Since I have started studying for the CCIE I needed a lab. I don’t have the space/money to get a dedicated home lab so I have to use Dynamips and GNS3 instead.

It is well known that Dynamips runs better on Linux, I am by no means experienced in Linux but Ubuntu is very easy to run. Since I wanted to use the laptop I have at work I didn’t want to risk doing a dual boot and messing up the MBR or something like that. Booting on a live-cd would work but then I wouldn’t be able to save anything.
Instead I installed Ubuntu on an USB memory stick. The capacity of it is 2GB which means I can have 1GB for installing stuff and saving topologies etc.

Start by downloading Ubuntu. I have 4GB RAM so I used the 64 bit version.
Follow the instructions on Ubuntus homepage which means downloading Universal USB Installer.

I used these settings:

Make sure you don’t have anything important on it before you do the format. You want to use persistence if you want to be able to save on the USB. If you have a larger USB you can choose
a larger filesystem so you have more space available.

When the installer is done you can boot from the memory stick. You might have to change the boot order in BIOS if Ubuntu doesn’t start.

I then followed this guide.

If you extract the files to / the .net file will be correct if you are using the same IOS. If you are using another version you have to update the .net file.
The important thing is to run multiple hypervisors which will be done if you use the .ini that is supplied.

Following this guide I was able to run 15 routers at about 60-70% CPU and around 1.5GB RAM. My laptop is a HP Elitebook 2530p Core 2 Duo [email protected] with 4GB RAM installed. I run Windows 7 when I don’t
lab and now I can boot Ubuntu from an USB when I want to lab without having to mess with my regular harddrive. If you have any issues post them in comments and I will try to give feedback.

Ubuntu on a stick
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