pfSense-CE-memstick-2.4.4-RC-amd64-20180917-0758.img wont boot on Intel Atom E3845

  • Hi All,
    I have an intel ATOM E3845 4 port lan router with Intel Nic's which wont boot the installer USB from the RC image (pfSense-CE-memstick-2.4.4-RC-amd64-20180917-0758.img.gz - flashed with Etcher), although it did previously with the early September images.

    I get as far as the Pfsense screen where it shows the boot options then it continues and shows me

    boot/kernel/kernel <lots of numbers> 

    And that's it - it just sits there.

    Any ideas why?

  • @proxymoron said in pfSense-CE-memstick-2.4.4-RC-amd64-20180917-0758.img wont boot on Intel Atom E3845:

    Any ideas why?

    Reinstall manually the image? wait for a good/better image four you? top of my head.

    Works (upgrade) in two systems one old Intel and a hyper-v machine.

  • This is the installer image, I can't reinstall the image.

    This isn't an upgrade, its a fresh install.

    Aren't we supposed to be posting issues here?

  • @proxymoron said in pfSense-CE-memstick-2.4.4-RC-amd64-20180917-0758.img wont boot on Intel Atom E3845:

    Aren't we supposed to be posting issues here?

    How said you can't put issues here? You are in the right place mate.

    Try a older image like the 2.4.3, last one and then upgrade to the RC (2.4.4). 2.4.4 have a hybrid image (img and iso) and making a good installation USB can be hard (at least to me).

    I don't have other options, sorry... but you are in the right place.

  • Ok,
    Issue resolved for anyone who finds this. These devices default to legacy boot by default, you need to go into the BIOS -> Advanced -> CSM -> Boot Option Filter and change this to UEFI only (as opposed to Legacy).

    Apparenty 2.4.4 is UEFI only boot from what i can tell as 2.4.3 wasnt.

  • The Release Candidate have .iso and .img separately, is easy tu use Rufus to make a install USB.

    I have a USB with GPT and Rufus have converted in MBR. My Gigabyte Z97 gaming have booted fine with this device in UEFI mode only. Converting to GPT with diskpart is a no go before clean it.

    Some Boards, as you stated, have to enable Legacy (CSM) to boot this install. At least i can make install USB with Rufus.

    In the install you can select the partition table you want to use and if is UEFI you can change in UEFI to disable CSM.

  • Netgate Administrator

    It is not that the image doesn't boot but that the graphics hardware in that CPU somehow dies when it doesn't boot via the UEFI console. That behaviour was introduced in FreeBSD 11.2.
    If you're upgrading a legacy install it will still boot but the VGA console will show nothing after that point.

    You have two options:

    Install UEFI as you found.

    Enable the graphics driver by adding the following lines to /boot/loader.conf.local:



  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

  • @stephenw10 I've the same problem. Everything works except there's no console on the VGA. I've SSH'd to the device and then shelled into the command line. I'm not overly familiar with nix commands but have navigated to /boot/ with the cd /boot command and then ran the ls command. I can see loader.conf but not loader.conf.local. Am I doing something obviously stupid here?

  • Netgate Administrator

    No, you need to create that file if it's not there. One of many ways to do that is:
    touch /boot/loader.conf.local

    You can edit that directly from the command line using ee or using vi (if you're a masochist 😉 ).
    Or you use the editor in the gui, Diag > Edit file.


  • @stephenw10 Thank you. I'll use the GUI :) Didn't realise that feature existed.

  • @stephenw10 ♥ ♥
    it's running....
    Thanks, you are the one ....

  • Enable the graphics driver by adding the following lines to /boot/loader.conf.local:

    Did not work for:
    Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU N3150 @ 1.60GHz
    Current: 1600 MHz, Max: 1601 MHz
    4 CPUs:
    AES-NI CPU Crypto: Yes (inactive)

    Adding kern.vty=sc to the loader.conf.local solved the issue.

    Thanks for adding that info to the pfSense Upgrade Guide!

  • Hi All,

    Posting this, just because it took me a white to figure this out. I was running as 2.4.3 system (on bare metal) that was originally installed with UEFI disabled in the bios. When you do an upgrade from the web-GUI, it will install the upgrade to 2.4.4, but it will never boot again, as it looks like 2.4.4 required UEFI to be enabled (no legacy support). The system would just hang at the spinning wheel when trying to load the kernel. Unfortunately, just enabling UEFI mode doesn't fix it, as the install probably didn't create the correct boot records. You have to change the bios settings (I have UEFI only, no CSM support, and no secure boot), then reinstall. That seems to have been the correct recipe.

    Just posting this here, in case someone else is running into the same issue.


  • Netgate Administrator

    On a system effected by this it should normally boot correctly after an upgrade but with no console. The webgui should still be accessible though.

    If for some reason it is not interrupting the boot to reach the loader prompt and doing:

    set kern.vty=sc

    Should allow it to boot with a working console to correct whatever other problem exists.


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