In a previous tutorial, i had shown ASA emulation in Ubuntu 9.10 (Linux) . Good news is you no longer need to compile and patch Qemu (its already done for you). You just need to build initrd and linux kernel from ASA binary, set path to them in GNS3 preferences and you are all set. If you are installing in Ubuntu, follow the previous tutorial (just skip the compilation and patching section).

If you are installing GNS3 in any of Windows flavour e.g Windows XP , Windows Vista or Windows 7 , its super super easy. So, i decided not to create any video tutorials and rather just show you the screenshots so that you can set it up in less than a minute provided you have already built necessary files (initrd and linux kernel ). If you haven’t built them yet, see previous tutorial.

Cisco Secure ACS 5.X Deployment Guide E-Book

Here are the quick Steps:- (Click on Screenshots to enlarge Image)

NOTE : Software Versions are :

  • GNS3 v0.7
  • Windows 7 (64-bit) Home Premium
  • ASA 8.0(2) Binary

1. Download & Install GNS3 (next , next , finish stuff)

2. Navigate to GNS3 Preferences -> Qemu -> General Settings tab and Hit Test button to make sure paths to qemuwrapper, qemu and qemu-img are set properly( default setting should work just fine)


3. Navigate to GNS3 Preferences -> Qemu -> ASA tab and set initrd and kernel paths

4. Drag and Drop ASA into workspace.

5. Start ASA and console into it .

Thats all ! Enjoy !

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75 Responses to “GNS3 : How to emulate ASA in Windows 7”

  1. Bob says:

    I’m getting the same.

    Uncompressing Linux… Ok, booting the kernel.

    I’ve left it and left it but it’s not budging from there. Tried uninstalling and reinstalling GNS3 but no luck?

  2. dogfart says:


    I boot asa ..put it in gns3 connect to router in gns3 ..up….up …interfaces but no ping…..

  3. paul says:

    @bob – thats all you see, you need a serial interface to configure the rest.

  4. Sushant says:

    I have installed everything as per instructed by u but facing this problem

    asa(config)# interface ethernet 0/0
    asa(config-if)# namei
    asa(config-if)# nameif inside
    ERROR: open(np/port/id/0/-1) failed.
    ERROR: open() failed.
    ERROR: Failed to initialize interface inside
    ERROR: Add interface failed.
    asa(config-if)# no shut
    asa(config-if)# no shutdown
    Failed to change interface status: cannot get channel

    i am not able to do this also
    ciscoasa# write memory
    Building configuration…
    Cryptochecksum: 6e33e06b 255d8b92 90c27d70 9f5b4de4

    %Error copying system:/running-config (Not enough space on device)
    Error executing command
    plz help ASAP

  5. Srinivas says:

    Dear Freind, i had added ASA successfully, when add ASA its starting but when i open console its giving blank please help me to succeed.

  6. anudeep says:


    i’m just wondering to know wat are kernal and initrd? And how to configure them.

    thanks in advance.

  7. Dave McLeod says:

    For those having issues with the following:
    c:\Unpack>unpack.exe –format ASA8 asa802-k8.bin
    Der Befehl “gzip” ist entweder falsch geschrieben oder
    konnte nicht gefunden werden.
    Das System kann die angegebene Datei nicht finden.
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “”, line 208, in
    File “”, line 146, in unpackASA8
    File “shutil.pyo”, line 199, in move
    File “shutil.pyo”, line 91, in copy2
    File “shutil.pyo”, line 46, in copyfile
    IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: ‘c:\\users\\thomas\\appdata\\local

    just copy the gzip file into C:\WINDOWS\System32

    and voila it will work like a charm….

    it worked for me but I’m getting the following error:

    ASA1(config-if)# no shut
    Failed to change interface status: cannot get channel

    does anyone have any solution for this???

  8. kk says:

    about when i open console its giving blank

    you must

    telnet 10525 (port)

    check port number on Windows with

  9. Danish Rahman says:

    All those who are getting the error while trying to “no shut” the port when in interface mode
    need to change the card type to get it working.
    NIC model
    change it and do a HIT and try to get it working

  10. moonsoftin says:


    i have successfully configured ASA in gns3, i am able to connect the ASA throught my loopback nic. i have assigned my ASA and my laptop (loopback) i am able to communicate to and from ASA to laptop vice vers. the problem that i am facing is to upload asdm.bim. when i try to my my laptop as tftp server and copy asdm to ASA i get error as below
    ciscoasa# copy tftp flash:

    Address or name of remote host []?

