In September 2017 I reviewed Eve-NG, an alternative network emulator to GNS3 where I encountered issues with starting up the Routers. After running through the setup process a couple of times, I’m happy to say that I have figure out what had went wrong!
As seen in the screenshot below, it turns out that while converting the Cisco IOS from .bin to .image an error occurred which I ignored and proceeded to start up a router node using the broken .image IOS file.
I initially suspected that either the original or converted IOS image was corrupted because the resulting .image file was 0 bytes in size!
After trying a few other IOS images I have, it looks like Eve-NG doesn’t like the Advanced IP Services image that I was trying to use. I eventually downloaded c7200-adventerprisek9-mz.151-3.S6 (One of the 4 supported and tested IOS images listed on Eve-NG’s documentation) and it worked without a hitch.
This would probably mean that any feature sets other than Advance Enterprise would result in issues but please feel free to let me know if this is not the case.
While setting up and configuring the Eve-NG VM for the first time is straight forward enough, the complexity and difficulty of adding images you want to emulate varies depending on what you are trying to add into your Eve-NG VM. Thankfully, the documentation written by the developers are easy to follow but requires careful reading if you want to get it right the first time.
In my experience, adding Cisco images and software are usually straight forward but other operating system like Linux requires more elaborate configuration before you are able to emulate a full end-to-end enterprise topology. Other vendors like Juniper, Aruba and Fortinet are also supported by Eve-NG.
Even though I had no trouble getting my linux image to run, Eve-NG kept running linux off the live CD rather than off the installation. No matter how many times I go through the documentation I was still not able to get Eve-NG to run off the installation.
It looked like I wasn’t the only user to run into issues installing Linux onto Eve-NG when the developer released ready-to-go Linux image packs to help lessen the setup curve for users.
Good move on the part of the developers!
Since the first time I have heard and experimented with Eve-NG, this network emulator has grown from strength to strength in no part thanks to the developers willingness to listen to community feedback.
If you have not picked up Eve-NG, I highly recommend you to do so.