How to get pfsense to reboot after power failure?

  • I want pfsense to reboot in case I lose power temporarily. I have been searching around but have had no luck.

    I am just starting out and have it set as a basic firewall with no DMZ. I am using a 2.1 snapshot (64-bit) on an Intel D2500CC mini-ITX board, booting off a flash drive.

    I suspect I will have to fiddle with the BIOS to get this to work, but I will deal with that elsewhere. My problem is that when I boot pfsense it keeps asking me about vlan configuration and interface assignment. In other words it needs manual response during the boot. Shouldn't it store this information so I don't have to re-enter it all the time?

    I found this but it doesn't seem relevant:'t_my_system_automatically_power_down_or_reboot%3F

    Any tips or pointers will be appreciated. Before I get fancy with pfsense I just have to get it to replace my old Cisco firewall/router, and booting up unattended is part of that.

  • Ah, never mind. I noticed that "move configuration file to removable device" option and tried it. It gave a few error messages but on reboot went all the way through to the end. Should have figured that out earlier.

    Now to deal with the BIOS and whatever else…

  • set in the bios for the system/ server to power on after a power failure.

    As for being able to tell a pfsense box to reboot if other devices lost power, they would need SNMP in them an some interesting work to be able to do so.

    Do you not have a UPS or battery backup at least for the firewall system?

  • Yes, but UPSs are only good for transitory failures. I doubt they can last for an hour. Also I want to make it easy for my users in case they shut the whole system down for whatever reason, or accidentally knock power off. No point in having a headless setup if you need to plug a monitor in every time you power up.  :)  It's got to come up as simply as the Cisco router it is replacing.

    I hadn't thought there would be a problem if one of the attached devices go down. Sure hope that's not so.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    There are plenty of UPS units out there that can last over an hour (or more, depending on load and battery configurations).

    Also if you have a UPS that the nut package can talk to, then it can signal a clean shutdown to pfSense so it doesn't abruptly lose power.

    If you want it to always power on after a failure, that's up to your BIOS. Many BIOS implementations have an "after power failure" state and setting that to Always-ON or Recover will typically do what you're after.

  • My worry is why would be able to, by accident ,power it of…. they should not have access to do that.

  • Netgate Administrator

    It should boot up without any manual intervention. It will only ask you to reconfigure the interfaces if it can't find the config file for some reason. What sort of flash drive are you booting from and what image did you put on it?

    I agree that you should be able to find UPS than can last well over an hour if it's just powering a headless Atom.


  • You can add external batteries to most UPS boxes with a bit of effort too. Pick one that is about double your power use so it is running in the most efficient range and get a reasonable runtime in the basic box. Add as much external battery as you like, recharge will take a long time but otherwise all will be just fine.

    I really like AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries for inside use, no chance of acid fumes or spillage unless you horribly abuse them.

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