Cisco Packet Tracer 8.x new features

Packet Tracer 8.0.1 vs GNS3 2.2

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 and GNS3 v2.2 have been released a few days ago. GNS3 v2.2 provides a new HyperV GNS3 VM and link status detection on QEMU. Check download page !


Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 and GNS3 v2.2 are two major network simulation software used for certification exam training (Cisco CCNA and CCNP for example) or network feature test without having to buy expensive real world equipment. The two software have been designed to address different needs.

Packet Tracer is a network simulator and embeds only limited real equipment features. GNS3 is a network emulator based on Dynamips and QEMU running real IOS images, virtual machines, ... The main limitation of GNS3 is the amount of ressources (CPU / memory) available on the PC for running the lab's emulated IOS images and virtual machines for clients & servers simulation.

GNS3 v2.2 official release is now available for download on GNS3 website. This new version released on September 30, 2019 with hyperV virtual machine and link status detection on QEUM. GNS3 also introduced support of new L4 / L7 devices :

  • Cisco security devices  : this powerful network emulator now supports new Cisco security appliance to help network and security administrators to prepare security certification exams : Cisco Firepower Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS) threat appliances, Cisco Firepower Threat Defense Virtual NGFW appliances and Firepower Management Center Virtual.
  • Citrix ADC VPX load-balancer now available on GNS3 marketplace

Current GNS3 build is 2.2.25 as of September 14, 2021.



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Packet Tracer 8.0.0 released for download

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 build 64 has been released !  Have a look at Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 new features.

Packet Tracer 8.0.0 main new features are :

  • A new SDN network controller device emulating controllers like APIC-EM or Cisco DNA center
  • API programming capabilities which can be accessed from the host PC using real world programming tools (curl, Python 3, VS code, ....).
  • Changes and improvements for IoT and IOS15 devices
  • Improved support for IPv6
  • Added ability to make the application be the default for PTSA assessments

User interface improvements:

  • New user interface appearance
  • New Packet Tracer splash screen
  • Added new Window menu showing all top-level windows of the application
    • Lists configuration dialogs, activity window, etc.
    • Allows to enter/exit full screen mode.
  • Improved Accessibility of application GUI :
    • Better screen reader and tab order
    • New default color theme.

Physical view new features :

  • Cable Pegboards for cable inventory
  • Shelves for device inventory
  • Realistic interactive management and visualization of cabled connections
  • Ability to view the invisible side of a device in a rack (front or rear)
  • Interactive cabling on device ports located on the invisible side of the device (front or rear)
  • Ability to stack devices on tables
  • Device context menus

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.0 new splash screen

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Packet Tracer 8.0.1 released for download !

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 build has been relaesed for download on Cisco Netacad website. This is a maintenance release of Packet Tracer 8.0.0 correcting various bugs  and removing guest login at startup.

Packet Tracer 8.0.0 main new features were:

  • An enhanced physical mode view which introduces a new virtual lab for a more realistic equipement cabling experience (racking, stacking, cable choice and cable management, ...). Experience is still far away from a real network room cabling experience ...
  • A new SDN network controller emulating real world Cisco controller such as APIC-EM or Cisco DNA center. The controller can be accessed from the real world network and programmed through it's web API using Python, Postman, ...

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 splash screen

As guest login option has now been removed by Cisco, a valid or a account is now require to use Packet Tracer 8.0.1

The “Keep me logged in” feature provides simplified login experience by giving you access to Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 for 3 month without needing to re-enter your credentials each time. Using the “Keep me logged in” feature is only recommended for private computers.

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 Netacad and SkillsForAll login page

What's new in Packet tracer 7.4.0T ?

Reference to a new Cisco Packet Tracer 7.4.0T version appeared in a November 2020 Cisco DevNet Associate webinar. Current build number available for download in support to the DevNet Associate course is Packet Tracer

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.4.0T splash screen in DEVASC virtual machine

The New Packet Tracer 7.4.0T version is provided in a DEVASC virtual machine embedding all the lab tools required for the Netacad DevNet Associate course. The DEVASC virtual machine can be downloaded from the Cisco NetAcad AWS S3 repository.

Does Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.x support the DevNet Associate course?
No. The DevNet Associate course is using a special build of Packet Tracer 7.4.0T for Network
Automation, that adds an SDN Controller model to Packet Tracer. This build of Packet Tracer is currently
only available in the DEVASC VM.

Where can I find the Packet Tracer 7.4.0T for Network Automation?
Packet Tracer 7.4.0T for Network Automation adds an SDN Controller model to Packet Tracer. This build of Packet Tracer is currently only available in the DEVASC VM. Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.0 embedding the same Network Automation feature can now be downloaded from Netacad website.


What is the DEVASC virtual machine?

The DEVASC virtual machine is a VirtualBox virtual machine based on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux with Mate Desktop environment which is used for lost of the labs of the Cisco DevNet DEVASC course. It is provided as an OVA archive and brings all the software tools required to complete the DEVASC labs :

  • Python & Python modules
  • Docker
  • VS Code : code editor
  • git: source version management
  • Chromium : web browser
  • Postman : useful to interact with REST API
  • sqlitebrowser: browse and edit sqlite databases
  • Drawio : Draw network architectures
  • Cisco Packet Tracer 7.4.0T for Network Automation
  • Ansible : deployment automation
  • [ ...]


New hardware - SDN Network Controller device

Packet Tracer 7.4.0T includes a new SDN Network Controller device with programming capabilities to manage, monitor, and configure network devices through a graphical user interfgace and a REST API.

A "Cisco Packet Tracer Northbound API" is also included in this new Packet Tracer version. It enables students to access the network controller using REST interface over HTTP and to program Pythpn scripts using PC device Programming Tab.

Packet Tracer 7.4.0T new Network Controller connected to PC device with crossover cable

A crossover cable is required to connect the PC device to the network controller.

Check Packet Tracer 8.0.0 released for download article for details about python network programmability.

What's new in Packet Tracer 6.2 ?

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.4.0T and 8.0.0 have been released ! Current build is Packet Tracer Have a look at Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.0 new features.


Packet Tracer 6.2 has been released in february 2015 with version number (Packet Tracer 6.2 build 52). This new version is available in two versions which can be downloaded on Cisco networking Academy (netacad) platform : "Cisco Packet Tracer Student" and "Cisco Packet Tracer Instructor".

Packet Tracer 6.2 fixes several bugs reported in previous versions and includes a new Cisco 819 router, a wired sniffer with repeater functionnality and some new 3G/4G devices (3G/4G cell tower and central office (CO) server) as well as 3G/4G support for end devices (phone, tablet, server, ...)

Packet Tracer 6.2 is fully supported on Windows 7 and Windows 8 or 8.1. Support for Windows XP has been stopped by Cisco in this new version.


Packet Tracer 6.2 new features :

HTTP server (server device) :

  • Javascript and CSS support
  • HTTP and FTP linked file management support
  • Externel file import inside Packet Tracer HTTP server

New devices :

  • Cisco 819 Integrated Service Router with wlan access point capability and 3G/4G connectivity
  • 3G/4G telephony cell tower
  • 3G/4G central office (CO) server with coaxial connectivity with up to 8 cell towers
  • Wired sniffer with repeater functionnality


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