Only two NiCs, what virtualisation pl

  • Dear,

    Pfsense runs as an home internet gateway on a 2013 i5 machine barebone system with 2 NICS and 16 GB ram. There is no room for expansion. VLAN’s are available.

    I would like to add a virtualization layer but this is completely new for me.

    Two questions:

    1. Is it feasible with two NICS? Can I add a usb NIC for VM management ?
    2. What is the smartest way forward please ?. I have pfsense gold so Esx seems to be the obvious route.


  • 1.  Yes, and you don't need a third NIC.  Just use the LAN NIC as the management link.
    2.  Install ESXi and then create a VM under it for pfSense?  I'm not sure what your Gold sub has to do with VMware.  There are a million videos and tutorials on how to install pfSense in a VM, but you shouldn't really need one because it's pretty easy.

  • Thanks. I understood pfSense Gold is required for the Virtual Security Gateway Appliance.

  • Galactic Empire

    Not required, we just include VMware certified pfSense OVA in Gold subscription (pre-made VM). You don't need Gold subscription to run pfSense on VMware or anywhere else. Gold is simply for supporting to project and getting something in return. Hope that clears it up!

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    Been running running pfsense for YEARS under esxi.. Never had a problem with it. Even before freebsd added native drivers for the vmx3 virtual nics, etc.  Before that under old vmware server version 1 and 2.. And even on virtualbox for a tinybit, etc.

    I would stay away from usb nics to be honest.  With vlans and smart switch you could get away with 1 nic on your esxi host.  But better the more nics you have available in your esxi host, etc.

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