NetMan - pfSense

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Now on Wiki.NerdMage.Ca

Download pfSense

Where to get it


See that nifty screencap over there on the right?

Look at it again.

It's important...

Stuff it onto a thumbdrive

(really should create command-line instructions for this part)

If working from a Linux Mint machine GUI, right-click & extract the .gz file. Then right-click the resulting .img file & select "Make bootable USB stick".

If working from one of those crappy Windows machines, use Rufus...

If you're playing with a Mac... Yer on yer own for now.

Configure the Hardware

You'll want either a dual NIC or 2 (or more...) NICs.

A hard drive (or SSD) could come in rather handy...

Install pfSense

  • Boot your machine from the thumbdrive. (UEFI is just fine...)
  • Accept the copyright.
  • Select "Install"
  • Select "Continue with default keymap" (or, really, any keymap you like...)
  • Select "Auto (UFS)
  • Choose your disk for the install
    • I'd suggest only having one disk in the machine...
  • Select "Entire Disk
    • Yes... Proceed.
  • Select GPT (GUID Partition Table)
  • Hit "Finish"
  • Hit "Commit"
  • Watch the pretty progress screens... (Or ignore it until it's done... Your choice...)
  • When you see the "Manual Configuration" screen, Hit "No"
  • Hit "Reboot"
  • Go back & configure the machine to actually boot from the drive you installed pfSense onto...

Initial Configuration of pfSense

On first boot, pfSense will ask "Should VLANs be set up now [y|n]?"

Don't bother...

  • Select your WAN interface
    • bce0 on this test machine (T310)
  • Select your LAN interface
    • bce1 on this test machine (T310)
  • Verify they're selected properly & say yes.
  • Watch all the "done" messages scroll by (or not... again, your choice...)

After a moment or 3, you'll see the console menu.

*** Welcome to pfSense 2.4.5-RELEASE (amd64) on pfSense ***
 WAN (wan)       -> bce0       -> v4/DHCP4:
 LAN (lan)       -> bce1       -> v4:

 0) Logout (SSH only)                  9) pfTop
 1) Assign Interfaces                 10) Filter Logs
 2) Set interface(s) IP address       11) Restart webConfigurator
 3) Reset webConfigurator password    12) PHP shell + pfSense tools
 4) Reset to factory defaults         13) Update from console
 5) Reboot system                     14) Enable Secure Shell (sshd)
 6) Halt system                       15) Restore recent configuration
 7) Ping Host                         16) Restart PHP-FPM
 8) Shell

Enter an option:

It's ALIVE!!!

Configuring pfSense from here...

At this point, you should be able to connect to the LAN port & point a web browser at

This is the Web-UI...

Default login is:

  • Username: admin
  • Password: pfsense

Change this. Do it NOW!

If you have the WAN port connected to the Internet, you should actually be capable of accessing the outside world right now.

Menu Structure

All the fancy stuff

(Coming soonTM... PromiseTM...)

Troubleshooting & Repair

Clearing the DNS Forwarder Cache


To clear the DNS Forwarder cache, restart the dnsmasq daemon as follows:

Click Status / Services

Find dnsmasq in the list

Click Fa-repeat.png, or stop the service using Fa-stop-circle.png then start again with Fa-play-circle.png.

Restarting the daemon will clear the internal cache, but the client PCs may still have cached entries.

Flushing the ARP Cache

Click Diagnostics / Command Prompt

arp -d -a

Port Forwarding

Connecting to the VPN machine through the firewall

Notes & Tips

If you want to be able to ping your network from the outside, Go into Firewall / Rules / WAN & create a rule to allow ICMP.


To adjust the size of your subnet on the internal LAN connections:

Here's a handy Subnet Cheat Sheet

Some Links