How to use Cisco ASA 8.4 with GNS3

This tutorial will help you setup your CCNA, CCNP or CCIE Security Lab with Cisco ASA 8.4 which is currently supported by the latest version of GNS3.

    1. Download the source files here.
    2. Extract them and place them in the GNS3 images directory.
      For example : C:\Users\<user name>\GNS3\images\QEMU\
    3. Go to Edit -> Preference -> QEMU -> QEMU VMs
    4. Click New -> Give Name -> Set type

  1. Assign RAM (>=1024 MB)
  2. Select the boot files.
  3. 4
    Kernel Command Line :

    no-hlt -append ide_generic.probe_mask=0x01 ide_core.chs=0.0:980,16,32 auto nousb console=ttyS0,9600 bigphysarea=65536

    Options :

    -vnc none -vga none -m 1024 -icount auto -hdachs 980,16,32
  4. Press Ok. Then Drag Cisco ASA to workspace.
  5. Right click on it. Click start.
  6. Go to console view. If everything is configured correctly it will start booting. If anyone is curious to see the boot sequence click here.
  7. Default license is accepted.
  8. Issue the following commands sequentially.

    activation-key 0xb23bcf4a 0x1c713b4f 0x7d53bcbc 0xc4f8d09c 0x0e24c6b6
  9. This will take 15-20 minutes roughly. It could take more time.
  10. During the reboot, it will take some time during key validation phase. Nothing to be worried. Wait for atleast 15-20 mins.
  11. Now your ASA will be licensed properly.

    So now you have a full fledged Cisco ASA Firewall running inside your computer.

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  • Kevin

    download link doesn’t work, button doesn’t respond

      • Edson

        hello, srijit your tutorial works with version GNS3 1.3.1?
        I cannot download the file.
        Have a good day

        • Did u check the updated link? It’s working well. Download and extract the .7zip file.

          • aldo

            yup worked for me thx…

      • soumen abhishek

        hi srijith

        i have tried all possible ways for using ASA in gns3 but failed.when i start the ASA it is not booting. in CLI also its not booting.
        Can u please send me the solution on
        i will be really greatfull to you.

        Thanks in advance

  • Jimmy

    Srjit, the link you provided still doesn’t work. Can you please update the dropbox link for this.

  • Satwinder Singh

    Hi sirjit….i have tried on & download is not available. Could you update the link for downloading …..thanks

  • rishi

    unable to activate ASA see the screenshot

    • Jeremy Abel Berrios

      Were you able to find a resolution this problem? I have been sitting on this exact screen for over 30 minutes, and it has not changed.

      • Jeremy Abel Berrios

        For some reason, my system took an hour before it finally moved on.

  • rishi

    also when i add 2 asas in gns it works for 5 mins and then i cant type anything then i have to stop and restart back kindly help asap

  • Shib Sankar Banerjee

    When I select and drag the ASA using the 802 profile everything runs fine, but when I use the 8.42 ASA I get the error message
    Dynamips error: Communication lost. what is the problem?

  • Dee Sy

    there is a password after i enter enable
    . can you post the password of the asa

    • Shahab Shibiz

      There is no default password. Just press enter on your keyboard.

  • shanmugam

    ASA 8.4’s console is not showing any output after some time once it starts.CPU utilization is normal. Also some times while reload won’t start console timeout error comes.Please suggest.

    GNS3 Version:1.3.9

    Kernal:- ide_generic.probe_mask=0x01 ide_core.chs=0.0:980,16,32 auto nousb console=ttyS0,9600 bigphysarea=65536 ide1=noprobe no-hlt

    Options:- -nographic -cpu coreduo -icount auto -hdachs 980,16,32

    Qemu:- qemu 0-13.0qemu-system-i386w.exe

    OS Win 7 , 64 bit.

  • Dilip J

    Hi Srijit,

    I have downloaded the file and configured in the gns3. When I start it says uncompressing the linux and booting the kernel. When I go to the console the screen is blank? Please guide me.

  • chaby23

    It works Just well as explained and as per the steps above.
    Just that i couldnt download the IOS from your given link.
    I did it from other sites,but the same version.

    and now i have fully loaded ASA firewall inside my GNS.

    thanks ..

    • Thanks for the feedback. Will update the links ASAP..

    • Ram

      Does your ASA has a permanent license ? If you close out the GNS3 and re-open or work with new project, does your ASA show licensed or do you have to re-license it? Please advise

  • JacobC

    Hi Srijit,

    I have downloaded the IOS and everything seems to work but when I enter the Activation Key, it tells me, “failed to retrieve permanent activation key” and then does nothing after that. Any idea why I am getting this error? ….thanks!

    • JacobC

      Nevermind, I got it. I wasn’t patient enough. Thanks for putting this out there!


    thank you! .. works perfectly

    • Ram

      Does your ASA has a permanent license ? If you close out the GNS3 and re-open or work with new project, does your ASA show licensed or do you have to re-license it?

  • Ram

    Dear sir, it wouldn’t take the activation keys.

  • Harsh Jhaver

    How much ram is required to install asa , and how much ram is recommend to be on a PC

    • Rohit Sharma

      usually 1 GB dedicated to one ASA is enough.

  • sathish

    It works perfectly
    1024mb RAM

  • Rohit Sharma

    Everytime I start ASA, console becomes non-responsive and I have to restart it.
    I am using latest version of GNS3.
    Any solution for this?

  • Anand Singh

    i am not able to download the rar? can someone please help with that?

  • Pingback: Cisco ASA 8.4+ on GNS3 – Basic configuration. | IT Support Blog()

  • Nayanangshu Majumder

    Thank you for helping ASA setup in GNS3..


    sir ASA IS NOT BOOTING SHOWING ERROR “Server error from ASA-1: Platform qemu is unknown””

  • Ardhendu Sekhar Jena

    Hi Srijit,

    i m really happy that you have created this platform where we can get all our details for GNS3. Previously means 2/3 months back i have downloaded the files for ASA here only and it was working perfectly. However yesterday i updated GNS3 with 1.4.4 version and it is throwing error.No idea why it was asking to configure ASA through GNS3 VM.and i am frustrated.I am new to this platform now! Could you please check and prepare a documentation on how to configure ASA through GNS3 VM so it will be a great help fresher like me.Your kind attention is highly appreciated.

    Thanks & Regards,

  • sachin patange

    when i load ASA it is asking for password. what is password for that..

  • erwin kurt smith

    Hi Sir please provide another link. tried to download but error occur

  • Ramesh D

    This link is not working , please help me with updated one.

  • Vishal

    I am getting below error Srijit sir,
    could you please help

    Server error from ASA-1: hda disk image ‘C:/Users/OM/GNS3/images/QEMU/ASAImage’ is not accessible