Firebox LCD Driver for LCDProc

  • This is awesome… I loaded pfsense on my X500 by popping in a 2GB CF and upgrading the RAM to 512... Truthfully I never expected it to work this well, if at all, since I did it without looking if anyone had done it before.  The LCD just tops it off and makes it look great... On ebay most used watchguards go for less than $50 usd since the live security subscription is so much which basically junks the box.  This is a perfect appliance for pfsense and with the 6 NICs it really takes it to the next level.

    I hope this makes it to a package for the faint of heart!

    Being less of a programmer and more of a network guy I ahve been having a hard time adjusting what the LCD reads out.  I went through the .conf file but did not see any per line settings... where can i go to edit how/what the LCD displays?

  • It works perfectly on X750 too. On FreeBSD 7 based versions of pfSense it doesn't work without tricks becose missing libraries and

  • fix it by:

    cd /lib
    ln -s
    ln -s

    then it works

  • @trendchiller:

    fix it by:

    cd /lib
    ln -s
    ln -s

    then it works

    Yup. I did that.

    Friend also recommended using libmap.conf instead of ln, but I didn't get myself to try it yet.

  • Hi. Kinda new to this. I got a 128 MB card loaded with the PFSense but need some more detailed newb type help to get the LCD portion to work. Can anyone help me?

    Thanks for your time,


  • I am also new and interested in getting the LCD to work on my Firebox. 1.2.1 final works great from CompactFlash otherwise.

  • what is the chance somebody will get the buttons on the firebox x series working within lcdproc?  prior to installing pfsense on my watchguard I had full ubuntu server installed using lcd4linux.  The latest version of lcd4linux supports 100% the sdec lcd on the firebox x series as well as the buttons.  I was able to configure screens and reboot the firebox through the interface.

    The aptitude version of lcd4linux doesnt have this support, only the latest v10.1 rc2 version does which I manually downloaded and installed on top of the v10.0 that is available through aptitude.

  • In response to a couple requests; I've posed the LCDproc driver code for the lcd.  I've been informed we might be able to make a charmap for the hd44780 standard driver in LCDproc. Doing this would allow the buttons to work too!

    Source code is posted on my site:

  • Works fine here on 1.2.3-RC1, even without the symlinks. As I run an embeded kernel on a HDD, I just had to comment out the 2 mount lines in the install script before running.

    Would be nice to see the buttons working.


  • @trendchiller:

    fix it by:

    cd /lib
    ln -s
    ln -s

    then it works

    Did you do this on an embedded system or full install?  When I try on an embedded, I get:

    pfsense:/lib#  ln -s
    ln: Read-only file system

  • Thank you.  Awesome job on this.  Another x700 LCD working on an embedded system.

  • @Dayblade:

    Since this has been rolled up in the LCDProc package - which driver did you write for the x700?  I cannot seem to find the name of the driver in question as well as what port did you assign it (parallel port?, usb com1?)

    Thanks again guys.  One less X700 on the market.


    I recently installed a full version of this and would also like to know if this was ever figured out.  What port and driver were used in the package for the watchguards?

  • Just bumpin this up, anyone?

  • I've been looking for a firewall to replace an aging netgear fsv box.  Stumbled on pfSense, found it to be pretty amazing, got a decommisioned Firebox x700 and replaced the cf card with a 4g and lcdproc on the 1.2.3rc1 embedded image.  Works like a champ.  Had some troulble getting lcdproc to work but after finding this thread and adding symlinks, all is good.  Was there any ever progress with controlling the lcd with the buttons on the firebox and a charmap that was discussed in this thread?  Sorry to resurrect an old thread but thought those that originally started it might have more insight.


  • I've not done any work with mine at all. I started troubleshooting a problem with no connectivity and turned out the old firebox bit the dust  :(

    So I won't have a test system any more to work with this specific LCD.  BUT I did build a kick-ass system with a power efficient mini-itx board, 6 GIG E ports, 2 GIG of memory, fan less and quite all in a nice small metal case. Now I wonder how  I can squeeze an LCD in there  ::)

    I did have fun writing the driver for this. I've never written one before but sounds like a lot of you were able to make some use of it.

  • Hello,

    I found where is the keyboard,  :) i just wrote a scanning program which tracks changes on all ports… ;D

    and if found the 4 pushbuttons are at address 0x379 !!

    for the moment, i am not able to reach the front panel lights...

    if it was easy to write a small test program, when i tried to modify sdeclcd to add the key_read routine, unfortunately, i encounter a lot of difficulties to compile it ???

    If someone could support me for that, so all fireboxes X series could enable the keyboard !

