V2.4.2 screensaver



  • Hi,
    Does someone uses a screensaver with PFSense (v2.4)? I had it working with previous version but after upgrade to the latest version I couldn't have it working anymore. This is a bare metal firewall with a permanent ancient CRT display connected to it so a screensaver is a must.

    I'm not exactly an expert with FreeBSD so I googled for some answers and this is what I've done so far:
    As no screensaver binary is available on PFSense distribution (not that I could find) I copied daemon_saver.ko from the FreeBSD 11.1 distribution ISO to the /boot/kernel directory and chmoded it to 777, just to make sure it is accessible.

    chmod 777 /boot/kernel/daemon_saver.ko

    kldload /boot/kernel/daemon_saver.ko

    vidcontrol -t 15 (from console)

    on the /boot/loader.conf file I added the line
    daemon_saver_load="YES"

    added the package "shellcmd" to run the vidcontrol on each boot.

    No success. No screensaver. Couldn't get it running. BTW, these were the exact steps I've followed for the previous version (2.3.*) and it worked like a charm.

    Any idea?
    Thanks!



  • Switch off the CRT while you're not using it:

    • it eats a lot of electricity even when idle, by unplugging it or switching it off you care for environment
    • you can extend the CRT lifetime, also protecting the environment by throwing it away later
    • you can also save the close environment from lots of RF pollution, old CRTs create quite a lot of interfering radio-frequencies
    • if someone has to use the physical console has to go there anyway, so pushing a button two times for the reasons above requires zero effort


  • @jjoaquina:

    ….This is a bare metal firewall with a  .....

    It isn't. THIS https://store.netgate.com/SG-1000.aspx is bare metal.
    One of the advantages is : no need to look for a screen saver (for a firewall  :o  ;D) because their ain't no graphics chip or even a concept of a "screen".
    You use some hardware which is accepted by pfSense - that's ok of course.
    What about checking out the BIOS and stopping the video equipment in your device ?



  • Thanks for the replies.
    For several reasons this display must be there and switched on. All the computers and the cooling system are powered by green electric sources (photovoltaic panels in a complete off-grid circuit), so keeping this monitor switched on is not an issue at all. The server room is also a Faraday cage so no RF to the outside world. I actually do care for the environment and I really appreciate your concerns  ;)

    Moving back to the original question, the screensaver worked before on V2.3 but it's not working on V2.4. Based on your replies I can imply that there is no way to make it work with this version. Is this true? Maybe, on my lack of technical knowledge with this firewall I've done something wrong.
    Thanks a lot for your help.



  • Based on your replies I can imply that there is no way to make it work with this version. Is this true?

    I would suspect that nobody knows since running a screensaver on a firewall isn't exactly common around here.  In the several years I've been here, I've never heard of anyone else doing something similar.

    Can you invoke it manually somehow?  Maybe if you posted log data or something, someone might be able to help.


  • Banned

    pfSense 2.3 used FreeBSD 10, 2.4 uses FreeBSD 11. So have a look at the changes between those 2 FreeBSD versions and see if you can find something.



  • @jjoaquina:

    Thanks for the replies.
    For several reasons this display must be there and switched on. All the computers and the cooling system are powered by green electric sources (photovoltaic panels in a complete off-grid circuit), so keeping this monitor switched on is not an issue at all. The server room is also a Faraday cage so no RF to the outside world. I actually do care for the environment and I really appreciate your concerns  ;)

    Maybe it'e easier just to get an LCD - you'll save 50W + cooling too? No need to turn off LCDs.



  • I do believe the time spent to have this working is beyond acceptable.
    I think I'm just going to switch the display off despite some policies I should follow indicates the other way.
    Thanks you all for your insights!



  • @jjoaquina:

    I do believe the time spent to have this working is beyond acceptable.
    I think I'm just going to switch the display off despite some policies I should follow indicates the other way.
    Thanks you all for your insights!

    Run an old windows machine and ssh in using putty. Set the screensaver on that machine to work the way your want.

    The BSD install is manicured to be a firewall and certain elements may or may not be there from release to release. You can never count of non standard elements/add ons to work post upgrade.      ;)


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