Error Message–CPU0: local APIC error 0x2

  • I am a new user and have installed pfSense 2.3.5 on a 32-bit computer with 1 GB of RAM and two Gigabit PCI cards (no PCI-E on this board).  With a small learning curve, installation went fine, and it works.  However, in the pfSense install interface, I get many, many interations of the message:

    CPU0: local APIC error 0x2

    I have found a number of references to this, here on the forum, and elsewhere.  Most state the problem–though it may not stop pfSense from functioning, can be resolved, and it makes sense to me that there is no point in the CPU using the extra cycles of going through the repeated error. The clearest solution states:

    _"CPU0: local APIC error 0x2
    add this to /boot/device.hints

    the problem should disappear"_

    I understand the instruction–but not being very familiar with pfSense, BSD or any Linux based systems or procedures, I have no idea how to proceed to do this, and nowhere have I found a simple instruction about how to edit the /boot/device/hints.  Can someone give me a few simple steps to walk me through this?


  • Looks like quite a few have read my post/question.  No one has a suggestion about how to proceed to access and add a line to the /boot/device/hints? I thought this should be a simple question, and I'm surprised that there are no responses!


  • SSH to your firewall.
    Press 8 to get a shell
    run "vi /boot/device.hints"

    add the line
    to the bottom of the file.

    Given that you have trouble with the Unix very basics, I suspect you might not know how to use vi either, so you probably want to read up a basic "how to use the vi editor" before you attempt this.

    Your question is so simple that I suspect that's why you've been ignored, a simple google search for "edit freebsd device.hints" turns up this as the very first page.

  • Thanks for replying.  You are quite right; I am lost with basic Unix/Linux commands.  I did in fact know to search on "bsd device hints" (when I was not getting sufficient direction with pfSense searches), and I found the page you referenced right away.  However, that still did not help.  There is an assumption in such articles that one will know how to start doing the most basic things–which someone who does not live in that world simply does not have.  I will try what you suggest, and let you know if I finally "got" it.

    I'm not sure seasoned Unix/Linux users fully realize the gulf that can exist even with very experienced and savvy Windows users.  I've used various versions of DOS and Windows for 35 years. I know my way around well in that sphere.  I have used Linux programs with graphical interfaces, but don't really have time to learn another command language at this point.  I'm not one who is inclined to enter a new sphere half-heartedly--in cases like this, I just need to know how to accomplish the simple task, because I was interested in trying pfSense, but didn't expect to get into command line editing.

    By the way, to underline my point, what does "SSH to your firewall" mean?  Do you mean to type the IP address of the router via the LAN interface?  Or is this access at the router itself, via a keyboard and monitor?


  • If you're unsure what SSH is, I suspect the other concepts required to understand and use pfSense will just confuse and annoy you.

    I know what you're saying with regards to being new, but there are lots of tutorials for how to learn/understand linux/freebsd.  Jumping straight into pfSense wouldn't be the place I'd start :-)

    It may be worth investing the few $ to get access to the pfSense portal/book, which will help hold you hand.

  • Okay, I kind of cheated.  Sort of.  …Just to bring this up to date,...

    My brother-in-law came over for the weekend.  He has been involved with computers commercially since punch-cards, and is one of that rare breed that still is considered an expert in the mainframe world, and of course he's been using Unix for 45 years, witnessed the birth of Linux, etc.  So, I asked him for help.  He certainly knew what SSH is, but he was quick to point out there are a number of ways to get access to edit that device.hints file.  His first thought, for some reason, was, "Let's try using VI."

    Well, this turned out to be pretty amusing, because VI is not something he has used much in years, it's just one of the tools he's been aware of for 40 years of so.  Turned out he had to look up a lot of the commands on his phone as we worked, just as I might have to look up some of the DOS commands I haven't used in a while.  Well, okay, we might have been better off using SSH, but I think it was a bit of an adventure for him to go back and work with VI, which has got to be one of the most unintuitive and esoteric command systems I've ever come across!  We eventually got there, figuring out first how to enter the required line, then backing out of all that because we realized we first had to change a bit on the file because it was marked as Read-Only, even for the Owner.  Then repeating the process.

    The result is that I resolved the problem I came to solve, but I think the obvious take-away is that, whatever tool one thinks is required to work within a certain system or program, there are probably other tools one can use, but whatever you try, it is going to seem a lot easier and more intuitive if it is one you encounter and use on a regular basis.  It didn't really matter that he had used VI quite a lot in his past--he hadn't done so in years, so he had to do as much looking up as I probably would have with SSH--he just had the base of experience to fall back on.

    Another irony is that from time to time he calls me to ask questions about Windows, which really blows my mind!  But it's not unusual to want to use some program or tool, without wishing to know everything about it.


  • @MPPurcell:

    Well, this turned out to be pretty amusing, because VI is not something he has used much in years, ….

    VI commands are hot-iron-burned-in. It was that, or nothing, for several years.

    These days on one is using the build in editor anymore.  It's all about SFTP (I advise samrtFTP, but the free FileZilla can handle it) (using SSH access, so easy) and a text local (on PC) text editor like Notepad++.
    Read only files shouldn't be a real problem.

    Btw : the GUI has a build in editor also.

  • Thanks, maybe next time I'll try for an easier and less amusing alternative!

    I was looking for the GUI built-in editor, I figured there must be something.  Like anything new there are too many choices and roads to go down, and for a Newbie at anything, even the most obvious things seem to be hidden.

    Thanks to all of you for your help!


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