    Jean Jacques

  • You have to download the source for lcdproc and modify the autoconfig scripts to find your sources. The best advice I have is to look at the lcdproc documentation on how to integrate a new driver and use the already established name of the files that I've posted. They have a whole
    section on how to develop drivers and integrate the
    with the autoconfig and autobuild scripts. Once you do that you can just type make :) after you run the configure script of course setting the parameter to include your driver.

  • While you were writing, i found the developer documentation.

    i was not able to ./configure –enable-driver=all ... there was an error in the documentation, the right switch is --enable-drivers...

    unfortunately, i do not know why, the new driver i called sdeclcd2 becomes sdeclcd2SO in the makefile !!
    i corrected that manually and i am able to compile it ! :)

    Now, i am proud  ;D to tell that my driver is working fine, the 4 buttons returns "Left","Right","Up" and "Down" and i can change the screens.

    For sure, the main part of the program is your, not mine !!

    I will put in online in a few days because i prefer to test it before.

    About the name, do you want to keep this name ?

    Jean Jacques

  • I'd prefer it say the same as it references the name of the LCD module that is being used in the fireboxes.  I think we should also submit the source code to the project so people can just download it as part of the normal distribution of LCDProc.  Then again i'm not sure if there is such of a "demand" to warrant a driver that is for something so specific.

  • I agree, it's a so specific driver that it may not included in lcdproc.

    Anyway, it can be added to pfsense, maybe in download area for those who got a nice red firebox box (i like the color!)

    I have made some tests, it works fine, it's nice in addition with lcdexec.

    I prefer to have more feedback before giving it. Additionnally, i need to understand my compilation troubles, i certainely did someting wrong in the *.am files, but i do not see what for the moment.

    nota : I removed the #include "shared/str.h", because it was giving me a compile error (file not found). It compiles without. Have you some idea?

    Jean Jacques

  • Hello all,

    I solved all my compile problems!
    It was a mistake in

    so i tested th driver yesterday and today, it works.

    here is attached the file, jst change the name : remove the .txt

    make a copy of previous file, in case of trouble, you can reinstall it
    copy it instead of original
    restart LCDd

    Then the 4 keys send messages "Up","Down","Left","Right"

    So the standard LCDd.conf will work.

    if you want to use my kbd setup, here it is :




    Enjoy  :D

    Jean Jacques

  • Hi all Fireboxes users!

    Good news, I improved a little bit driver, by adding now a backlight timer.

    here are instructions:

    • backup your old to, just in case of trouble, you can reinstall the previous one
    • donwload, rename it
    • copy the new instead of the old
    • edit the /usr/local/etc/LCDd.conf file and add in [sdeclcd] section:
      Backlight_Timer=60 if you want 60 seconds
      notice: if no entry is written in LCDd.conf, or if value is set to 0, the timer is disabled.
    • you need to restart your lcdproc driver :
    • killall LCDd
    • LCDd
    • lcdproc
    • lcdexec (if you use it)
      or reboot your Firebox
      => after 60 seconds (or the time you decided), the backlight will turn off. any key will turn it on.  ;D

    keep me informed of your trials.

    Enjoy it  :)

    Jean Jacques

  • the contents of the tarball and linking the libs works fine for me but the *.so.txts you've posted don't work for me and I keep having to revert to the original. Tried downloading with different browsers and scpin' over differently but to no avail.

    I'm using the 1.2.3-RC3 , as I said it works from the tar contents. Just wondering if the forum software or something has mangled the files.

  • Mmm

    I dont like this!

    can you describe what appends ?

    if you try to start LCDd from console, do you get a message ?

    enter in console mode : option 8

    killall LCCd

    I will try the downlod, because i did not tried it.

    I am also running 1.2.3-rc3, so it should be the same.


  • I downloaded the file, size is not ok : 12098 bytes instead of 12022.

    Here is the original file :


  • Thanks so much , I'll test it today for you.

    For the record what was happening was that when you started the daemon it would eventually say there was a timeout listening on the supplied port. It appeared as if the driver was damaged. Which it appears it was! I'll test today :D.

  • Can confirm that this .so works with menu buttons and backlight , which is EXACTLY what i needed .

    Thanks so much for the excellent work! Now to go slay some more firebox firmwares muhahhahahar :D.

  • I am very happy that it works!

    effectively, when i compared the file .so.txt with original, i discover that the web site replaced all 0x0a bytes by the sequence 0x0d 0x0a, this explains why it is longer, and why it did not work!

    Windows compatibilty killed my program!

