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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My initial experience with pfSense

As good as OpenBSD has been as my gateway router OS, I am pretty sure that I am going to move away from it to one of the pre-packaged routing systems.

Specifically, I am talking about pfSense. pfSense is a distribution of FreeBSD that uses the pf packet filter technology originally from OpenBSD, and actually had its origins as a fork of the m0n0wall project which uses ipfilter. Both systems are extremely powerful, and importantly, easy for me to use, and because I want to stick with pf as my underlying packet filter, I have chosen pfSense.

Installation onto my compact flash driven Compaq Evo D300 Small Form Factor, was very straightforward with the assistance of my card reader, dd, and a null-modem serial cable (after I figured out that installation is done via a serial terminal rather than the screen). Certainly, anyone ready to do an embedded installation of pfsense just with parts lying around their house deserves major geek cred points.

Right now, only 64Mb of the 2Gb flash card is partitioned for use (from the default image), which actually is not really a big deal since its a router. I'm not exactly going to mess with it very often. Maybe. I am forever tinkering with this stuff. But I think that I will leave it until the next distribution update.

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