How to implement HSRP on Cisco IOU and GNS3

Lots of people have said that HSRP does not work in either GNS3 or IOU. It does, but both softwares are very particular about what they require for it to work. In this post, we will look at how to configure HSRP on Cisco IOU and on GNS3.

HSRP on Cisco IOU

For HSRP on Cisco IOU I have used the IOS image i86bi_linux_l2-ipbasek9-ms.jan24-2013-team_track.

To upload the image fire up IOU web and click on Manage.

Click on Manage IOSes

In the Upload IOS bit at the top of the page enter the filename – this must be the same as the file you are going to upload or else it won’t work. The alias can be anything you want it to be. Then browse to the image from the Choose File button.

Your page should look like this:

How to add a Cisco IOU ios image

When you are ready click on Upload.

Once its uploaded your Manage IOSes bit of the page should look like this:
Managing Cisco IOU images

You can see our added IOS at the bottom.

We can now start with a basic lab, using a netmap of 1:0/1 2:0/1.

SW1 is configured as follows:
Cisco IOU HSRP configuration

SW2 is set up similarly (excuse the typing mistakes)

Cisco IOU HSRP Configuration

After a few seconds we can start to see HSRP messages coming through:

HSRP messages

And using the command “sh standby vlan 10” we can confirm that the HSRP is working as it should:

HSRP on Cisco IOU


For HSRP on GNS3 I am using the image c3660-is-mz.124.25b.

Fire up GNS3 and go into Edit > IOS images and hypervisors, add your image for the c3660 (if you don’t already have one, but your mileage may vary with other images), and set it as the default.

Add image to GNS3

Next go into Edit > Symbol Manager, find an image you like, personally I like the route_switch_processor, highlight it and press the arrow button. Change the type to Router c3600 and give it a good name, then click Apply, then click OK.

Make custom device GNS3

Now we can drag two of our new HSRP switches onto the canvas:


Now configure both the new switches and add an NM-16ESW to each:


Once you have done that you can cable them together and start them up, you must use the connections on the newly added module though – I have used 1/10 on each.

The configs are the same as above for IOU and are a very simple implementation:

HSRP configuration on GNS3

HSRP configuration on GNS3

Once you give the switches a few seconds once everything is plumbed in you should see the HSRP messages start to flow:

Working HSRP on GNS3

Working HSRP on GNS3

And there we have two ways to get HSRP working in a home environment without needing to purchase separate hardware.


  1. Maureen Kennealy May 9, 2014
  2. Stuart Fordham May 9, 2014
  3. Maureen Kennealy May 10, 2014
  4. Stuart Fordham May 11, 2014
  5. Maureen Kennealy May 11, 2014
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