GNS3 and vmWare IOSv part2: configuring IOSv virtual machines

Running IOSv within GNS3 or vmWare Workstation

Now that we have extracted IOSv (see Part 1)

Now, if you want to get this thing running in vmWare... Just Right Click on the *.ovf file we've isolated from the one-PK download. And then select the option to open with vmWare Workstation.

Right Click - open with vmWare

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SOMETIMES YOU GET A "IMPORT FAILED" RESPONSE.  Just go ahead and RE-TRY THE IMPORT.IMPORTING  the *.OVF fileAND VOILA!  A NEW VM IN YOUR LIST
SOMETIMES YOU GET A "IMPORT FAILED" RESPONSE.  Just go ahead and RE-TRY THE IMPORT.
SOMETIMES YOU GET A "IMPORT FAILED" RESPONSE. Just go ahead and RE-TRY THE IMPORT.
IMPORTING  the *.OVF file
IMPORTING the *.OVF file
AND VOILA!  A NEW VM IN YOUR LIST
AND VOILA! A NEW VM IN YOUR LIST

Importing the image will take a minute. But vmWare will store the machine in it's "Virtual Machines" folder under user/documents, when running vmWare under Windows.

The first half of the following video shows the basic configuration of IOSv in vmWare. The second half of the video demonstrates initial configuration of IOSv to run in GNS3.

A Video Demonstration for this article

Now Edit the settings of the new VM - Add a SERIAL PORT

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CLICK ON "Edit Virtual Machine Settings" - we've got a couple of things to changeAT THE BOTTOM OF THE EDIT SETTINGS DIALOGUE - Click ADD - to Add a Serial PortJust ADD the serial port.  We are changing it's settings later.
CLICK ON "Edit Virtual Machine Settings" - we've got a couple of things to change
CLICK ON "Edit Virtual Machine Settings" - we've got a couple of things to change
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE EDIT SETTINGS DIALOGUE - Click ADD - to Add a Serial Port
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE EDIT SETTINGS DIALOGUE - Click ADD - to Add a Serial Port
Just ADD the serial port.  We are changing it's settings later.
Just ADD the serial port. We are changing it's settings later.

We redirect files so that we can use COM1 with this VM

The IOSv VM does not have a com port in the usual sense. So we must do a little configuration trick here. Inside vmWare Workstation, under the properties of the com-port you just installed for IOSv, you must input a "named pipe" with the following exact nomenclature:

\\.\pipe\com1

Now, ... IF for some reason you do configure multiple machines on this instance of vmWare, you may add several other named pipes numbered consecutively as...

\\.\pipe\com2

then \\.\pipe\com3 ... etc.

Create a "Named Pipe" for COM1- \\.\pipe\com1

Now "POWER UP" the Virtual Machine -

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The boot screen of this VM is anticlimactic in vmWare.  It's not too lively.  You get a couple of basic black-and-white screens... THEN... ... then ... THAT's IT ... it's done booting up when you see this screen, and now you can connect to it using PUTTY (or some similar terminal emulation program)
The boot screen of this VM is anticlimactic in vmWare.  It's not too lively.  You get a couple of basic black-and-white screens... THEN...
The boot screen of this VM is anticlimactic in vmWare. It's not too lively. You get a couple of basic black-and-white screens... THEN...
... then ... THAT's IT ... it's done booting up when you see this screen, and now you can connect to it using PUTTY (or some similar terminal emulation program)
... then ... THAT's IT ... it's done booting up when you see this screen, and now you can connect to it using PUTTY (or some similar terminal emulation program)

Now you are "ready" to use that named pipe for Com1

Just download and then double click the PUTTY executable file. And...

The PUTTY start screen, and connection information

When you first open PUTTY, it's preconfigured for an SSH connection.  See this picture?  You'll change it to a SERIAL connection.
When you first open PUTTY, it's preconfigured for an SSH connection. See this picture? You'll change it to a SERIAL connection.
And this is some info I've put in.
And this is some info I've put in.

In "serial line" type in: \\.\pipe\com1

Be sure you've got "SERIAL" selected. Leave the speed set at 9600.

In this particular picture showing information inside putty, you can see some previous sessions I'd saved- like; ESXi - ssh, N7k, vIOS-Com1-2-and-3. And for the video I've made to go along with this article, I named and saved a session called IOSv AIO

Once you put in the info you need for serial connection (including the name of the session) you click on "save" and the config will be saved for next time. All you'll have to do is double click the "saved" session. And the PUTTY terminal will open up ready for action.

OR, you could just input the info each time... if you are fine with that. It's up to you.

Once you start a session with PUTTY, it's possible it could take the Virtual Machine a moment to respond- (see my video to get an idea of how long it may take) . If the machine is still in a startup-mode, just be patient. Give it a minute or two to finish running it's startup routine. Once it's settled down, it'll behave just fine and "talk" to you through putty very nicely.

And that's it... that's all she wrote. You're connected now

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"DONE-!" ... you're now connected to your Virtual Machine, and ready to configure this virtual cisco router
"DONE-!" ... you're now connected to your Virtual Machine, and ready to configure this virtual cisco router
"DONE-!" ... you're now connected to your Virtual Machine, and ready to configure this virtual cisco router

Continued in Part 3

In part 3 I'll go over Configuring and Starting IOSv in GNS3

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