PFSense not responding at console

  • Hello currently running 2.3.2 and am having problems with pfsense becoming unresponsive.

    Problem seems to happen randomly, sometimes it is a few hours after a reboot, other times it is within a few minutes of a reboot.

    When the problem happens I am not able to access the pfsense website gui or ping pfsense from the LAN.  The console also becomes unresponsive, the console screen is there with all the options (no warnings or errors) but it will not register anything I type on the keyboard.  I have tried unplugging the keyboard and plugging it back in and that does not make a difference.  I don't even see the messages I typically will receive when plugging in or unplugging a keyboard.

    After rebooting the machine (using the physical reboot button) the console comes up and will register what I type into the keyboard and accept commands, at least until it becomes unresponsive again.

    My install of 2.3.2 is new, I just installed it yesterday.  Prior to this I was running 2.2.6 and it was rock solid for months, never had any problems.

    I had originally tried upgrading from 2.2.6 to  2.3.2 but had a lot of issues so I did a clean install of 2.3.2 yesterday and restored a backup config I took a few days ago while I was still running 2.2.6.

    The last time this happened I checked the system log, the last entry I see before the reboot I performed at 08:17 is "check_reload_status  Reloading Filter" at 01:31.  However, when I look at the firewall log I see lots of entries between 01:31 and 08:17 when I performed the reboot.  So it would appear that pfsense is functioning in some capacity but is not responding on the LAN or even at the console.

    My hardware is as follows

    Gigabyte ga-78lmt-usb3 with AMD FX-6300 -
    1x Intel PWLA8391GT NIC
    1x Intel EXPI9301CT NIC

    I am using the RealTek NIC on the Gigabyte motherboard as my WAN.

    I am using the Intel PWLA8391GT NIC as my LAN (it is named LAN2)

    The Intel EXPI9301CT NIC is not currently being used but is setup for LAN (it is named LAN) incase I need to get in because I messed up some firewall rules or mis-configure a vlan or something on LAN2.  This would be the interface pfsense sees as my default LAN (the anti lockout rules are on this interface).

    I know the RealTek NIC has been mentioned as a possible problem in other posts.  Regarding that I am wondering if the driver for the RealTek NIC I am using changed between pfsense 2.2.6 and 2.3.2.  I never had any issues in 2.2.6 but if the driver had changed in 2.3.2 that might be a possible explanation for why the system ran so well with 2.2.6 and does not run well with 2.3.2.

    Or maybe the RealTek NIC has absolutely nothing to do with the issue.  I am not really sure how to troubleshoot from here.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Realtek NICs are generally thought of as bad but I wouldn't expect it to lock up the machine completely like that.

    The machine does not recover by itself then? And there is not crash report or other error logs?

    Try dropping to the command line at the console when you first boot and leaving it there. Check that also becomes unresponsive. Try pressing Ctl+t. That should return what process it is waiting for and for how long. If that doesn't work it really does seem locked. Does the Caps lock or Num lock LED work on the keyboard? If those are not responding it looks more like a hardware issue.


  • No, the machine does not recover by itself.  I just "sits" there until I push the hardware reset button.  I say "sits" there because I am not really sure what it is doing.  I know that I have checked the actual firewall logs and have seen entries in there long after the machine has become unresponsive.  I've also check the system logs and see nothing for hours when I typically see at least one line every 90 minutes to two hours during off hours.

    I do not see any messages or errors on the console screen and I don't see anything in the system logs that jumps out at me.  Next time it happens I will post the full log.

    I will try dropping to the command line at the console and wait for the problem to happen again to see if anything pops up.

    I am not familiar with Ctl+t, I will try that next time as well.  However, when the problem has happened in the past the console will not register anything I type in the keyboard so I am not sure how far I will get with that.  I know I have tried hitting Ctl+c a bunch of times when the problem occurs and nothing appears to registers.

    When the problem happens I typically have the keyboard unplugged and need to plug it in.  When I plug it in, none of the lights come on (num lock, caps lock) even when toggling num or caps lock.  I want to say (but need to confirm) when the keyboard has been plugged in before the problem occurs that the lights do indeed work after the machine has become unresponsive.

    Also, the machine has been running for nearly 24 hours now with out the problem occurring.  After the last time the problem occurred I uninstalled two packages (snort and pfblockerng) along with disabling my traffic shaper rules.  Not sure what to make of that at this point.  I do have one package still installed (freeradius) because I need it for my network to function properly.

  • For anyone else having an issue similar to this I would recommend checking the link below.

    I believe this was most likely the culprit for the problem I experienced.

    On a side note, I've been running without issue for nearly two weeks now.  I reinstalled all packages I previously had running in 2.2.6.  I also have also reconfigured all my traffic shaping rules, though the configurations are different than what I originally had.

  • Have the same problem with proxmox in KVM hypervisor. With this error you cant update webservers in local network also access cli Console like a frozen if pause and resume VM console eror desapiered if you have enabled ntp you also get calcru error after unfrozen

    I have this CRITICAL error with disabled NTP end with disabled EIST on proliant servers vith KVM.

  • @mhertzfeld Hi bro! I have the same error on virtualized pfsese what you hardware configuration? Any energy saving enabled? Any calcru kernel messages in logs?

  • Netgate Administrator

    This is unrelated to the error you are seeing. Please don't open 3 year old threads, whatever issues existed back then are unlikely to be affecting the current version.


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