pfSense on Watchguard M370

  • @stephenw10 Thank you very much

  • @stephenw10 Now I user AMIBCP 5.0 。 but I did't found the options that can edit default values 。I just want to set my bios so I can user this server for more functions . My server is M470

  • Netgate Administrator

    Ah, well I've never looked at this BIOS or used AMIBCP 5, I think the version I used was 4.6 but it's been a while.


  • @networkBob Nice finding, im also interested in 1 unit to use PfSense.
    Is there a chance you could detail what hardware is inside the unit of the Picture?
    CPU Type and model, Memory, NIC Chips, ETC. Thanks.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Have a look here.

  • @stephenw10 Thanks
    I already purchased 1 unit, from an etailer on a "difficult to pass" Price (28 bucks with shipping) , just waiting to receive it to make some test with some parts I have laying around.
    I assume that any Skylake CPU showed in the hardware manual you have provided will work. Maybe upgrading the ram to a 8gb or more, perhaps (32gb Max) will be Overkill. The only downside of this unit is it doesn't have the expansion Port as M470 to M670 models. Would be great to find a PCI Express adapter to place this expansion on a drilled hole in the M370. But the cost of those expansion modules are skyrocket and I haven't find info on the Interface used.

    As soon as I receive the unit, I'll be posting my testing results and experiments.

    Thanks to @networkBob for the info and picture.

    Have a nice day.

  • Netgate Administrator

    @nicknitro said in pfSense on Watchguard M370:

    28 bucks with shipping

    Ha, yeah hard to pass that up! 😉

    I would expect most skylake CPUs to work but I'm not sure anyone has tested that... yet.

    If you look at the NCA-4210 it lists a lot. The board here is marked NCB-4210 and is customised for Watchguard so it's hard to say exactly what might work.


  • @networkBob said in pfSense on Watchguard M370:

    Hi everyone,

    I recently bought a Watchguard M370 with the intention of repurposing the box to run pfSense. Just wanted to let the community know that pfSense can be easily installed on a Watchguard M370, via mSATA, and with all interfaces operational. Even the front panel soft power switch halts and boots pfSense, which is nice. And the fans are reasonably quiet, although the could be quieter. The BIOS is password protected, though, so I cannot make any BIOS adjustments to the fans. The motherboard is a Lanner NCB-WG4210. If anyone knows how to unlock this BIOS, please let me know. I already tried removing the battery, the CMOS reset jumper procedure, and all the AMI BIOS passwords that I could find. The BIOS only allows for 3 tries then requires a reboot.


    I just got this model myself for the same purpose. Since this is my first pfSense setup, would you be willing to describe how you went about installing it on this model?

    Is the selected pfSense (2.4.4-p3) download configuration correct?
    Architecture: AMD64
    Installer: USB Memstick
    Console: Serial

    Would I simply replace the shipped mSATA SSD with my own, set up a console session (Cisco-compatible pinout?) from my laptop to the unit, plug in the USB drive containing the pfSense image, wait for the M370 to boot from the USB drive, then proceed?


  • Netgate Administrator

    Almost certainly a Cisco style console cable will work. They do work with other Lanner devices.
    The first thing I would try is to just boot the memstick serial image from USB. It may or may not boot from USB by default.
    If it does not you can always install pfSense to mSATA in some other device and swap it in.


  • USB stick doesn't seem to be successful - how would I get the pfSense image onto the mSATA drive otherwise?

  • Netgate Administrator

    If I were doing this I would move the mSATA drive (or use a different mSATA drive) to a different device and install to it there then move it back.
    Does it boot from USB if you remove the mSATA drive? In other words is it just booting from mSATA because of the boot priority?


  • @stephenw10
    I just see a BIOS password prompt when the USB drive alone is present.

  • I managed to get the live CD image installed via VMWare USB passthrough to the mSATA adapter with a GPT partition scheme (should it be MBR instead?), then installed the drive in the M370. I heard a weird chime on boot and some disk activity.

    Can't seem to use the console and can't reach . Is there a way to verify the install?

  • Here's why I'm an idiot:

    The installation was correct. I was plugged into the WAN port.

    pfSense is good to go. Thanks, Steve.

  • Netgate Administrator

    If you install from a CD image you won't have the serial console enabled by default. You can do so (and set it as the primary console) from System > Advanced > Admin Access. You could do that in whatever you installed in before you swap the drive back.


  • This setup has been running smooth so far (minus my mistakes) and performance has been really good.

    An 'instant-on' IPSec VPN running the highest level encryption at or beyond my Internet service speeds is super nice. Native iOS/MacOS support is a treat. I wish Windows 10 had native IPSec support - any chance for pfSense PPTP support? (I kid!)

    I replaced the stock 40mm fans with three Noctua NF-A4x20 units. The fans' connectors weren't going to match up with those on the mainboard, so I used my flush cutters to remove their physical keying. It's whisper-quiet now and I've measured no meaningful increase in temperature.

    Following a power outage and during my fan replacement testing, I learned that I made the mistake of originally installing pfSense with the UFS file system instead of ZFS. A few reboot loops later, recovery became simple enough to handle, but I'm still going to reinstall.

    There's also a Core i3-6100T lying around that I'm eager to drop in to replace the included Celeron G3900. Higher clocks, lower TDP, more cache, and SMT can't hurt. Thinking and writing - is there a way to test VPN and overall performance before / after?

    This has been a fun project. Thanks again for the help, Steve!

  • Netgate Administrator

    I usually use iperf3 for a basic throughput test. You would want to run it on a client at each end of the VPN, not on the firewall itself if possible though you can install it on pfSense. It only tests full size TCP so you see the biggest number you could get which is often not representative of real traffic but it will give you a good comparison between the two CPUs.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Just gonna leave this here:

    [2.4.4-RELEASE][root@m470.stevew.lan]/root: ./WGXepc64 -l green
    Found Firebox M370/470/570/670.
    [2.4.4-RELEASE][root@m470.stevew.lan]/root: ./WGXepc64 -f
    Found Firebox M370/470/570/670.
    Current fanspeed is c, minimum fanspeed is a

    Binary for anyone wanting to test. I've seen no problems but messing with the cooling system is potentially dangerous. You should test any new settings at full load etc.


  • Hi @stephenw10
    This Works perfect, combined with ShellCMD on startup.
    Im running M370 with installed Celeron G3900 and only changed mSATA 16g to mSATA120g that it was on my techstuff. Using it with 4Gb but i tested up to 16Gb with Crucial nonECC Memory.
    The Thing is i tried a Xeon E3-1225 v5 that i bought for a server (The same listed for M570) and doesnt boot at all, maybe Motherboard or BIOS limitations.
    Do you thing a i3 6100 non T model would work ?
    Is there any Chance to Find the BIOS password?
    Maybe unlock the BIOS as the one on M400 or X Series ?

    What do you think?


  • Netgate Administrator

    Ah, good info! I would expect a 6100 i3 to work there. I just haven't seen one at a price I can justify.... yet.

    Unlocking the BIOS is non-trivial. Finding the password is probably never going to happen.


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