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 Post subject: GNS3 v1b4.dev2 First Impressions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:33 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:33 am
Posts: 1494
Location: Australia
Startup: User is (almost) forced to start a new project - I suspect this will avoid a lot of problems with temporary files. Good idea, although I do kind of miss the Open and Recent files options. And if I choose to Cancel, I can't drag any items onto the canvass - which is fair enough, but I'm sure it will confuse some people.

Preferences has been completely re-vamped for the various emulators: Dynamips, IOU, VB and Qemu. Much better and "wizard" driven when I add a new image... but... when I add a new image, I now have to give it a Name - a totally new concept that we haven't had to deal with before.
NewIOSRouter.png [ 37.05 KiB | Viewed 9538 times ]

Although it would add an extra step to the wizard, I think I'd like to see this step split into two:
Step 1:
NewIOSRouter1.png [ 26.8 KiB | Viewed 9538 times ]

Step 2:
NewIOSRouter2.png [ 40.6 KiB | Viewed 9538 times ]

Note in step 2,
  • The name of the IOS image previously selected is displayed
  • The Name field has a default name (based on the first 5 letters of the IOS image name)
  • As usual, the Platform and Chassis fields are determined from the image

When reaching the Memory step in the wizard, it might be nice to have a link to the cisco website to be able to check the memory needed like in the old IOS and hypervisor's Check for minimum RAM requirement. Also, at this step it would be useful to still have the name of the image you are dealing with showing, just in case you've forgotten. And the prompt should be Default RAM - remember that at this point we are not defining a router for a topology, but defining the defaults that this image with this name will have.
NewIOSRouter3.png [ 40.77 KiB | Viewed 9538 times ]

The Network Adapters option is somewhat unnecessary EXTRA step (we didn't have this in the old GNS3) and could lead to confusion, because I can always change this for each individual router I add to a topology - like I said - remember that at this point we are not defining a router for a topology, but defining the defaults that this image with this name will have. Ditto of course for models that also take you through the WIC modules step as well

So IMO I think that either:
This step should be omitted, or
Make it clear that these are the DEFAULTS that we are defining
NewIOSRouter4.png [ 43.29 KiB | Viewed 9538 times ]

And finally, the Idle-PC value allocation, again, the name of the selected image (and perhaps the name given to the device) should be displayed
NewIOSRouter5.png [ 34.18 KiB | Viewed 9538 times ]

Once a device has been added, the Edit option gives a great interface to change things, but again, apart from the [General] tab, I think the other tabs should have text on them that make it clear that they are changing the DEFAULTS for this device.
[BUG - if I change the name, it crashes - for IOS images anyway - IOU is OK]

Once I have added several devices, customised to my explicit desires, they appear in a lovely list:
IOSRoutersList.png [ 106.23 KiB | Viewed 9538 times ]

It's a pity I can't change the size of the list of names - as you can see above, its a bit hard to distinguish between the two router models that begin with c3725. I can resize the dialogue box, but the size of the name list stays the same. (Smaller font size? automatically resize this column depending on the dialogue box size? Make it resizable?....)

The [Decompress] option works very nicely, but I think the [Delete] option deserves a confirmation (unless there is an "undo" added). I don't want to delete all this info (including Idle-PC values) accidentally - except of course (and this brings me to my biggest gripe) if I hit [Cancel]!!!!
Here's what my lovely list of routers turned into when I hit [Cancel]
IOSRoutersList2.png [ 101.15 KiB | Viewed 9538 times ]

Yep! I lost all the routers I'd added WITHOUT ANY WARNING (I must have remembered to hit [Apply] after adding the c2600)

I strongly believe that if a user has made changes and hits [Cancel], then they should be warned.

Overall, I think this is a HUGE improvement. There are a few other things I'll discuss later, but to add any more comment would go beyond "First Impressions".

Note that although I based my discussion on IOS images - the same principles should be applied to the other emulators

GNS3 WorkBench-a VMware image of Ubuntu with GNS3 and VPCS installed and a collection of exercises/labs

 Post subject: Re: GNS3 v1b4.dev2 First Impressions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:45 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 123
Location: Upper Silesia, Poland
I read all discussion about 1.0ER even if I'm not an early member and I always wondered about one thing I noticed and wanted to mention... I noticed that somewhere about 0.8.4, tried to live with that, after some time I almost decided to make a post with a wishlist, but noticed that developing 1.0 was announced, so I decided not to bother developers with my "idea". But now, after above post I decided to make a wish... :)

All of us know that we can change DEFAULT RAM to any value. That is good.
All of us know that we can change values of PCMCIA disk size(s). That is also good.
But nobody found that it would be good to set DEFAULT PCMCIA disk size(s) for IOS router platforms... Strange.

Usually, with 3725 used as EtherSwitch router platform (remember that I still use 0.8.x) we have 3*(number_of_routers) files in "working" directory inside a project dir. For example, putting one single router acting as Etherswitch, we will have such files:
- 3725_R1_rom (size: 2MB, 2097152 bytes)
- 3725_R1_slot0 (size: 16MB, 16777216 bytes)
- 3725_R1_slot1 (size: 0 bytes)

File "3725_R1_slot0" corresponds with "PCMCIA disk0 size", similar applies to "*_slot1" file.
As we know, PCMCIA is used to save some data, for example: vlan database, crypto keys, interface indexes (see "snmp-server ifindex persist") and probably more. Do we really need all of 16MB to store in virtual lab? With current settings we have 18M per router (oops: I should write "switch"). With complex topologies 200MB per project it is nothing unusual... and maybe we could use default of 1MB as lowest possible pcmcia size...
I know that with 1.0 it is possible to use IOU which has more features than 3725 Etherswitch router. But what about labs when we have to generate crypto keys (which is essential to use ssh)? We will save 16MB "_slot0" files just with crypto keys...

Yes, we can use some OS-specific features like "compress" attribute on NTFS directories, but do all we use it? More to say, do we KNOW we CAN use it to save huge amount of space when doing switching labs?

If you can see any inaccuracies or other language-related mistakes in my post(s), please forgive me - English is not my native language

 Post subject: Re: GNS3 v1b4.dev2 First Impressions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:46 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:41 pm
Posts: 2668
Location: Canada

I have disk0 to 1MB by default now.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Jeremy, GNS3 Programmer & Benevolent Dictator for Life.

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