaded that zip file

3:23 and extracted the ova file

3:25 you want to select the open a virtual

3:27 machine option in vmware player

3:30 so let's select that option and then we

3:32 want to select the gns3 vm.ova

3:35 file that would be in that zip file and

3:38 import it and that'll take just a minute

3:41 to import

3:43 all right so it is imported and it is

3:45 powered off you don't want to power it

3:46 on here or

3:47 edit the virtual machine settings at

3:49 this point you may think to yourself

3:50 well i know

3:51 vsrx needs at least four gigabytes of

3:54 ram it's set to two gigabytes of ram

3:56 and so okay i'll go ahead and edit the

3:58 vm settings and change that right

4:00 no you don't want to do that because

4:02 gns3 will configure the vm for you

4:04 if you change it here then gns3 will

4:07 change it back and you'll be

4:08 completely confused and not to mention

4:10 it has one cpu as well

4:12 you need more than one cpu for vsrx

4:15 so let's go ahead and click cancel there

4:16 and you want to close this because gns3

4:18 will start at vm player and then try to

4:20 start the virtual machine and if you

4:21 have this open

4:22 you're going to run into some ownership

4:24 problems by doing that so let's go ahead

4:26 and close vm player

4:29 and then we go to edit preferences

4:32 gns3 vm we can see that okay we have it

4:35 enabled

4:36 that looks good and i already have it

4:38 configured the default is actually one

4:41 and i think it's uh two gigs

4:45 and i already had that configured from

4:46 before so you want to set that higher

4:49 you need at least two but this laptop

4:51 i'm using has four cores so let's go

4:53 ahead and do that

4:54 and then you might think to yourself

4:55 well let's go ahead and set it to four

4:57 gigs right and no the actual vm will

5:01 need some

5:01 ram itself and if you fire up anything

5:04 else that uses the vm it'll need more as

5:06 well

5:07 so you want to set that at a gig higher

5:09 what you actually really need

5:11 because the host vm is going to use a

5:13 gig itself

5:14 and so if we set that at five gigs we'll

5:16 be okay so we'll click

5:18 apply click ok there then let's go ahead

5:20 and close gns3 and reopen it

5:24 and it's open and connecting to the

5:27 local host for the server

5:28 and let's go ahead and cancel that and

5:30 we'll open up our project

5:32 that we created just a few minutes ago

5:34 and what it's doing right now is i'm

5:35 going to pull up the vmware player that

5:37 gns3 launched

5:39 it's starting that uh gns3

5:42 vm right now so we'll have to wait for

5:44 that to start and you'll see here in

5:45 gns3

5:46 you'll want this gns3 vm is starting

5:49 you'll see it turn green over here so

5:50 it'll give you a little status update on

5:51 what it's doing and we want to see this

5:53 turn green before we can actually use it

5:56 and so what i'll do here is this will

5:57 take a minute or so so i'm going to

5:59 pause the video

6:00 and i'll start it back up after the vm

6:02 is done booting and you'll be able to

6:03 see here on the left and

6:04 actually that booted up really quick so

6:07 forgot how quickly that did boot up

6:09 and so great it turned green as well

6:10 over here so we can see it's running we

6:12 can see the usage as well

6:13 and things look good so didn't need to

6:15 pause the video that actually starts up

6:16 really quick

6:17 and so okay great so what do we need to

6:19 do next

6:20 what we need to do is we need to open a

6:22 web browser and i've got one right here

6:24 we're going to go to the gns3 website

6:28 and then we need to go to the

6:29 marketplace up top you'll see the links

6:31 and let's go to marketplace and then

6:33 appliances

6:35 and it should be under the most popular

6:36 section pretty close to the top i'm just

6:38 going to do

6:39 oh there it is i was going to do a quick

6:40 search on the page but no need to do

6:41 that

6:42 it's right here juniper vs rex you can

6:44 see it was last updated march 21st 2020

6:47 so

6:48 that is was yesterday for me so this

6:50 gets updated pretty frequently

6:52 so we can select that and you can see

6:54 some information here you can see

6:55 required ram

6:56 is set to four gigs and remember we

6:58 needed to set the

7:00 gns3 vm to five gigs

7:03 and then it gives you some links to

7:05 where you can go download the files

7:07 and notice how it's the qcal2 files we

7:09 talked about that

7:10 and so you can use those links you'll

7:12 need to sign in to do that

7:14 and this is for vsrx2 this is for vsrx3

7:17 i highly recommend you use vsrx3

7:19 it'll run a lot better especially since

7:21 we're doing nested

7:22 uh vsrx2 already does this kind of weird

7:25 nesting thing

7:26 so you'll be doing double nesting if you

