How to Install GNS3 on FreeBSD 12.1-p1

Russell Rinaldi

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This how-to assumes that you are somewhat experienced in FreeBSD and have installed python 3.6. Linux_base-c7 is installed with linux_enable="YES" in rc.conf. You should have a backup of your system and be able to restore it to a working configuration if anything goes wrong. Because this method utilizes some source not available via pkg manager or ports, it may not be entirely supported by FreeBSD forums. This is running on FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE-p1, MATE Desktop, nvidia-driver-390.87_3 on AMD 3900X.

1. Prep: Install all the packages needed by gns3-gui, gns3-server and ubridge. Note: The py36-qt5-websockets port doesn't exists that I know of, so we will compile it from source in step 2.

  • py36-pip-19.1.1 : Tool for installing and managing Python packages
  • py36-qt5-core-5.12.2 : Python bindings for the Qt5 toolkit, QtCore module
  • py36-qt5-gui-5.12.2 : Python bindings for the Qt5 toolkit, QtGui module
  • py36-qt5-network-5.12.2 : Python bindings for the Qt5 toolkit, QtNetwork module
  • py36-qt5-opengl-5.12.2 : Python bindings for the Qt5 toolkit, QtOpenGL module
  • py36-qt5-svg-5.12.2 : Python bindings for the Qt5 toolkit, QtSvg module
  • py36-qt5-widgets-5.12.2 : Python bindings for the Qt5 toolkit, QtWidgets module
  • py36-sip-4.19.17 : Python to C and C++ bindings generator
  • gmake : GNU version of 'make' utility
  • libpcap : Ubiquitous network traffic capture library

pkg install py36-pip-19.1.1 py36-qt5-core py36-qt5-gui py36-qt5-network py36-qt5-widgets py36-qt5-svg ...etc​

2. Compile and install PyQt5.QtWebSockets. Download the matched version of PyQt5 from . Example: if pkg installed FreeBSD package qt5-core-5.12.2, download PyQt5_gpl-5.12.2.tar.gz. I keep non-native sources in ~/src.

user@localnet:~/src % tar xvf PyQt5_gpl-5.12.2.tar.gz
user@localnet:~/src % cd PyQt5_gpl-5.12.2

Configure, passing the sip binary location.
user@localnet: ~/src/PyQt5_gpl-5.12.2% python3.6 ./ -e QtWebSockets --sip=/usr/local/bin/sip
Copy the sip header into the include directory:
use@localnet:~/src/PyQt5_gpl-5.12.2 % cp /usr/local/include/python3.6/sip.h include/
We only want to install the QtWebSockets module since pkg already installed py36-qt5-core and the other modules we needed, cd into the QtWebSockets dir and run make.

user@localnet:~/src/PyQt5_gpl-5.12.2 % cd QtWebSockets
user@localnet:~/src/PyQt5_gpl-5.12.2/QtWebSockets % make

Install as root
root@localnet: ~/# src/PyQt5_gpl-5.12.2/QtWebSockets # make install
If all goes well, you should see the websockets module in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/PyQt5 as

3. Compile and install ubridge, which is needed to connect switch, router, etc. images.

Git ubridge from and cd into the cloned directory:

user@localnet: ~/src% git clone
user@localnet: ~/src% cd ubridge

Gmake and gmake install as root:

user@localnet:~/src/git/ubridge % gmake
user@localnet:~/src/git/ubridge % gmake install

4. At last, we can install gns3 using pip. I installed locally with the --user flag, as advised by the pip installation's warning.

pip install --user gns3-gui gns3-server
This will install gns3 binaries in ~/.local/bin​


New Member

Messages: 1

Thanks for all help. I'm new for this system and I try to use it and install gns3. I was facing some issue and as your guide I try with some different installation full packages.
I install Qt5 from pkg and then install py-Qt5 after that install py-Qt5-websockets and continue with your guide.


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Reaction score: 1
Messages: 2

Hi there, I tried following your guide but when I ran "python3.7 ./ -e QtWebSockets --sip=/usr/local/bin/sip-module-3.7"
I got the following:
Querying qmake about your Qt installation...
Determining the details of your Qt installation...
This is the GPL version of PyQt 5.15.2 (licensed under the GNU General Public
License) for Python 3.7.9 on freebsd12.

Type 'L' to view the license.
Type 'yes' to accept the terms of the license.
Type 'no' to decline the terms of the license.

Do you accept the terms of the license? yes
Found the license file pyqt-gpl.sip.
Installing sip.h in /usr/home/danny/Downloads/PyQt5-5.15.2/include...
Checking to see if the dbus support module should be built...
Qt v5.15.2 is being used.
The qmake executable is /usr/local/bin/qmake.
Qt is built as a shared library.
SIP 5.5.0 is being used.
The sip executable is /usr/local/bin/sip-module-3.7.
These PyQt5 modules will be built: QtWebSockets.
The PyQt5 Python package will be installed in
PyQt5 is being built with generated docstrings.
The Designer plugin will be installed in /usr/local/lib/qt5/plugins/designer.
The qmlscene plugin will be installed in /usr/local/lib/qt5/plugins/PyQt5.
The QScintilla API file will be installed in
The PyQt5 PEP 484 stub files will be installed in
The dbus support module will be installed in
The PyQt5 .sip files will be installed in /usr/local/share/sip/PyQt5.
pyuic5, pyrcc5 and pylupdate5 will be installed in /usr/local/bin.
The interpreter used by pyuic5 is /usr/local/bin/python3.7.
Generating the C++ source for the QtWebSockets module...
Error: Unable to create the C++ code.

From a search I did, this seems to be an issue with the compiler (I have gcc 9_4 installed via pkg install). I am running FreeBSD 12.2 Release. How can I get around this error? I'm not a programmer so I have no idea of where to start.