    Source filename []? asdm-502.bin

    Destination filename [asdm-502.bin]?

    Accessing tftp://…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    %Error copying tftp:// (Not enough space on device)

    but when i isse the sh flash: i see the fallowing
    ciscoasa# sh flash:
    –#– –length– —–date/time—— path
    5 4096 Feb 07 2011 08:40:03 .private
    6 0 Feb 07 2011 08:39:23 .private/mode.dat
    7 0 Feb 07 2011 08:37:34 .private/DATAFILE
    8 0 Feb 07 2011 08:40:03 .private/startup-config

    255320064 bytes total (229826560 bytes free)

    i see nearly 250 MB free in my flash, and my asdm is harley 6.5MB but why is that i am getting this eror.

    anyone else facing the same problem ?
    plese guide me


  11. Ravia says:

    I am able to do the steps mentioned above till uploading the asdm image onto flash, but then says there is an error and cant upload the image from tftp onto flash :(

  12. Vince says:


    use the pcnet for the NIC. Everything else should be at defaults. I am running ASA 8.0.2 with GNS 0.72. The pcnet seems to work for me; I can un-shut the interfaces and do the other interface commands.

  13. Phil says:

    Everything works fine…the problem starts the moment putty executes…putty freezes and goes inactive…I can only clear it in taskmanager…I’m baffled…when I test Qemu it works fine…after the linux screen appears and I execute putty it just sits there and then locksup…any ideas?

  14. still_trying says:

    Has anyone ever figured out the answer to Phil’s last post? I’m having the same problem. I’m using GNS3 0.7.4. I installed the kernel and the initrd.gz files in their respective places and followed various installation paths ultimately ending on this forum and page. I’m using Windows 7. I even implanted the vmlinuz file in it’s respective place as well (although, it has the same distinction as the kernel file) and that didn’t work at all. The furthest that I have gotten was with the asa802.k8.initrd.gz and asa802-k8.kernel files in the respective places within the preferences tab and after I start the ASA that I have put in the environment and try to execute the console, the console comes up and nothing happens. When I press enter (humoring myself) the cursor just hops to the next line (and so on). Unlike Phil, I don’t have to initiate the task manager to exit but I’m doing everything as instructed and nothing seems to be working. Any ansers on this matter? Could it be that I just have some corrupt files?

  15. pika says:

    For those having issues running ASA in Windows 7. Here it is the solution. Spent many hours going through several forums to figure this out!

    1. Download “ASA IOS.RAR” from
    2. extract two files: asa802-k8.initrd.gz and sa802-k8.kernel. do not further extract or modify these files.
    3. In GNS3(v0.7.4)->QEUM–>ASA SPECIFIC SETTINGS point to the above files. use all other default settings.
    4. In QUEM General Settings->IP/HOST BINDING and EXTERNAL QUEMWRAPPER change “localhost” to

  16. Mukundan says:

    Still I am getting empty console. There is no # symbol in the console Please help me to solve

  17. gora says:

    Its done I get the prompt ciscoasa>
    lets see further ..
    Step 4 is important
    as I get prompt after doing same and reload the GNS
    Thanks mike..

  18. gora says:

    some time am getting below prompt

    This is your first boot, please wait about 1 min and then type the following commands:
    cd /mnt/disk0

    Please note to use the following command under ASA to save your configs:
    copy run disk0:/.private/startup-config

    can any one explain why its happening

    thanks in advance

  19. bhushan says:

    200-At least a module and a command must be specified

    i m getting above error please help me i m working on this from last 6 hr but no sucess ..

  20. Christian says:

    I got the ciscoasa prompt but it required a password when entering the privileged console

  21. delscarlett says:

    Has anyone been able to really solve the cannot get the channel issue,i have checked the hacki forum and download the stuffs from the 4shared links and tried all that stuff,please if you have kindle assit us with an how and why we get the error.


  22. Steve Rand says:

    @Christian: Just hit enter, there is no password set.

    @delscarlett: Change the NIC of the ASA until it works. I went from e1000 to pcnet and that worked.

    Personally, i’ve been stuck with not being able to write to the Qemu HDD (ASA FLASH) since 0.8x came out and haven’t found a solution that works. =-/

  23. Bonnie Mercurio says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this website needs much more consideration. I’ll probably be again to read much more, thanks for that info.

  24. krishna says:

    Dear Freind, i had added ASA successfully, when add ASA its starting but when i open console its giving blank please help me to succeed.

  25. ravian says:

    connection refused message… solve this…. any solution…

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