A Few Questions Before I Jump In
I have a few general questions before I actually get started on switching my home router over to pfSense. For some background, I have roughly 10 years of Linux experience, but this will be my first foray into anything BSD based. I'm currently running a Debian based router/server that handles a variety of tasks on my home network.
First off, it seems like pfSense is pretty stripped down, it only includes what's required for a top notch router. That's perfect for a machine that won't be doing much other than act as a router, but it does make me a little bit unsure of pfSense's suitability as a more general server/router. Is it feasible to add a bunch of extra functionality to the base setup without undue headaches?
As I mentioned before, I'm a long time Linux user, but complete BSD newbie. Are there typically many problems getting software originally written for Linux working on *BSD systems? Are there any good resources explaining the practical differences in how *BSD setups work compared to Linux?
This may be a bit too specific, but I also have a software raid 5 setup at the moment. Is there any chance of the data on that surviving the transition from Linux, or will I have to back it up, recreate the array in pfSense, then copy it back?
Any general experiences and/or advice is much appreciated.
pfSense is designed to be a firewall/router and that's it. People occasionally want to install the kitchen sink on it, which is not recommended. If you want a general purpose server, set it up separately from pfSense inside your LAN.
You'll find that working with pfSense is very easy as all the functionality you'll need to access is configurable from the WebGUI. There will be no need to do any command line work. Also, no need to run a RAID array on your firewall. Simply keep a copy of your config.xml some place safe and if the drive fails, slap a fresh installed pfSense drive into the box, restore your config and life will be shiny and new again.