From time to time I will provide updated versions of already existing tutorials, this time it’s pfSense 2.3.3 installation step by step. There were minor changes in the installation process and this time we will also use the provided pfSense Installation Wizard and try out how well it performs. Read on.
For this tutorial, I will install pfSense on Virtual Box, with 3 Network Interfaces assigned to it. Let’s get started with it.
Part 1 Running pfSense basic installation
Be aware to make the correct choice for your purpose, there is a special installer for NanoBSD or the installation over a Serial Console on an embedded device like an APU1D4 for example.
There are tutorials on how to create a bootable USB stick on there too. We will not cover that here as you should be familiar with how to do so when you want to use pfSense in the first place 🙂
1.1 Running pfSense basic installation - You can either wait 10 Seconds for the installer to continue or hit 1 for Boot Multi User
1.2 Running pfSense basic installation - Now Select the Keymap of your choice (German one for me) and hit Accept these Settings
1.3 Running pfSense basic installation - Of course we want the Quick/Easy Install - Select it and hit Enter
1.4 Running pfSense basic installation - Confirm that you are sure that you want to erase all contents on the hard drive
1.5 Running pfSense basic installation - Choose Standard Kernel for a installation on a normal device with keyboard and VGA console - Choose Embedded kernel for a embedded device without a VGA console or Keyboard
1.6 Running pfSense basic installation - After a short while the installation process is finished and pfSense wants to reboot, don't forget to remove your bootable device first and hit Reboot
1.7 - Running pfSense basic installation - After pfSense is booted, you can see the IP Address of 192.168.1.1/24 and that it is up and running - A DHCP Server is automatically set up to distribute from the IP Range of 192.168.1.100-200, so your device will automatically catch an IP
This is also a difference between this version of the installer and earlier versions, in earlier versions you were still required to specify a LAN and a WAN interface, this is now assigned automatically, but can be changed at any time.
Part 2 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface
Now the basic installation is done, connect a device to the LAN interface and open a web browser.
2.1 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Open a Web Browser and enter the address: https://192.168.1.1 - Click on advanced and Add a security exception.
You can create a self-signed certificate later to ensure a secure connection, I got you covered on how to do that.
2.2 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Log in to the Web Interface with the credentials: Username: admin Password: pfsense
This is the first time we use the pfSense initial configuration wizard – it quickly runs you through all the important steps, I was satisfied with the result.
2.3 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Click Next
2.4 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Choose a Hostname and Domain if applicable, leave everything else as default and hit Next
2.5 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Select your timezone accordingly and let the time server on default or choose one of your flavor
Time to configure your WAN interface, this depends on what kind of connection you have, we in Germany mostly use PPPoE as Type and got provided with credentials from our ISP.
Research the proper MTU size for your connection and enter it here and if possible on your Modem.
2.6 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Change the type to PPPoE - Adjust MTU Size
2.7 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Now enter the credentials provided by your ISP. If you don't know in which format to enter them, use Google, the information will be out there
2.8 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Leave the rest as it is and click Next
2.9 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Leave the LAN IP Address as default or change to your flavor - Click Next
2.10 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Change your administrator password - Click Next Protip: Don't change it to pfsense 🙂
2.11 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Finally hit reload to reload your box with the just configured settings
If you did everything correctly, your pfSense should now be connected to the Internet, you can see this on the Dashboard and on the connection state of your WAN Interface.
We do one last thing, assuming you don’t get a static IP from your ISP, your internet connection will reset every 24 hours. We want to move this reset time to a time when you are not at home or awake or let’s say to a time when you can live with a short interruption of the connection.
2.12 pfSense basic configuration via Web Interface - Go to Interfaces / WAN - Scroll down to PPPoE configuration - Change periodic reset to custom - Enter a time of your flavor (for me it's 04AM)
There is also a video up on my YouTube Channel, although the video doesn’t use the Wizard, so you can choose which way you prefer to do it 🙂
So that’s that. It really is a breeze to install pfSense (If you don’t have to do it with a Serial Cable 🙂 )
- Firewall Micro Appliance With 4x Gbe Intel Lan Ports for PFSense
- Firewall Micro Appliance with 2x Gbe Intel LAN Ports for PFSense Barebone
- Firewall micro appliance with 4x Gigabit Intel LAN Ports for pfSense with 4GB RAM / 16GB mSATA
- Firewall micro appliance with 2x Gigabit Intel LAN Ports for pfSense with 2GB RAM / 16GB mSATA
above are of equal quality.