7:28 use vsrx2 so use vsx3 so you want to use

7:30 this link down here with the qcad 2 file

7:33 and so just click download

7:37 and we just save that file

7:40 and one thing to keep in mind here is

7:42 when you download this you can leave

7:43 this in the downloads folder gns3 will

7:45 look in there for that image file

7:47 so keep that in mind okay so we

7:49 downloaded that let's go ahead and go

7:50 back to gns3

7:51 and then we'll go to file import

7:54 appliance

7:57 and then we'll import that gns3

8:00 appliance and the only option we can

8:02 select here is to install the appliance

8:04 on gns3 vm

8:05 we talked about that earlier why we need

8:07 to do that because the nest in nature

8:09 and it uses kvm with that and so it's

8:11 scanning directories are

8:12 for files and this scans the downloads

8:14 directory and also the gns3

8:16 directory and anything that pops up is

8:19 ready to install

8:20 these are the different versions it

8:21 supports so great we have the 28.4 r1

8:24 vsrx 3.0 so you just go ahead and select

8:26 that click

8:27 next and it asks us if we want to

8:29 actually install this yes we do

8:31 and then it goes ahead and uploads the

8:34 qca

8:35 2 file to gns3 so it's going to take a

8:38 little bit of time to do that

8:40 and you can see here in the template

8:41 it's giving some information

8:43 it says here it'll be available in the

8:44 firewall category and that was the case

8:46 with older versions of gns3

8:49 however it's in the security category

8:52 now they've changed that the template

8:54 obviously hasn't been

8:55 updated for the vsrx appliance with that

8:58 information

8:59 but just keep that in mind and then we

9:01 have the information of

9:02 initial username as root with no

9:03 password that's important to know

9:05 because when we fire that up we'll want

9:06 to be able to log in to be able to

9:07 configure this thing and

9:09 we need to know what we need to log in

9:11 with right so

9:12 and that's just vs rex in general and so

9:15 yeah we're almost done here

9:16 and look at that it's done well it's

9:18 almost done just goes

9:19 finishing up some tasks all right so you

9:22 can see up top here it's been

9:23 successfully uploaded that's great

9:25 let's click finish and it lets us know

9:28 that it created the template

9:30 and that's going to be under security

9:31 devices here we can see it under

9:33 security devices

9:34 and now we're ready to use this in a

9:36 gns3 topology

9:38 all right so here is our topology let's

9:40 go over our devices real quick

9:43 in here we have vsrx1 and that connects

9:45 to the users

9:46 zone and we have user one at the

9:48 10.10.201

9:50 ip address and then it connects to

9:52 server one in the servers

9:54 zone and server one has an ip address of


9:59 and then vsrx1 connects into the

10:01 internet on the untrust

10:03 zone and the criteria on the right we

10:05 see that gns3 is set up to use the s or

10:08 x1

10:08 we did that in the previous learning

10:10 byte that is a part of this learning

10:12 byte series and so what we need to do is

10:14 we need to connect

10:15 interfaces we need to configure vs or x1

10:18 and then we'll test communication and so

10:20 with that let's go ahead and jump to

10:22 gns3 and get this going

10:26 all right so here is gns3 and you can

10:29 see here we have vsrx

10:31 20.4 r1 3.0 already added we did that

10:35 with the last learning byte we did that

10:38 is a part of this learning byte series

10:40 and then we have the gns3 vm running in

10:44 vmware player and again that was done in

10:46 the last learning byte of this learning

10:48 byte series

10:49 and so let's go ahead and start doing

10:52 this let's move vsrx

10:54 out to the middle and we can rename that

10:57 called vsrx-1

11:00 and then let's add some in hosts

11:03 add one we'll add a second one

11:07 let's name these we'll call this user1

11:12 call this server one and then we need to

11:16 add

11:16 an internet cloud and we'll just rename

11:21 this to

11:22 call this internet and then let's click

11:24 on the connections

11:25 button and start connecting these we

11:27 have ethernet 0 on user 1. let's connect

11:29 it to vs or x1

11:31 now we have a list of interfaces we have

11:33 fxp0 which we know

11:35 as the management interface we don't

11:37 want to connect it to that we want to be

11:38 able to route this traffic so let's go

11:39 ahead and connect it to gige00

11:43 and then same thing with server1 we'll

11:46 connect that to gigi001

11:49 and then we'll connect gigi002

11:52 to the internet now notice we have two

11:54 different interfaces here so you might

11:56 be unsure of which interface to connect

11:58 to

11:59 in this scenario we want to connect it

12:01 to ethernet 3.

