Cisco Certified Network Associate certification has become must for anybody who wishes to start a career in networking. This certification validates that you have the ability to install, configure and troubleshoot a network. You need lot of practice for achieving success in this exam. Apart from the labs where you are getting trained for CCNA what if you had a chance to practice at home. Or what if you want to self learn for CCNA? Well for both of the questions above, Cisco Packet Tracer is the perfect answer. To quote from Cisco’s official website, Packet tracer is
“a powerful network simulation program that allows students to experiment with network behavior and ask “what if” questions.”
It further says,
“The simulation-based learning environment helps students develop 21st century skills such as decision making, creative and critical thinking, and problem solving. Packet Tracer complements the Networking Academy curricula, allowing instructors to easily teach and demonstrate complex technical concepts and networking systems design.”
Nothing could have defined that better. This software is available for free from Cisco’s website provided you are a registered Networking Academy student, alumni, instructor, or administrator. Even if you are not one among the above you could still get hold of this software, just google it.
Now I’m gonna show you how to install packet tracer in Windows and Linux.
Any installation in Windows is just clicks and mouse and the same applies to Packet tracer. Click on the exe file downloaded. The below screen appears. Select “I accept the agreement” and click on “Next”.
Setup will show the folder in which the program’s shortcuts will be created. If you want to change the folder, you can change it. Click on “Next”.
Then the program will ask whether to create a Desktop icon and create a Quick Launch icon. Make your own choice and click on “Next”.
Then the summary of the settings we selected is displayed. Click on “Install”.
The installation starts as shown below.
In seconds, installation gets completed and the below screen is shown. Click on “Finish”.
Then the below popup appears asking you to close or restart your computer. Click on “OK”.
As we selected Launch option, Packet tracer is automatically launched.
To install Packet Tracer in Linux, we need a .deb package of Packet tracer which can be downloaded from here. Now I am going to install it in Ubuntu Precise Pangolin (12.04). Download the above file to the desktop.
Start the terminal and see your current working directory by typing “pwd”. If the current directory is not desktop move to the Desktop directory using “cd”. After reaching the Desktop directory, type “ls” to see if the packet tracer binary is there.
Left click on the packet tracer .bin file displayed after typing “ls” above, the entire word will be selected. Then right click and select copy. Now type “chmod +x” and then hit “CTRL+SHIFT+V “to paste the text we copied above. Our command should look like this.
chmod +x PacketTracer533_i386_installer-deb.bin
What chmod +x command does is that it gives all users permission to execute.
Then type “./PacketTracer533_i386_installer-deb.bin” in the terminal. This will start extracting the binary package.
Then terminal prompts us to hit Enter to read the End User License Agreement. Enter.
After displaying a rather long EULA, terminal asks us if we accept the terms of EULA. Type “Y”.
Then system asks us for the sudo password. Type the password and hit Enter.
When the installation is finished, close the terminal, go to Dashboard, if packet tracer is not seen, type ‘pac’ in the search box. When Packet Tracer is shown, click on it.
A message box shows up saying that we are starting packet tracer for the first time and our files will be stored in a specific folder. Click on “OK”.
Another message box pops up. Click on “OK”.
Packet tracer is started.