PfSense suddenly stopped routing

  • I've been running my pfSense for a few years on a homebuilt mini PC, and it's been working fine. It was working fine last night when I went to sleep. When I woke up this morning, it appeared to be hung—it was running, but trying to connect via a web browser resulted in a "Bad Gateway" message.

    However, I was able to ssh in and use the shell, so the router itself was up and running. I used the command line menu to reboot it, and it worked fine for about two minutes, then it stopped routing and the GUI hung. I could still connect via SSH; rebooting again led to the same cycle of work-then-hang.

    I SSH'd in and grabbed all the log files, and started browsing for anything that looked troublesome. Mostly there wasn't anything interesting, but the gateways.log file was filled with these messages:

    pfSense dpinger: WAN_DHCP sendto error: 65

    The 50.38… address is the WAN router address as supplied by Frontier, and when I searched the web on the above error, it seems to indicate that my router has no path to that host. But then why would it work for a few minutes after rebooting, then go away?

    Also, in the nginx.log, I have a lot of ehse entries:

    May 11 05:57:28 pfSense pfsense.localdomain nginx: 2018/05/11 05:57:28 [error] 43623#100134: *1371 connect() to unix:/var/run/php-fpm.socket failed (61: Connection refused) while connecting to upstream, client:, server: , request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "fastcgi://unix:/var/run/php-fpm.socket:", host: ""

    Finally, in system.log, tons of these:

    May 11 05:59:14 pfSense check_reload_status: Could not connect to /var/run/php-fpm.socket

    While I'm technical enough to get my router running and usually keep it running, I am now in way over my head, so any help is appreciated. Is this all caused by a problem at my provider, or did something change overnight while I was sleeping to cause pfSense to break?


  • Please don't take this the wrong way; however, did you remembered pay your Internet bill? It would weird behavior for any router to just lost its routing ability overnight. Did you called your ISP?

  • Our bill is on auto-pay, so yes, it's been paid (and I've confirmed that the most recent one has been paid).

    I haven't yet called the ISP because I can't point a finger at them as the problem just yet: The router routes for a bit after I reboot it, then stops, so I'm guessing they'll tell me it's my fault. (pfSense is not a supported device for them; if you're not using their router, they are usually unwilling to provide any sort of technical assistance, which I understand.)


  • More info: If I use the terminal interface to restart PHP-FPM, the router will route for a little bit of time then fail again. I'm really stumped.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Curious what version you're running and what packages you have installed.

  • Well, that was incredibly stupidly easy in the end … went to my FIOS box outside the house, unplugged and replugged the network cable that leads to the pfSense box, and all is fine now.

    And yea, I guess my new project is to replace that cable.

    Thanks for the help!


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