- How to install the PfSense firewall on a virtual machine - Thu, Sep 22 2022
Minimum hardware requirements
The minimum hardware requirements are as follows:
CPU: 64-bit amd64 (x86-64) compatible
RAM: 1 GB or more
Disk drive: 8 GB or larger
Network interface: One or more
In this tutorial, we will install PfSense 2.6.0 on a VMware virtual machine, with the specifications mentioned above. After installation, the machine will act as a firewall and network segment device.
First, visit the PfSense download page and select your computer architecture and platform. Here, we've chosen AMD64 (64-bit) with USB Memstick Installer.
After the download is complete, create an ISO image. For a physical installation, create bootable USB media. Make sure that your BIOS settings have "boot from USB media" enabled. In my case, I created the ISO image and attached it to my VM for the booting.
Reboot the target machine.
As the PfSense setup starts booting, a prompt is displayed with some options and a countdown timer. At this prompt, press 1 for the default installation of PfSense. If we don't choose any option, it will start to boot option 1 by default.
On the next screen, you'll be asked to configure the console. Just click Accept to move forward with the installation process.
Proceed with the Install option and select OK.
Select your keyboard language.
Select the Auto Z file system, which is recommended for the FreeBSD architecture, and click OK.
Next, select the disk on which you want to install PfSense. In my case, I am choosing my available dedicated virtual storage on VMware.
Wait while the setup extracts the installation files.
After completion, setup will give you the option to open a shell to modify your configuration. Select No and proceed.
Reboot the machine to get the GUI session of your PfSense installation.
After restarting, you'll see the PfSense interface. The PfSense LAN interface automatically gets the 192.168.1.1/24 IP address by default.
In my case, I have two interfaces on my PfSense machine:
em0 for WAN connectivity, which gets the 10.144.87.67/16 IP address.
em1 for LAN connectivity, which gets the 192.168.1.1/24 IP address by default.
Now go to your browser and type https://192.168.1.1 to get GUI access to your PfSense installation. Since we didn't install a PfSense self-signed certificate, we will receive notification that the connection is not private.
Click Proceed to 192.168.1.1 (unsafe) to display the login window.
Enter the default username and password, which are admin and PfSense, respectively.
The PfSense GUI is displayed.