After spending some time on the subreddit r/homelab I recently purchased a used Dell R720 so that I can setup a proper homelab environment for my studies. Along with that I also purchased Cisco’s CML personal edition so that I can use the supplied images with EVE-NG Pro.

Here’s the images that come with CML.





ASAv Cisco ASA firewall image 9.12.2
CSR 1000v IOS-XE Cloud Services Router 16.11.01b
IOS XRv IOS XR classic image (32-bit, deprecated) 6.3.1
IOS XRv 9000 IOS XR 64-bit image 6.6.2
Nexus 7000v NX-OS layer 3 image (deprecated) 7.3.0.d1.1
Nexus 9000v NX-OS layer 2/3 image 9.2.3
IOSv IOS classic layer 3 image 15.8(3)
IOSv L2 IOS classic layer 2/3 switch image 15.2
Linux Images
TRex Linux-based image with Cisco’s packet generator 2.6.5
WAN Emulator Linux-based image that provides WAN-like delay, jitter, and loss effects to links 3.10
Alpine Linux Desktop Alpine Linux image that provides a graphical, Xfce interface 3.10
Tiny Core Linux Tiny Core Linux server image 8.2.1
Ubuntu 18.04 Full-featured Ubuntu server image using cloud-init YAML configuration 18.04.3 LTS
CoreOS Linux container-focused OS using cloud-init YAML configuration 2135.4.0

As this is all new to me I found Rob Willis‘ YouTube introductory videos on VMware ESXi and installation guides were great for getting me started.

This introduction to EVE-NG, which is a collaboration with INE’s Rohit Pardasani and EVE-NG’s CEO Uldis Dzerkals, along with the EVE cookbook is what I used to get EVE-NG up and running on ESXi.

After a while of testing and tweaking with the native console options thanks to this EVE-NG-integration repo, I’m currently settled with using Remina for both RDP and VNC sessions and Roxterm for terminal access (struggling to get tabbed sessions working with terminator). Along with testing out Waterfox because I wanted a completely separate browser to manage ESXi and EVE-NG. Here’s the final result.

Just wanted to add that the reason I chose native over the HTML5 console was because I was having issues with copying and pasting. It was failing to work on Firefox/waterfox but it works fine in Chrome!

I’m looking forward to setting up some large topologies and being able to play around with server side technologies so that I can start experimenting with things like 802.1 x, parsing syslogs/netflow/snmp, testing security with Kali, automation and so on.

2 Replies to “Homelab”

  1. Appreciate you sharing your steps in setting up your lab. I am in a similar boat and am leaning towards EVE-NG. I have a few questions that maybe you (or someone else can help me with).
    -If I purchase the CML subscription to download the Cisco images to use in EVE-NG, can I continue to use them after the 1 year CML subscription is up?

    -Did you go with EVE-NG community edition or with the paid edition? If you went with the paid edition, why? Also, if someone goes with the paid edition, does the software continue to work after the 1 year is up if I choose not to renew the subscription?

    -Finally, have you ever considered building your lab on a machine in the cloud? For example, I’ve seen some interesting videos/writeup of people hosting EVE-NG on the Google cloud (using nested virtualization).

    Thanks in advance–any help/tips you can provide is much appreciated!

    1. Hey there,

      – Yes, after your subscription ends there’s nothing stopping you from continuing to use those images.
      – I went with the Pro version simply to say thank you to the authors. They’ve got a feature comparison section on their website here, which shows the difference between the community and pro editions.
      – I was aware of it but I didn’t really give it thoughtful consideration. The main issue for me with running it in the cloud is just the unknowns. I’ve read horror stories about people running up insane bills from a misconfiguration, cloud providers changing TOS overnight etc. Also latency and transfer times for large files to and from would be something I’d need to consider. I briefly saw something about being able to run it for free on GCP, if funds were tight that would be something I’d definitely consider.

      The links I’ve provided should be enough to get you up and running. Their cookbook pretty much covers everything, in the event that it doesn’t their online helpdesk is great too.

      All the best!

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