Pfsense stability in a harsh (poor power stability) marine environment



  • Our team will be rolling out a set of Pfsense based routers to remote marine (yep, floating on the ocean) locations. No additional modules or modifications, just vanilla pfsense.

    While power is mostly stable, and there will be BBU/UPS's, there's not a guarantee that these routers will always be shutdown properly. There's a pretty good chance actually that these will lose power on a somewhat regular basis.

    From my experience with other embedded devices, directly flashed firmware based solutions are typically more stable in such environments than dynamic OS's. However, in my lurking through the forums and git comments, I noticed that the nanobsd version is receiving less and less development priority, has more technical debt, is set by default to always be in RW mode, and will be deprecated in 2.4.

    Do you have any recommendations on what would be the most stable in these conditions? Would the nanoBSD reset to RO be the best solution, and accept that updates will eventually cease? Or are the writes in the full install rare enough to consider this an acceptable risk?

    I searched through the forums and couldn't find anything definitive and I've powercycled a VM 20 or so times to try to replicate powerloss and haven't seen any issues, but I would love to hear some of your experiences!



  • I'd love to be able to slipstream my config into an install cd that runs on boot.


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