HOWTO: Run pfSense nanobsd in VirtualBox

There’s a very useful howto on the pfsense forums showing step-by-step how to run pfSense in virtualbox:

  1. Get Oracle VirtualBox from https://www.virtualbox.org/ or from the repo of your distribution. Works in Windows, Linux too.
  2. Download a VGA-enabled nanobsd version of pfSense from here. For example pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-i386-nanobsd_vga.img.gz.
  3. Decompress the .gz to get a plain disk image .img file (you need pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-i386-nanobsd_vga.img)
  4. Convert the disk image to a virtual hard disk using this command:
    1. Code: VBoxManage convertfromraw pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-i386-nanobsd_vga.img pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-i386-nanobsd_vga.vdi
    2. Don’t worry if the .vdi file will be much smaller. It will actually be a dynamic virtual disk, which physically occupies only the amount of data which is not empty.
  5. Create a new virtual machine in VirtualBox, using these settings:
    1. Enable IO APIC
    2. 512MB of RAM (or more, I guess)
    3. no audio, no USB
    4. 2 network adapters, first bridged to your physical NIC, second “Host-Only Adapter”, both Intel PRO/1000 T Server. Untick “Cable connected”
    5. a serial port, just to be sure
    6. use as hard disk the .vdi image you created in step 4
  6. Boot up the virtual machine, let pfSense start up
  7. Assign network interfaces as usual, to simulate cable connection open “Network Adapters” window and tick back  “Cable connected” when appropriate. Make the first (em0) as WAN, the second (em1) as LAN.
  8. Set manually IP address of LAN to 192.168.56.10 (or any IP within your “Host-Only Adapter network”)
  9. Type your LAN address in your browser and you’re in!

pfSense 2.0.1, load balancing and pfSense Cookbook

 

pfSense is a powerful, open source, free and FreeBSD based firewall and security solution. The follwoing are three links you may be interested in if you use or would like to use pfSense.

pfSense 2.0.1 announcement

Chris Buechler has announced the release of pfSense 2.0.1. This is a maintenance release with some bug and security fixes since 2.0 release. This is the recommended release for all installations.

How To Use pfSense to load balance your Web Servers

This howto shows you how to configure pfSense 2.0 as a load balancer for your web servers. It is assumed that you already have a pfSense box and at least 2 Apache servers installed and running on your network, and that you have some pfSense knowledge.

How To Use pfSense To Load Balance Your Web Server

pfSense Cookbook

There’s a great pfSense reference book published earlier this year, pfSense 2 Cookbook. It’s great for network admins, but also the casuel pfSense user. It’s a preatical, example-driven guide to configure the simple and the most advanced features for pfSense.

The chapters in the book are:

  • Initial Configuratino
  • Essential Services
  • General Configuration
  • Virtual Private Networking
  • Advance Configuration
  • Redundancy, load balancing and fail over
  • Services and maintenance
  • Appendix 1 – Monitoring and logging
  • Appendix 2 – Determining hardware requirements

The book is full with screenshots, explaining all the different settings.

You can “look inside” book: pfSense Cookbook

FreeBSD quick news and links (GhostBSD, Centreon, FreeBSD Dev, iXsystems)

GhostBSD 2.5: A GNOME-ified FreeBSD 9.0

If you want to try out FreeBSD 9.0 this holiday but are not turned on by the actual FreeBSD 9.0 install and setup process, nor find the KDE desktop of PC-BSD 9.0 enjoyable, you may want to try out GhostBSD 2.5.

GhostBSD 2.5: A GNOME-ified FreeBSD 9.0


Centreon 2.3.3 on FreeBSD 9

This tutorial will guide the user to complete the installation of Centreon on FreeBSD. We will be using an installation on a FreeBSD 9.0-PRERELEASE kernel version, kernel version does not influence the tutorial.

What is the Centreon? Centreon is a powerful tool for monitoring hosts and services, it is a frontend that works on top of Nagios, adding many features for viewing and alert history, status, etc. ..

Centreon 2.3.3 on FreeBSD 9


Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Gets Ready For FreeBSD 9.0

It’s not only the FreeBSD and PC-BSD camps gearing up for the imminent release of FreeBSD 9.0, but Debian developers have already been gearing up for the major update of this leading BSD distribution as they prepare to pull in its new kernel.

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Gets Ready For FreeBSD 9.0


Top 6 Linux and BSD graphical installation programs

PC-BSD’s installation setup is one of them: Top 6 Linux and BSD graphical installation programs.


FreeBSD Development over 13 Years

This video shows the visual development of FreeBSD with its committers.

iXsystems Haiku Contest

Do you have the creativity/humor/love for FreeBSD and PC-BSD? Then submit an original haiku poem.

