Everyone has heard of GNS3 but who has heard of Eve-NG or its’ predecessor Unified Networking Lab v2 (UNetLabv2)?
Eve-NG was brought to my attention while I was having a discussion with my colleague about other possible router emulators other than GNS3.
Eve-NG revolves around a purpose-built ubuntu VM with a web interface for you to build your network topology. Much like GNS3 but the VM is where the similarity ends.
Eve-NG requires more more time to setup than GNS3 due to its convoluted way of importing router images into the VM. Once you get over the initial setup process, building a network topology is as easy as navigating to the VM’s IP address through Firefox (Recommended by the developers).
The web UI is cleaner with little to no learning curve. Creating a network topology is as easy as giving it a name, launching the project and start dragging & dropping routers of your choice on to the blank canvas.
When Eve-NG is working as it should, once you click on the router you will be able to see the ‘Console’ option and clicking on that option will cause Firefox to present you with Launch Application prompt asking you what you application you want to link to open. Selecting Putty will then launch a Putty session much like GNS3 but this is where I ran into some trouble.
After selecting Putty as the application to launch, depending on Eve-NG’s mood, it will decide to either launch Putty but stop sort at spewing out a Network Connection Refused error or just sit there doing nothing.
Even the console option on the left-hand menu didn’t work!
Investigating further into the Network Connection Refused error message thinking that it might be the Windows Firewall causing the issue, I opened up ports used by Eve-NG but to no avail. However, when I ran a packet capture, it looks like the VM itself is dropping the SSH connection! Searching through Eve-NG support forums and the internet does not yield any clues to the potential issue or a solution.
Eve-NG has a lot of potential to be a viable replacement for GNS3 with its portable self-contained VM and clean web interface. If you have got some time to spare I would highly recommend you to check out Eve-NG and you will probably have a better experience that I do!