pfSsense Fail - PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library...



  • I've had pfSense running for a good 8 months or so. It's been running 24/7 aside from an upgrade here and there. I've had no issues at all with stability. For the most part I considered pfSense to be bulletproof.

    A couple of a days ago, I noticed some oddities whilst I was browsing. Think it started out as pfBlocker failing, and to be honest I don't entirely remember the sequence of events. I decided to do a quick reboot to flush away the issues, at which point I couldn't reconnect via LAN any more. Windows was assigning an internal IP address. Setting a static IP didn't work. I was assuming it was a DHCP server failure. I connected my monitor to pfSense to see what was going on, and for every reboot it was the same warning: PHP startup, unable to load dynamic library. Tried to do an update, but couldn't. Tried to reset to factory, but nothing. No option worked except for the shell. But I couldn't do much with the shell as I had a 60+ random character password, which made it easier to just reinstall pfSense then to try to distinguish my Os 0s and 1s and ls.

    So as I said, I ended up just reinstalling pfSense, and luckily my backup was only a couple weeks old, so I only had to reconfigure a few things. But still, what happened?

    Pfsense Version: 2.4.4-p2
    Packages: apcupsd, arpwatch, openvpn-client-export, pfBlockerNG-devel, and snort

    No logs to supply, except for the screen snapshot for stated reasons.

    https://imgur.com/hhByace



  • Your image doesn't appear for me.
    You didn't specifically say how or where you installed pfsense but I assume it's on the hard drive of a PC?

    If so, it's possible the hard drive could be failing and randomly corrupting bits and bytes on the drive.

    Maybe a diagnostic scan of the drive is a good idea?
    Also, RAM can develop errors. Run Memtest+ on the RAM to look for errors.

    Finally, I have seen the aluminum heat sink under the CPU fan so blocked by dust the CPU temperature was too high and could cause random errors. Once or twice a year I remove the side covers from all my continuously running devices whether they are computers, firewalls etc then take them outside and blow them out with compressed air.

    Any of these "could" cause the problem you are experiencing.

    Then again, a software programming bug error could also cause it.

    Fortunately, the pfsense developers took great care to make backing up and restoring configurations super easy.



  • @HansSolo

    Fixed the image link.

    It's a custom box with new hardware. B250 motherboard paired with an Intel G3930. Installed Pfsense on a small 120GB SSD Vertex 3; it was a relatively new drive with few lifetime hours prior to Pfsense (new old stock). Quad port Intel NIC is apparently still working good? It's an authentic Intel NIC -- not a China fake. SMART data for the SSD looks good, but running a long test now. Haven't done a Memtest since install date; doubting it's the cause though, as RAM tends to be good for life, but will have another check. Everything else looks clean.

    There is no way to do an integrity check on the pfSense software from time to time, is there? This is probably not the place to do a feature request, but that would be an awesome GUI feature.



  • @loopery said in pfSsense Fail - PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library...:

    @HansSolo

    Fixed the image link.

    It's a custom box with new hardware. B250 motherboard paired with an Intel G3930. Installed Pfsense on a small 120GB SSD Vertex 3; it was a relatively new drive with few lifetime hours prior to Pfsense (new old stock). Quad port Intel NIC is apparently still working good? It's an authentic Intel NIC -- not a China fake. SMART data for the SSD looks good, but running a long test now. Haven't done a Memtest since install date; doubting it's the cause though, as RAM tends to be good for life, but will have another check. Everything else looks clean.

    There is no way to do an integrity check on the pfSense software from time to time, is there? This is probably not the place to do a feature request, but that would be an awesome GUI feature.

    Sounds good.
    I deal with a lot of forum software and one thing you hear repeated frequently is that the most likely vector for errors is add ons. I also run pfBlockerNG so that is partially why your thread got my interest.

    Sometimes add ons misbehave and introduce errors. I'll be watching my own setup. The Backup and Restore features in pfsense are awesome so I make a LOT of backups, Just In Case.

    What looks a little odd to me in your logs is the "In Unknown on Line 0"...as if it can't even tell the file that called the error.

    Now that I think about it.....last week I had some kind of weird problem that led to a full reinstall of pfsense. Backups saved me.



  • @loopery

    I have exactly the same problem and screen error with 2.4.4-p2, but I run it in ESXi VM 6.7.



  • Same issue for me with 2.4.4-p3, on bare metal.
    Could not access UI, no DHCP working on any LAN ports, no response on pfsense itself except #8.

    Running pre-boot system assessment on my Dell T20 and everything looks OK.
    Is this hardware failure or what is causes this?


  • Netgate Administrator

    It's probably a filesystem issue. It could be an upgrade failure. It's probably not hardware unless the drive is failing perhaps but I would expect bigger issues in that case.

    The fastest way to get back up is to re-install and restore your config from that situation.

    You can try this though since you still have command line access:
    https://docs.netgate.com/pfsense/en/latest/install/upgrade-troubleshooting.html#forced-pkg-reinstall

    Be sure to backup the config first though if you do.

    Steve


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