12:02 i don't know what happened to ethernet 1

12:04 2 or whatever but we have ethernet and

12:06 ethernet 3.

12:08 and so we want to connect it to ethernet

12:09 3 and i'll show you the reason behind

12:11 that

12:12 so remember that there was two

12:13 interfaces here on the internet cloud

12:16 and that is actually the interfaces on

12:19 the gns3 vm

12:21 and so we jump back to the gns3 vm and

12:24 we look at the settings

12:26 of this vm we can see here we have two

12:29 network adapters

12:31 network adapter and then network adapter

12:33 2.

12:34 the first network adapter is set to a

12:37 host only network which is a private

12:39 network we don't want to use that

12:40 that is used to route traffic for

12:43 anything internally in our topology

12:46 the second adapter you see here is set

12:49 to net

12:50 now that is that ethernet 3 adapter and

12:52 that will allow us

12:54 to get out of our local topology and

12:57 reach

12:57 hosts on the local network or host on

13:00 the internet

13:01 and it will also allow us to

13:04 go in to our topology from our local

13:07 machine here and that'll

13:08 allow us to use something like ssh and

13:11 manage it

13:12 through ssh manage the vsrx1 device

13:14 through ssh instead of using the console

13:16 to manage the

13:17 srx1 device or any other devices in our

13:19 topology for that matter

13:21 okay so with that let's go ahead and

13:22 cancel that and go back to gns3

13:24 and the first thing we want to do is we

13:26 want to start

13:27 vs or x1 and so we just right click

13:31 select start there

13:32 saw that i did that earlier and we have

13:34 a whole bunch of different options

13:37 and one thing i want to point out is now

13:38 that we've started it

13:40 it's booting right and it takes some

13:42 time to boot

13:43 and so we'll go into the console select

13:45 the console option

13:46 and that'll pop up the console and the

13:48 thing i want to point out as we're doing

13:49 this

13:50 is that this is going to take a little

13:52 bit of time in the last learning bite i

13:54 talked about

13:55 how this is a nested vm environment

13:59 the gns3 vm is a vmware running in vm

14:02 player

14:03 and then we're deploying the

14:06 vsrx qcal2 file in kvm

14:10 in the gns3 vm and so we're having a

14:13 nested vm scenario

14:14 and that means it's going to take a

14:15 little bit longer to boot and it will

14:17 take anywhere between

14:19 uh 15 minutes to an hour to

14:22 boot this vsrx device and so

14:26 this is a great time if you're doing

14:27 this to go take a break

14:30 go walk the dog do something else it

14:32 will take some time to boot

14:34 and so but once it's booted it runs fast

14:37 commits fast there's no problem so

14:40 it's just the long wait time when

14:42 booting so with that being said

14:44 i'm going to pause this video right now

14:46 and

14:47 start it back up once the vs1 has booted

14:53 alright so the vsrx

14:56 device has booted let's go ahead and log

14:59 in just root no password

15:02 and the first thing we want to check is

15:04 to make sure that

15:06 the fpc is up and running that we can

15:09 see the pic

15:10 and we don't see anything yet just show

15:12 slot zero

15:13 present that's not what we want to see

15:15 but that just means it's still booting

15:17 we can just look at the fpc we see

15:19 nothing's there and we can see

15:21 some other messages showing up it's just

15:24 still going even though we can log in

15:26 we can't actually do much with that

15:29 yet and if we do show interface test

15:32 gigi

15:32 there'll be nothing and because there's

15:35 no fpc

15:36 that is online it shows fpc xero present

15:39 but it doesn't show anything online and

15:41 we could do the show

15:43 chassis hardware command

15:46 and you can see here that it shows an

15:49 fpc

15:50 and yeah you know that's that's fine we

15:52 just got to wait a little longer for it

15:54 to finish

15:54 completely booting so i'm gonna pause

15:56 this video again

15:58 and then once it's finished completely

16:00 booting i'll start it back up

16:04 all right it's been about five minutes

16:06 let's go ahead and check that again

16:10 and much better slot zero shows online

16:12 for fpc

16:13 and then pick zero shows online as well

16:16 and we see vs or xdp

16:17 dk ge for that and we look at chassis

16:20 hardware you can see fpc

16:22 0 and pixel underneath that that looks

16:25 good

16:26 and just look at the fpc we can see that

16:30 it's online

16:31 things look good there so if we do show

16:34 interface gigi

16:35 star terse we can see we have

16:38 gigi 0 through 2 up

16:41 and those are the interfaces we've

