GNS3 with Tabbed Terminal in Mac OSX Lion

I have used GNS3 off and on for a long time. Over time, I struggled with the stability of the product. Prior to switching to the Mac, a fellow Ascolta Instructor–Patrick Geschwindner, clued me in on something. He had experimented with many IOS images and found some to be more stable than others in GNS3. One that worked particularly well for him was Advanced IP Services 12.4 for the 2691. I unpacked a 12.4-25d Advanced IP Service image and was very pleased. I could run many routers for long periods of time with no issues. This was on Windows 7. However one frustration that continued was the difficulty managing multiple Putty Windows.

In Windows there is a product called PCM that ads tabbed functionality to Putty. It is basically a companion product that leverages Putty. However, I never found an easy way to integrate that into the command line call in GNS3. That leaves the user manually keeping up with what tabs are tied to what devices. Fast forward a few months to when I  switched to a MacBook Pro. What I found is that there is a very easy way do this within the MAC’s default terminal app.

So here is the process for getting tabbed terminal windows on the Mac. In GNS3, press “control” click one of the devices. When the context menu comes up, choose “console”. Repeat this process for each device. This launches the individual terminal windows.

At this point, we can “command” tab to the terminal application. Note that these are still individual windows.

To bring this into a user friendly tabbed view, notice the “Window” menu item at the top of the page. Select “Merge All Windows”.

At this point, the terminal windows should be combined into a single, user friendly, view.

If you have other GNS3 or GNS3 on the Mac tips, we look forward to your comments.

About Paul Stewart, CCIE 26009 (Security)

Paul is a Network and Security Engineer, Trainer and Blogger who enjoys understanding how things really work. With over 15 years of experience in the technology industry, Paul has helped many organizations build, maintain and secure their networks and systems.
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7 Responses to GNS3 with Tabbed Terminal in Mac OSX Lion

  1. Clucas says:


    Thank you for this good tip 🙂

    Best regards.

  2. That was too difficult! Just kidding of course!

    Thanks for the awesome tip!

  3. JP says:

    I use xshell on windows witch is a very good ssh client. It has tabs and a lot of other funcions, including a own shell where you can use, for example, a client ftp.

  4. A says:

    legend thanks!!

  5. senai says:

    You are the best!

    One more question thought. I am struggling with the right click where you paste highlighted prior config to current command line. Any suggestion on that?

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