pfSense stops responding after login on Netgate MBT-2220



  • We're running pfSense 2.4.4-p1 on a brand new Netgate MBT-2220 Minnowboard. It's configured with some basic firewall rules, pfBlockerNG, and Suricata. The network has four Windows 10 workstations, and a couple of printers. There's not a lot of traffic. There are no VPN connections, no VLANs... it's really a very simple setup.

    pfSense worked great during configuration, but shortly after being installed on the network, it began to stop responding within seconds of logging in to the web interface. No traffic passes to or from the pfSense device. The indicator light for the ethernet connection on the internet router to which it is connected flashes twice, then pauses, then repeats that pattern endlessly. The only option is to disconnect the network cables, count to 10, disconnect the power, count to 10, then reconnect the cables and power (this procedure seems to help avoid corrupting the file system.)

    As long as I don't log in to the web interface, it appears to work fine. Users report no issues accessing the internet. But I can't get in to the web interface long enough to get to the logs and find out what's going wrong. The couple of times that I was able to log in (after /two/ restarts on those occasions), no errors appeared in the logs prior to when pfSense stopped responding, and nothing was written to the logs after a freeze until the Minnowboard was restarted. Now, I'm reluctant to even try to log in for fear of having to do a hard reset and corrupting the file system. I've re-installed pfSense twice, once due to file system corruption resulting from the hard resets, but the problem persists.

    I'll be grateful for any suggestions for how to diagnose this problem.


  • LAYER 8 Rebel Alliance

    First I'd remove both of your packages to rule out the problem comes from them.
    Via SSH you can check with

    top -aSH
    

    for a process eating your CPU.

    -Rico


  • Netgate Administrator

    How are you logging in that seems to trigger this? At the webgui?

    Can you login via SSH or use the physical console? If you have a physical console connected when this happens it may show what is happening or at least allow you investigate or reboot cleanly. Or if it stops responding there it's also a indication.

    Steve



  • @rico said in pfSense stops responding after login on Netgate MBT-2220:

    First I'd remove both of your packages to rule out the problem comes from them.
    Via SSH you can check with

    top -aSH
    

    for a process eating your CPU.

    -Rico

    Thanks, Rico. I'll try to log in via SSH to see what's happening. I'll also try to log in via the web GUI to remove the packages. This will have to be a weekend project so that I won't interrupt operations. I'll post back the results. But I'll probably have to start from scratch again, reinstall pfSense, and run those tests before installing the packages.



  • @stephenw10 said in pfSense stops responding after login on Netgate MBT-2220:

    How are you logging in that seems to trigger this? At the webgui?

    Can you login via SSH or use the physical console? If you have a physical console connected when this happens it may show what is happening or at least allow you investigate or reboot cleanly. Or if it stops responding there it's also a indication.

    Steve

    Thanks for replying, Steve. The problems occur when I log in through the web GUI. When I've tried to log in using SSH or the console after a GUI login and the system has stopped responding, those attempts failed. No login prompt appeared. pfSense had simply stopped responding.

    To be honest, I haven't tried to log in using SSH or a physical console prior to logging in through the web GUI. But I'll give it a try this weekend and report back.