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Where's my pfsense gurus?

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Uber Folding Senior
Jul 17, 2003
My son bought me a really nice computer enclosure to build my first pfsense router/security.
Amoung other details, it has a low power celeron CPU/GPU. 8 GB DDR4, 256GB NVMe all in a heatsink of an aluminum case. It has 4 x 2.5 Gb LAN which is the main feature he used for this hardware. WOOT! With my 2.5 Gb switch and two 2.5 NICs, I'll have a subnet with some real speed.

I was thinking that pfsense was it's own OS but after looking at the downloads and installation instructions, not so much. I know I could install Win10 and be done but I'm not interested. Linux seems like the best option? The CPU is 64bit so I downloaded the AMD 64bit USB installer.

Once installed, there are a lot of resources to configure but lots of it is *just* over my head. (Nothing goes over my head. I am too fast and I would catch it.)

How do you guys like to install pfsense? Is there a standalone install that I missed? What Linux distro do you prefer for something like this?
It'd be nice to get up to date references to things like this to help keep us relevant to larger audiences. You know, people google searching for these answers.
Without a doubt! It just takes someone with the knowledge to write it up! We're happy to see these and even publish something like it on the front page (same with F@H...). Google eats up "how to's".

Proper titles in threads help google search too. Think about how you search for an answer. Google "How to setup a Pfsense box?" then "where's my pfsense gurus". I'd imagine the returns will be a bit different. The curtains (search terms) should match the sheets (title - at least have the important words). :p
Hi Don,
I believe PFSense is actually an OS. Its based from open-source capabilities of FreeBSD. Another way of looking at PFSense is as a FreeBSD gui for managing routing, firewall, interfaces etc...
Personally I create a bookable USB drive for the installation process.
pfsense is an OS for sure, you download the iso and install it onto the machine, it's not a software that runs in windows or anything like that. it's pretty straight forward on the setup, cept you gotta watch which ports you assign to WAN an LAN then you'll need a switch to split off the lan port. +1 for bootable usb then install it on the local hard drive. the installer will walk you through the setup and even give you hints as to what settings need to be what.

I did get the machine sans RAM and SSD. I installed the 2x4GB DDR4 and the 256 NVMe. I connected it all up and powered it up. Lights up nice and gives a gosh awful beep and then... nothing. No image of anything. I used the Balen etcher to burn the installation to a USB drive. Booted with and without the USB drive but no image of any kind. I didn't troubleshoot further.

Once I do get it up and running, I'll do some playing around. Pre-configure if you will. I'm not going to integrate it until I have some real time to spend on it. One of the reasons I've NOT been working on my network is because most of it works as desired. Especially the part that my wife uses is working fine. If I take it down, I have to be ready to rebuild the whole thing in a worst case senario.

With other projects on the front burners, networking can wait until I'm ready or it fails fully. Which-ever comes first.


Pictures coming. I gotta take it all apart again anyway. It came directly from China with almost no documentation so I'll have to do some invetigatory work on compatible RAM and such.
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