What are the main differences between GNS3, Cisco Packet tracer and EVE-NG?

Detailed explanations would be appreciated.

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There's a fundamental distinction to make first, between a simulator and an emulator.

A simulator is a program that replicate the behavior of the simulated device . It is as faithful to the original device as the programmer make it, but cannot be 100% accurate, because it doesn't run the same code at all.

Cisco Packet Tracer is a simulator. It only contains features that Cisco felt needed to teach CCNA level courses, and doesn't incorporate many advanced features that may exist in Cisco IOS or other Cisco products.

An emulator on the other end simulate devices on which you can run real software, like Cisco IOS. Those emulated device may not have all the hardware feature you could find in some routers, but since you run the real operating system, you have all the feature of this OS, and the true behavior of this OS, limited by the performance of the emulating program and the hardware it runs on.

Cisco VIRL is an emulator. As you can guess from the name it is made by Cisco and support only Cisco devices. Also, it is not free.

GNS3 is another emulator, open source, that originally aimed at emulating Cisco devices but now support much more.

In the Juniper world you also have Olive.

So when considering those software you must consider if a simulator is good enough for your need or if you need to emulate real OSes, and which kind of devices you want to simulate, then compare the features of each software versus your need.


Packet tracer is a basic CCNA level network simulator and it support few functionalities on CCNP R&S as well. It is not supported any advanced Level Routing or switching configurations such as PBR, Advanced BGP option, MPLS....etc.

GNS3 is a very good and advanced level networking simulator and it is supported to many Cisco certifications. But it is mainly supported for Routing functions and it is not specialized in Switching simulations. However GNS3 has been supported to CCNA to CCIE (R&S,Datacenter,security....etc).

Additionally,It is supported many other technologies as well. Fortigate, F5, Virtualization,SDN, Pfsense... and many more technologies are supported to GNS3.

I am not much aware about EVE-NG, only one thing what i know is, It is advanced than Packet tracer.

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