Howto: Run pfSense nanobsd in VirtualBox

  • If you'd like to play around with nanobsd version of pfSense in a virtual environmment, here's how to do it:

    1. Get Oracle VirtualBox from or from the repo of your distribution. Works in Windows, Linux too.
    2. Download a VGA-enabled nanobsd version of pfSense from here. For example pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-i386-nanobsd_vga.img.gz.
    3. Decompress the .gz to get a plain disk image .img file (you need pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-i386-nanobsd_vga.img)
    4. Convert the disk image to a virtual hard disk using this command:

    VBoxManage convertfromraw pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-i386-nanobsd_vga.img pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-i386-nanobsd_vga.vdi

    Don't worry if the .vdi file will be much smaller. It will actually be a dynamic virtual disk, which physically occupies only the amount of data which is not empty.
    5. Create a new virtual machine in VirtualBox, using these settings:

    • Enable IO APIC
    • 512MB of RAM (or more, I guess)
    • no audio, no USB
    • 2 network adapters, first bridged to your physical NIC, second "Host-Only Adapter", both Intel PRO/1000 T Server. Untick "Cable connected"
    • a serial port, just to be sure
    • use as hard disk the .vdi image you created in step 4
      6. Boot up the virtual machine, let pfSense start up
      7. Assign network interfaces as usual, to simulate cable connection open "Network Adapters" window and tick back  "Cable connected" when appropriate. Make the first (em0) as WAN, the second (em1) as LAN.
      8. Set manually IP address of LAN to (or any IP within your "Host-Only Adapter network")
      9. Voila! Just type your LAN address in your browser and you're in!

  • Thanks robi,

    A nanobsd virtual machine is very usefull for tests.

    Marcello Coutinho

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