Book Image

Mastering pfSense - Second Edition

By : David Zientara
Book Image

Mastering pfSense - Second Edition

By: David Zientara

Overview of this book

pfSense has the same reliability and stability as even the most popular commercial firewall offerings on the market – but, like the very best open-source software, it doesn’t limit you. You’re in control – you can exploit and customize pfSense around your security needs. Mastering pfSense - Second Edition, covers features that have long been part of pfSense such as captive portal, VLANs, traffic shaping, VPNs, load balancing, Common Address Redundancy Protocol (CARP), multi-WAN, and routing. It also covers features that have been added with the release of 2.4, such as support for ZFS partitions and OpenVPN 2.4. This book takes into account the fact that, in order to support increased cryptographic loads, pfSense version 2.5 will require a CPU that supports AES-NI. The second edition of this book places more of an emphasis on the practical side of utilizing pfSense than the previous edition, and, as a result, more examples are provided which show in step-by-step fashion how to implement many features.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)

Technical requirements

The following equipment is required for installing and configuring pfSense 2.4:

  • A 64-bit Intel, AMD, or ARM-based system with a 500 MHz processor or greater, at least 512 MB of RAM, and 1 GB of disk space onto which pfSense will be installed
  • A USB thumb drive with at least 1 GB of disk space, or blank CD media if you prefer using optical media, which will serve as the installation media
  • Internet access, for downloading pfSense binaries
  • A second computer system, for accessing the pfSense web GUI
  • An Ethernet switch and cabling, or a crossover cable, for connecting the second computer system to the pfSense system

If you want to try out pfSense without doing an actual installation, you can create a pfSense virtual machine. While this chapter does not provide a guide to installing pfSense into a virtual environment, I recommend the following for running pfSense in a virtual machine:

  • A 64-bit Intel or AMD-based system with a 2 GHz processor or greater, at least 8 GB of RAM, and enough disk space to accommodate the virtual hard drive (likely 8 GB or greater)
  • Either a Type 1 or Type 2 hypervisor:
    • Type 1 (bare-metal hypervisor; runs directly on the hardware):
      • VMware ESXi
      • Microsoft Hyper-V
    • Type 2 (requires an OS):
      • Proxmox (Linux)
      • Oracle VM VirtualBox (Linux, Windows, mac OS, Solaris)

Most likely you will have to create two virtual machines: one into which pfSense will be installed, and a second from which you will access the web GUI and test the functionality of the virtual pfSense system.