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 Post subject: New laptop. windows or MAC OS? want stable GNS3
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:19 am
Posts: 10
Location: Norway
Hi,

I have to buy a new laptop cause my old one, running windows 7, is "dying". I am thinking about buying a MAC pro. Actually, it will be my first MAC and I have some doubts.

For me it will be mandatory that my new laptop run properly (and on a stable way) GNS3.
Can someone share their experience regarding GNS3 and MAC OS.

How stable and easy_to_install is GNS3 on MAC OS?

Does it run ok within parallels virtual machine?

If I will have dual-boot with windows I can have the same exact experience as running on other laptop with windows, right?

Thank you.




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 Post subject: Re: New laptop. windows or MAC OS? want stable GNS3
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:33 am
Posts: 1494
Location: Australia
One of the major deciding factors when I bought my MacBook Pro in 2009 was seeing how well GNS3 worked on a Macintosh. It still does, but I have read some discouraging posts involving people who have had difficulty making the new thunderbolt adapter work, and it seems that Mountain Lion has more problems than "good ol' snow leopard"

In the meantime, GNS3 for windows has had much more development effort than the other versions. Dynamips_community version 2.8 RC5 is only stable on Windows, and it has a number of improvements (the ability to do auto-calculate of idle-pc for one, AUX port improvements...), so the the most functional version of GNS3 is (at the moment) the Windows version.

On the other hand, if you can afford a Mac ... it is a beautiful machine for carrying around and working on! And with all that power, running a virtual machine with GNS3 is not a big deal (I use vmWare fusion, but I'm sure Parallels would work just as well). In fact I ran a class a couple of weeks back wehre I ran 10 linux virtual machines on a Mac Mini (quad core i7, 16GB RAM) and gave each student (working on old Windows XP machines) a VNC connection to my Mac Mini and they connected all 10 VMs to make a class network that was running entirely within VMs on my mac. I have seen a similar class where the instructor ran 16 router instances on his Mac Mini and each stuent controlled one.

That's my 2c. Hope it helps.
[Edit} Re dual boot - I tried that but didn't like it because once you'd booted into your alternate OS, you lost access to your Mac applications, so I went the VM path instead.

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RedNectar
http://rednectar.net
@rednectarchris
GNS3 WorkBench-a VMware image of Ubuntu with GNS3 and VPCS installed and a collection of exercises/labs


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 Post subject: Re: New laptop. windows or MAC OS? want stable GNS3
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:19 am
Posts: 10
Location: Norway
Thanks rednectar for sharing your experience. I am sure that I am not the only one with similar doubts and your experience is very useful for the community.

I also thought that the GNS3 windows version is the most stable/"advanced".
So, the best solution is to run GNS3 on a virtual machine (parallels, VMWare fusion, ...) running windows, right? I am guessing that 8 GB of memory and an i7 dual-core processor at 3.0 GHz is enough to run 10 to 15 router instances.

On the other hand there is also the possibility of the dual-boot solution, right? (even with the downside that you mentioned) In the dual-boot case, I will have a "pure/proper" windows environment, right? I am asking this cause I don't know if, for example, the macbook pro uses same kind of "proprietary" hardware that windows doesn't have drivers for it. For example the NIC card.


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 Post subject: Re: New laptop. windows or MAC OS? want stable GNS3
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:33 am
Posts: 1494
Location: Australia
Not sure about the dual boot - you are probably right

Quote:
How stable and easy_to_install is GNS3 on MAC OS?


Install Wireshark first (read the reames first) - this may help when trying to access your ethernet port (en0 on a Mac)
Otherwise GNS3 is a pretty standard install. You download a .dmg (disk image) file, mount it, and copy the GNS3.app to your Apps directory - done!
Note that some of the good stuff in the 0.8.4 RC2 GNS3 (like auto-calc idle-pc) is dependant on dynamips-community 0.2.8 RC5 (Hope I got those numbers right) which is not the version that ships with the Mac version. YOu have to download that separately.


Quote:
Does it run ok within parallels virtual machine?

Currently I have 7 VMs running GNS3
1. Win 7
2. Win 8
3. Win XP
4. LinuxMint (Mate)
5. Linux Mint (Cinnamon)
6, Ubuntu 12.04
7. OS X Mountain Lion (yes - I'm running GNS3 on a OS X VM ATM)
8. I actually have more on older versions of Linux as well.

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RedNectar
http://rednectar.net
@rednectarchris
GNS3 WorkBench-a VMware image of Ubuntu with GNS3 and VPCS installed and a collection of exercises/labs


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 Post subject: Re: New laptop. windows or MAC OS? want stable GNS3
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:34 pm
Posts: 214
Quote:
For me it will be mandatory that my new laptop run properly (and on a stable way) GNS3.
Can someone share their experience regarding GNS3 and MAC OS.

I presently use OS X as my primary operating system (in general and for GNS3). However, I've spent countless hours running GNS3 on OS X, Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD. I have installed and tested GNS3 on over dozen versions of Linux alone. In my experience GNS3 runs well on all platforms, but each one presents its own unique challenges depending on what you need to do. You can find a work around for most things, so in the end it comes down to experience and familiarity with the underlying operating system. The more familiar you are, the easier it is to come up with a solution.

That being said, I've recently become rather fond of Linux as a host for GNS3. My reasoning is that Linux integrates well with Cisco IOS on UNIX (IOU), and trunks well to live physical Cisco switches. However, if you don't have a need for this sort of thing, then this may not be a consideration for you. Even if you do want to become a CCIE (or learn advanced switching for some other reason) you can still work around these issues on OS X and Windows. I personally lean towards a Unix-like OS (like Linux or OS X) but only because I've worked with UNIX since the 80's and it's a comfortable fit for me.

In the end I'm sure if you buy a MacBook Pro you won't be disappointed. The hardware is great and the OS is solid. OS X is a posix compliant UNIX OS and runs very well. The hardware is a bit expensive, but you get what you pay for.


Best of luck,

Jason

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Author: Cisco Routers for Small Business (Apress)


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 Post subject: Re: New laptop. windows or MAC OS? want stable GNS3
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:19 am
Posts: 10
Location: Norway
Thanks Jason and rednectar for sharing your experiences with me and the community.




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