PfSense based on FreeBSD



  • Hello,

    Why pfSense used FreeBSD?

    Thanks,



  • pfSense is based on BSD because for firewalling it uses a program called pf, which is the BSD packet filtering software.



  • The history is rather long and has many twists. Originally there was m0n0wall which was based on FreeBSD and used the IPFilter packet filter instead of PF. The selection of FreeBSD as the base for m0n0wall might have been rather arbitrary or conscious, nobody has documented it well anywhere as far as I know. It means however that m0n0wall and pfSense are not encumbered by viral licensing of any kind as the result of choosing FreeBSD over Linux for example. PfSense started as a more ambitious fork of m0n0wall to add features such as a proxy and IDS systems and has focused from the start on full installations on a hard drive where m0n0wall was focusing on embedded compact flash/USB memory stick installations


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate



  • Hello,

    1. What is the differences between pure installed FreeBSD and installed pfSense?
    2. Which packages installed and which parts changed?
    3. Does the commands same between FreeBSD and pfSense?

    Thanks,



  • Lots of weird questions….

    So, FreeBSD is the base operating system. It's been around for a while.

    pfSense is built on-top of FreeBSD, but the underlining FreeBSD is trimmed down a bit it is not the full OS.

    As far as what comes standard in FreeBSD, essentially just the base OS. During install you can choose what packages to add from repositories of 10s of thousands.

    The key question is what are you going to use it for. If you just want a great firewall and not have to spend $1,000 on a sonicwall or watchguard or whatever, then PFSense is perfect. If you want a server or workstation, I would not use PFSense as the basis for it.

    If you want to pirate PFSense's source and build your own North Korean version to sell, I have some Bon Bons for your leader - new flavor called Arsenic and Iridium. Very tasty.



  • Hello,

    1. What is the difference between pure installed freebsd and installed pfsense?
    2. What parts changed when installed pfsense?
    3. Does commands same between pfsense and freebsd?

    Thanks,


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    Pfsense is a highly customized firewall/router distro that uses freebsd as its core: custom kernel configuration, several kernel patches, and a number of additional software packages.  While yes your typical bsd/linux/unix commands work, freebsd has been highly customized to function as firewall/router and is no longer really a generic sort of freebsd install.

    The optional packages that can be installed as drastically been reduced and really should be limited to the ones you can install from the pfsense repository.  It is possible to install normal freebsd packages - but you would do so at your own risk and doing so could break or compromise pfsense.

    If you want to use freebsd, then install that on something else.  Trying to leverage pfsense as a server/workstation running because its running freebsd would not be a good idea.



  • @iska,

    You're posting a number of threads that seem to be asking overlapping questions, and doing so in rather a confusing way.  In addition to this thread, there's

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131874.msg725541#msg725541 (identical thread title and questions)
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131792.msg725195#msg725195 (why does pfSense use FreeBSD)
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131730.msg724891#msg724891 ("can anybody drew pfsense server schemes")
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131726.msg724856#msg724856 ("How can I see the source code of WebGUI")
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131681.msg725038#msg725038 ("How can I run pfsense from source code?")
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131693.msg724858#msg724858 ("is there any ways to install other packages?")

    Most of these have only a single sentence.  It'd be helpful, I think, if you explained yourself a bit more.  What are you really trying to accomplish, and/or what is it you really want to know?



  • @PhlMike:

    Lots of weird questions….

    So, FreeBSD is the base operating system. It's been around for a while.

    pfSense is built on-top of FreeBSD, but the underlining FreeBSD is trimmed down a bit it is not the full OS.

    As far as what comes standard in FreeBSD, essentially just the base OS. During install you can choose what packages to add from repositories of 10s of thousands.

    The key question is what are you going to use it for. If you just want a great firewall and not have to spend $1,000 on a sonicwall or watchguard or whatever, then PFSense is perfect. If you want a server or workstation, I would not use PFSense as the basis for it.

    If you want to pirate PFSense's source and build your own North Korean version to sell, I have some Bon Bons for your leader - new flavor called Arsenic and Iridium. Very tasty.

    Yea I know my questions are weird, but I want to learn about pfsense. pfSense is built on-top of FreeBSD, but the underlining FreeBSD is trimmed down a bit it is not the full OS. Do you know what is trimmed down a bit, I mean which packages or what parts?
    Thank you again,
    I appreciate your time



  • @johnpoz:

    Pfsense is a highly customized firewall/router distro that uses freebsd as its core: custom kernel configuration, several kernel patches, and a number of additional software packages.  While yes your typical bsd/linux/unix commands work, freebsd has been highly customized to function as firewall/router and is no longer really a generic sort of freebsd install.

    The optional packages that can be installed as drastically been reduced and really should be limited to the ones you can install from the pfsense repository.  It is possible to install normal freebsd packages - but you would do so at your own risk and doing so could break or compromise pfsense.

    If you want to use freebsd, then install that on something else.  Trying to leverage pfsense as a server/workstation running because its running freebsd would not be a good idea.

    I know FreeBSD is aimed to maximum performance, and OpenBSD is aimed to maximum security, while pfsense is for security purpose or firewall/router purpose, why do they didn't choose OpenBSD?



  • @danb35:

    @iska,

    You're posting a number of threads that seem to be asking overlapping questions, and doing so in rather a confusing way.  In addition to this thread, there's

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131874.msg725541#msg725541 (identical thread title and questions)
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131792.msg725195#msg725195 (why does pfSense use FreeBSD)
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131730.msg724891#msg724891 ("can anybody drew pfsense server schemes")
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131726.msg724856#msg724856 ("How can I see the source code of WebGUI")
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131681.msg725038#msg725038 ("How can I run pfsense from source code?")
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=131693.msg724858#msg724858 ("is there any ways to install other packages?")

    Most of these have only a single sentence.  It'd be helpful, I think, if you explained yourself a bit more.  What are you really trying to accomplish, and/or what is it you really want to know?

    @danb35

    Thank you for putting all my posts together Lol  ;) I want to research deeply about pfsense and BSD. I want to know each part of the pfsense.

    thank you again for your help



  • @jimp:

    https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Why_was_FreeBSD_chosen_instead_of_another_OS

    I know OpenBSD is aimed for maximum security, and FreeBSD is for maximum performance, while PfSense is for security or firewall/router, why don't they chose OpenBSD.

    Thank you,
    I hope my questions are on topic


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Merged all similar threads here. Please don't cross post the same question to multiple forums. Thanks.



  • OpenBSD has its own "cultural" problems and oddities. The OpenBSD developers see their OS more of a research and development project for various technologies (OpenSSH for example) and not as much a product. If OpenBSD works for you and you get something out it then wonderful, if not don't bother complaining, you're expected to be able to contribute yourself in the areas that you find OpenBSD lacking.

    FreeBSD is much more of a complete toolkit with better stability and predictability. Still it's not really a complete product, you're expected to go trough a quite steep learning curve to get most out of FreeBSD.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @iska:

    @jimp:

    https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Why_was_FreeBSD_chosen_instead_of_another_OS

    I know OpenBSD is aimed for maximum security, and FreeBSD is for maximum performance, while PfSense is for security or firewall/router, why don't they chose OpenBSD.

    Did you read and understand everything in the link I posted? The question you asked is answered on that page.



  • @iska:

    @jimp:

    https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Why_was_FreeBSD_chosen_instead_of_another_OS

    I know OpenBSD is aimed for maximum security, and FreeBSD is for maximum performance, while PfSense is for security or firewall/router, why don't they chose OpenBSD.

    Because Theo.


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