16:43 connected so perfect that's exactly what

16:45 we want to see

16:46 and so let's start configuring vs or x1

16:50 set the hostname to v srx-1

16:54 set uh root authentication

17:02 we'll need to set uh the services

17:06 ssh root login allow

17:10 that way we can log in with root with

17:13 using ssh

17:14 and then we'll need to configure

17:16 interfaces and first i want to delete

17:18 what we have for interfaces delete what

17:20 we have for security we'll be

17:21 configuring that separately

17:22 and so let's go ahead and go into

17:24 interfaces

17:25 and set gige00.0 family inet

17:30 and we're going to set the address

17:36 that puts us in the same subnet as user

17:38 one

17:44 and then same subnet as server one

17:50 then we want to set gigi to

17:55 with an iip address that is going to be

17:57 on the same network as our local network

17:59 that our device

18:00 is running on this will allow us to be

18:01 able to communicate with hosts on the

18:03 local network and host on the internet

18:05 and things like that

18:10 and then let's configure the security

18:12 zones

18:20 very set the interface for that user

18:22 security zone

18:29 and then for the servers the geeky001

18:33 and we'll set some host inbound traffic

18:35 so we can communicate

18:37 with the interface directly and then the

18:40 security zone on trust

18:43 interface is gigi002 and here we would

18:47 want to at least set

18:49 system services ssh we could say any

18:51 services this is just a lab but i'm just

18:53 going to do ssh because we will be

18:55 coming in

18:56 on this device using ssh

19:00 everything looks good there and for ti

19:03 saket time

19:06 i'm just going to set the default policy

19:08 to permit all let's go

19:10 ahead and commit that and we should be

19:12 done configuring vsrx1

19:14 and that's committed so let's go back to

19:15 gns3 topology

19:17 and we do need to start

19:20 user1 and server1

19:23 and then we go to the console for user

19:26 one and we'll configure it

19:28 so here is user one we'll configure the

19:30 ip

19:33 slash 24 then specify the gateway

19:38 then we'll specify a dns server as well

19:43 and then let's go ahead and do the same

19:44 for server one

19:49 so here is server one we'll set the ip

19:55 and subnet mask and then the gateway

20:02 and then we'll set the dns

20:06 and we should be good there so let's go

20:08 ahead and let's jump back to user1

20:11 and oh there's one other quick thing i

20:13 forgot to configure not

20:15 on srx1 so let's do that real quick

20:36 we'll configure the rule

20:43 figure any source address

20:46 and configure source net of interface

20:49 and that will allow

20:50 uh these user one and server one to be

20:53 added when

20:54 going out towards the internet or

20:57 anything on the local network

20:58 okay so let's go ahead and attempt to

21:01 ping let's say

21:02 google market type

21:08 and i did forget one other thing on vs

21:10 or x1 we need to configure the default

21:14 route

21:21 this should help all right so let's go

21:23 back to user one let's try that again

21:25 ah much better much better so we can

21:27 reach stuff on the internet perfect

21:29 now can we ping

21:34 server one

21:38 all right and let's try that again it

21:39 might have just been something like an

21:41 arp resolution issue

21:44 and great it's working now so the art

21:47 just had to resolve

21:48 things are looking good uh let's go

21:49 ahead and attempt

21:51 to open an ssh session to

21:54 vsrx1 now that we've set that up

21:56 correctly and one thing i do want to

21:57 point

21:58 out is that the console session is also

22:00 available

22:02 using the information seen on the right

22:04 here you can open a talent session to

22:06 192 168 178.128 with port 5000 to get to

22:10 vsrx1

22:11 and also console sessions to these other

22:13 devices if you want to use

22:15 say secure crt or something so let's go

22:19 ahead and pull

22:20 up secure crt and attempt to connect

22:23 with ssh to vsrx1 we'll go ahead and

22:26 grab

22:27 a secure crt window and start a new

22:30 connection

22:31 and that was

22:35 username of root and we could configure

22:37 a separate username

22:39 and instead of root but yeah things work

22:41 great wherever the login is root

22:43 and we could configure it using secure

22:46 crt with ssh

22:47 from our local machine

22:51 so that does bring us to the end of this

22:53 learning byte series

22:54 and in this learning byte series we

22:56 demonstrated how to set up and configure

22:58 vsrx with gns3 so as always

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