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Lab Guide: How To Build Your Own F5 Lab Environment


There are numerous of reasons why you should set up your own lab environment. Perhaps you are new to F5 or you might be studying for one of their exams. You might even want to evaluate one of their products. Setting up a lab environment is not always straight forward and currently there aren’t that many guides out there that starts from scratch. That is why I have put together this guide in order to assist you with building your first lab environment.


This lab will be installed on your local computer using free for non-commercial use applications. The download components are hosted on which is an organization I’m running together with Steven Iveson.


If you run into any problems using this guide or you find any errors, please comment below or contact me at Together we can keep this document updated. 🙂


The Lab Architecture

So, what are we building? It’s pretty simple yet covers all our needs. These are the computing components;


  • A Linux client running Lubuntu, allowing the use of CLI and GUI based tools and software such as ping, PuTTY (SSH), Filezilla (FTP) and a web browser.


  • A BIG-IP VE running version 13.1.1


  • A Linux server running the Tomcat Apache web server, configured with five virtual hosts, listening on different IP addresses and TCP ports.


We’ll be using these networks;


  • Management - used for configuring the BIG-IP.


  • External - the client-side network connecting the Linux client and BIG-IP; this will be a private (internal) network.


  • Internal - the server-side network connecting the BIG-IP and Linux server; this will be another private (internal) network


  • Client NAT – In order to gain Internet access on the client, we have assigned an interface that operates in NAT mode. Using that interface, we can download additional applications and also assist when we license our BIG-IP through the manual method.


Here’s a diagram to help you visualize the end state:




The full guide is located at the following download mirrors:


I hope you find this guide helpful! 🙂



**Version 1.0 has been tested and verified.


H Philip, well spent effort. I am now trying to use your guide. I have vmware workstation 15.x. Tried to install VMs in it but both server and clients are not booting up. It says "PXE E53: No boot file name received". any thought?


Darn fine initiative Philip.


Thank you very much Inxgeek! 🙂



Good one.. Appreciate this help your doing for all F5 family.


Thank you very much for your kind words Habib! 🙂



Hello. Is it possible to run this lab on Mac PC ? If yes, do you have any documents ? I understood that it is just working on linux or windows.​ i hope i misunderstood. Thanks for your help.

Baris ​

Good one! Thanks for sharing it.

Hi Philip Jonsson,


What all ports are open for the servers?


Can I add 2 different subnet servers over the same internal interface in VMware workstation.

I have server from your site i.e. and servers from subnet When I am adding the servers only is UP not the other one. Self and Float IP configured for both.


Same question is for external side.


Can you please help me it is achieveable or not?


Best Regards,



Hi Philip,


I have set up the lab but where do I find the lab guide to test the functionality.