Does pfSense have a "toram" option?



  • Slax has a nice option on boot to be able to copy the whole operating system to RAM.

    This lets you boot from a CD-ROM, and then remove the CD-ROM and use the drive for something else.

    Also, it lets you boot Slax from a USB key and then immediately put the USB key back in your pocket. You don't have to worry about forgetting it when you walk away from your computer two hours later.

    Also, coincidentally, it gives you insane speeds, as it never has to read anything else off the boot media.

    It requires about 300 MB of available RAM.

    Now, pfSense is significantly smaller than Slax. I can't believe there isn't a similar option, but I can't find it.

    I would like to be able to boot my pfSense off my USB key, read in the configuration file, and then copy everything to RAM so that I can remove the USB key.

    When I try removing the USB key after booting on a standard installation, I get a series of write errors, followed eventually by a fatal error.

    Either:

    A) This option exists and I can't find it,
    B) pfSense can't do this, or
    C) Only the logging is giving me an issue, and if someone would kindly show me how to disable all logging, it would already work.

    Obviously, I am not concerned about logging anything.



  • Poking around on the internet, I found this (relevant snippet below link):

    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r22045939-

    @index1489:

    pfSense History
        This project was started in September 2004 by Chris Buechler and Scott Ullrich. Chris is a long time contributor to the m0n0wall project. m0n0wall is a great embedded firewall, but one of the great things about its design is also a limitation to expandability. m0n0wall runs entirely from RAM, the entire OS and all applications are loaded into RAM at boot time. This is a great design for embedded systems, for performance and reliability reasons. However it has no capability of being installed into a normal file system on a hard drive. Hence many desirable functions can't be reasonably implemented.

    WHAT m0n0wall is NOT! (This is where pfSense comes in and does many of whats listed below!)
    m0n0wall is a firewall, and the purpose of a firewall is to provide security. The more functionality is added, the greater the chance that a vulnerability in that additional functionality will compromise the security of the firewall. It is the opinion of the m0n0wall founder and core contributors that anything outside the base services of a layer 3 and 4 firewall do not belong in m0n0wall. Some services that may be appropriate are very CPU-intensive and memory hungry, and m0n0wall is focused towards embedded devices with limited CPU and memory resources. The non-persistant filesystem due to our focus on Compact Flash installations is another limiting factor. Lastly, image size constraints eliminate other possibilities.

    Does this mean that pfSense is specifically designed not to do what I'm looking for?

    That would be a cryin' shame if it was, as I was a long-time user of m0n0wall and just recently made the jump to pfSense.

    If I can't boot to a USB drive and then remove the USB drive, I'm going to have to make the jump back again.  :'(



  • @hugo:

    I would like to be able to boot my pfSense off my USB key, read in the configuration file, and then copy everything to RAM so that I can remove the USB key.

    Why? (If I had a bit more context I might be able to make a helpful comment.)

    @hugo:

    Obviously, I am not concerned about logging anything.

    Why not? "No logging" severely limits your ability to find out what went wrong when something goes wrong! If you are anticipating having nothing ever go wrong good luck to you!


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