Here at iXsystems we always love hearing what you have to say, and what better way to celebrate the upcoming PC-BSD 9.0 release than indulging in some creative writing? We’ll gladly give away a PC-BSD shirt to the winner, and immortalize his/her haiku up on our Facebook and Google+ sites. (via)

bsdtalk210 – James Nixon from iXsystems

Interview with James Nixon from iXsystems at the LISA 2011 conference in Boston.

bsdtalk210 – James Nixon from iXsystems


BSDs ‘lost’ just because of this phone number 1-800-ITS-UNIX

BSD ‘lost’ because of a phone number? Nonsense.

Four of the BSD guys had just formed a company to sell BSD commercially. They even had a nice phone number: 1-800-ITS-UNIX. That phone number did them and me in. AT&T sued them over the phone number and the lawsuit took 3 years to settle. That was precisely the period Linux was launched and BSD was frozen due to the lawsuit

Interview with Andrew Tanenbaum


FreeBSD Security Advisories

PAMPAM_sshtelnetdchroot, and bind.

pfSense private cloud, and pfSense jobs

Ray has been testing and playing around with pfSense for a month, and has decided he’s going to set up a private cloud: pfSense + 1 Public IP = Home Cloud.

Now that I’ve ben running pfSense for a problem-free month it’s time to start using it for more than cool charts and graphs. My first goal is to be able to make multiple servers available from the internet. I’ve got Windows Home Server v1 and Windows Home Server 2011 servers running and ready to go. Once those are going I’ll want to add my development web server to the mix so I can do development and testing from outside the home. I’ve spent some time testing various options and I’ve settled on a solution that I think will work. At least all the individual pieces work, time to see if they fit together.

The main obstacle for me is that I have one public IP which needs to address the various internal servers. Those internal servers run the same services on the same ports. The nature of NAT port forwarding is all traffic coming into the WAN connection for a port gets forwarded to the same computer. I can’t parse port 80 (http/web) traffic and make a decision where it needs to go. This is the major obstacle. Another minor issue is that my public IP is dynamic and can change whenever Comcast wants to change it. (Although when I want it to change it’s surprisingly hard to do).

Another requirement is that I use my own domain, and not just a subdomain of some DDNS provider.

Full post: pfSense +1  public ip = home Cloud

pfSense Jobs

If you’re interested in pfSense freelance jobs, have a look here: https://www.elance.com/r/jobs/q-pFsense. There’s one job at the moment.

pfSense, 7 years young. Congratulations

pfSense is Seven

The pfSense  (which stands for…) project exists 7 years this week, well, that is the age of the pfSense domain. I’m sure the project existed long before that in Chris Buechler, the project founder’s head.

Congratulations to Chris and his team for the great job they’re doing and all the work they’ve done so far. According to some update stats there are currently ca. 100,000 known live pfSense installs.

pfSense and PBI’s

Some say that PC-BSD‘s PBI package format is not needed in addition to other *BSD ways of installing software, and that it’s “un-UNIX”. I think it’s a very user-friendly, point-and-click way for installing software, and advanced users don’t need to use it.

It’s great to see that not only FreeNAS, the NAS O/S, but also pfSense will be supporting PBI packages in the future:

Moving packages to PBIs – the package system in 2.1 will switch to using the PBI package system, originally from PC-BSD, though also used by some on stock FreeBSD installs. The benefit of using PBIs is each package has all its dependencies included in the package, which eliminates the dependency messes that can happen currently, such as one package requiring a certain version of a dependent package but another requiring a different version, uninstallation of one package stomping on another package by uninstalling a dependency it requires, uninstallation of a package breaking the base system by deleting things it uses (though we already work around that one automatically), easing clean uninstall of packages, amongst other benefits. This will be a great improvement in the package system for 2.1. (source)

If you’re looking for a feature rich (BSD) firewall, why not consider pfSense?

How to configure a pfSense 2.0 Cluster using CARP

howtoforge.com has a easy to follow tutorial (How to configure a pfSense 2.0 Cluster using CARP) showing you how to set up a pfSense cluster with CARP.

In this HowTo I will show you how to configure a pfSense 2.0 Cluster using CARP Failover. pfSense is quite a advanced (open-source) firewall being used everywhere from homes to enterprise level networks, I have been playing around with pfsense now for the last 3 months and to be honest I am not looking back, it is packed full of features and can be deployed easily within minutes depending on your requirements.

This howto is based on this tutorial on pfSense’s website: Configuring pfSense Hardware Redundancy (CARP).

 

Released: pfSense 2.0

Chris Buechler has announced pfSense 2.0: 2.0 Release available

I’m proud to announce the release of version 2.0. This brings the past three years of new feature additions, with significant enhancements to almost every portion of the system. The changes and new features are summarized here. This is by far the most widely deployed release we’ve put out, thanks to the efforts of thousands of members of the community

Read the release post for update instructions, training sessions, credit, documentation etc

Links: pfSense website | Features and changes | Downloads