PfSense Live CD w/ USB for config and SMP support for multi-core processors



  • I've been playing around with different configurations of pfSense and think it's great. I'd like to use SSD for storage if possible to reduce failures of a typical HD. I've read the forums and it appears that using the embedded version will save the SSD or USB thumb from pre-mature failure.

    My question is related to the Live CD with USB support for configuration storage. When installing to hard drive it will ask if you want a single processor or SMP kernel. Utilizing the Live CD it doesn't give this option.

    I'm going back and forth between the nanobsd and Live CD method. I'm just curious if Live CD and nanobsd support SMP? Do I have to swap kernel modes after instead of through the GUI?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! I want a system where I don't have to worry about hard drive failures.



  • No input on this? Does the nanobsd install allow packages? The CD version does not…


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    NanoBSD supports packages on 1.2.3 and 2.0. NanoBSD doesn't support SMP on 1.2.3 but does on 2.0.



  • jimp, thanks for the reply. If I'm not planning on running packages. Would things hold up well if I install the full install to USB drive and disable the SWAP and limit the logging? Anything else you can think of to cover?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Any full install on USB will wear it out just by running - the filesystem on a full install is not mounted with the noatime option so any time a file is even accessed it causes a write.

    On NanoBSD that is a non-issue, and on 2.0 even when NanoBSD is mounted read/write for making changes, it's mounted noatime so that isn't a problem.



  • Jimp or others, the machine I'm using does not have a native serial port. Must there be a serial port to install the nanobsd version or is there a workaround? If a serial port IS required I assume any PCI serial card would work?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    You have to have a hardware serial port, or you won't get any console access. The config is pre-made for via rhine (vr) NICs, so if you have those it would be OK to load without a port if you had to, otherwise you need to hand edit the config and adjust the network card assignments.

    I'm not sure if a PCI serial card would work, it might, assuming it can present itself as COM1.



  • Can you point me in the right direction for hand editing the config? Is there information on how to do this? I would assume I burn the image to the USB and then modify? I know the NIC assignments, just need help with pre-modifying this config


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