Cumulius VX Console in gns3 / VMWare player

I'm trying to set up a lab with Cumulus VX to test out a few theories and getting to know stuff before I head onto actual hardware. I figured that GNS3 is the perfect tool for this and downloaded the latest stable and it's corresponding vmware player/workstation image. So I set off getting the cows2 image from the official site and load it into GNS3, as recommended run it on the gns3 VM, where I guess it's being run in a further embedded KVM I can't for the life of me get the later Cumulux VX image to work in this fashion however, a 2.5.3 image boosts nicely and I'm getting a login prompt through the VNC console. But with a 3.0.0 image it goes through the GRUB and the regular kernel boot, then I'm just getting a blank screen with a blinking cursor. No amount of input spawns a login prompt, but the blinking cursor moves. I've booted the same version in vmware just to see if the problem persists, but it works nicely in there. I'm at wits end and can't quite find any relevant topics on this specific issue. Any help or recommended fixes would be appreciated. Regards //L

7 replies

Userlevel 5
So the 3.0.0 image boots in VMware but not in the GNS3 console? Is there a difference in the configuration in the VMware setup for GNS3 versus stand alone?
GNS3 wants the VX in a KVM format, which is helpful in the long run since then all VMs are concatenated in the same virtualized hypervisor. I've added the Cumulus Virtual Appliance through the GNS3 marketplace, which I assume create the VM with specific helpful parameters such as switchports and other helpful things. The vmware image is imported as is with no customizations on my part. I can't quite figure out if the KVM image is different or if the virtual appliance setup part of gns3 adds portions that cause the problem.
Userlevel 5
Can you describe the setup you are using as I would like to attempt to replicate this for you and see if I can assist more? Is this on a local laptop or server rack? What versions of VMWare, GNS3 software are you using?
I discovered a workaround. The default settings that either came with the gns3 appliance settings or Cumulus VX defaults the console to a vnc type graphical console. This console never presents a login prompt. You are also allowed to do a telnet style console, which connects to the virtual serial interface ttyS0. This one works, although it takes a few moments for the whole login process to spawn. I replicated thusly: Download the 1.5.2 version of GNS3, install with the recommended settings. Download the VMWare workstation image of the GNS3 VM Install VMware VIX for automation between GNS3 and Vmware workstation Start and configure GNS3 with the vmware image. Though the GNS3 marketplace download the Cumulus VX appliance file and import it. Download the appropriate kvm images and import those through the wizard. Drag and drop the cumulus switch onto the workplace, start it, and right-click and select Console. You should see the usual Linux kernel and process start scroll by, then a blank screen where the 'Debian GNU/Linux 8' login bit should be. I'm happy I found a workaround for this all nontheless, and hope that I'll save someone else the troubleshooting in the future.
Userlevel 3
graphical logins (VNC graphical console) aren't enabled by default in VX, to make it as similar as possible to a real switch, which only has serial ports. There has been discussion of changing that default, but as far as I can remember, we haven't changed it yet.
This certainly explains my problems. I blame the counter-intutivness of gns3 or the Virtual Appliance template at gns3s website. It certainly makes more sense the way you explain it. Many thanks!
Just wanted to take a quick moment and say thanks for this post. It's extremely confusing as one would expect the GNS3 appliances to "just work". I went ahead reconfigured it as a telnet console. It does take a minute or two for the login prompt to appear (Linux has to boot, which you can actually see via the VNC console). But eventually it does.

Would be great if the GNS3 appliance configuration file was fixed in their marketplace to ensure anyone who is interested in Cumulus has the best experience possible. Right now it just looks basically broken.