    I think the backlight timer is a necessary option, because it can save some power…

    I am working on another (and last ?) release with horizontal bars corrected and Vertical bars added.

    unfortanetly, as there are only 8 user chars, heartbeat graphics will not work with this version, i need to replace by other standard chars.

    I have also made some hardware improvement regarding fan control, in order to reduce the noise. I will describe that on my web site later...


  • Awesome work being done. I'm wondering if there is any way you could get a guide up on how to install everything you are writing.


  • Here is the last release:

    • H bar correction : uses now the whole height of display, nicer.
    • V bar addition, now can display cpu load vs time
    • Big clock support, now you can use it as a clock !

    unfortunately, as the number of user chars is very limited, the two latest adds makes the heartbeat unavailable.

    this is the version 1.0.3

    the original author is ridnhard19, who made the main part of the work.

    here are the files :

    for firebox users, just need to replace

    I also included the sources, maybe to use them for converting a retired Firebox to a Freenas, or maybe also a linux box (web server, mail server, …)

    maybe it is possible to place the files on the pfsense server ?

    JJ  :)

  • Can someone please post a complete copy of there  /usr/local/etc/LCDd.conf file as I think I may have badly damaged mine, and I was stupid enough not to make a backup.

  • Here it is :

    This is specific for sdeclcd 1.0.3 with keyboard & backlight timer.

    # LCDd.conf -- configuration file for the LCDproc server daemon LCDd
    # The server will stay in the foreground if set to true.
    #      12345678901234567890
    Hello="  pfSense  booting  "
    Hello="    please wait     "
    # GoodBye message: each entry represents a display line; default: builtin
    #        12345678901234567890
    GoodBye="  Pfsense 1.2.3 rc3 "
    GoodBye="  is shutting down  "
    # The following works excellent with 4 keys or more.
    # If you have 6 keys you may define these as well
    # If you have only 3 keys, you could use something like this:
    ## Firebox specific driver ##
    # EOF

    Jean Jacques

  • Hi,

    :)Thanks to the pseron who worte this -  it works greate :)

    Followed the instruction to most part and got it working with the buttons ans options.
    I have just on question.
    the option that are set via the LCD display and button on the Firebox, - are they saved to the disk ( i use a 2.5" la hdd and not a flash card) any where, if not how can i set the option i wnat so next time pfsens starts they will be there.

    Also what other options are available for the LCDd.conf file that I can use.

    Thanks in advance

  • Tnx to all here helping getting this to work for all of us.

    But there is a small thing that has been nagging me sins i got pfsense on my two Fireboxes.
    I might be posting this in the wrong thread but this is the closest i get to my question.
    So here is my question:

    Is there ANY way to get the armed light to turn green when the system is fully active??

    I know this just is the icing on the cake but i would love if anyone have any idea on how to solve this.


  • whem i wrote the keyboard driver, i made some investigations around fireboxes:

    • the main circuit is a it8712f, which contains all peripherals.

    • to discover wher is the keyboard, i wrote a little spy program which was scanning all ports in the range 0x000 .. 0x3FF to monitor activity, and i discovered that keyboard was using LPT port !

    • to go further, i found in IT8712F datasheet all GPIO wich certainly control the led, oar maybe it is another bit in the LPT ports.

    some tests needs to be done to determine how to access it uses ports 0x2e and 0x2f… for the moment, i have no more time and my firebox is running, so it is difficult to investigate anymore...

    give me a free firebox to investigate  ;)

    there is a possibility to change the led status in the BIOS, you need to plug a pci video card, and a keyboard (i wrote the wiring to PS/2 in another topic) You will need a 90° PCI connector to plug the video card or a PCI spacer.

    There is an option in the bios to control this led.

    Notice that you can also configure your bios to dialog trough the com port, so after that you can enter the bios with a simple terminal.


  • Hi,

    This looks great got it to work.

    I want to make some changes to the display - like remove the host name - so it only displays the function like CPU, MEM etc…
    also want to add a new option toi display the host name on a seperate screen.

    Does any one have all the source code required (all modules lcd, lcdpoc wtc...)-  or do i just need to modify the sdeclcd.c .h files.
    Cause hen you run lcdproc -h you set the set of option - -  whre i need to add a new one.

    Thanks in advance

  • LCDd is the display server, sdeclcd is the display driver for firebox display & kbd.

    messages are generated by lcdproc which creates the screens.

    if you want to customize displays, you may modify lcdproc and compile it on a freebsd machine.

    you will find souces package and compiling instructions on lcdproc source forge page (ver 0.5.3), the web site is not fully updated.

    i did compile it under freebsd to get the latest version, compiling is easy, if you do not make typing errors…

    LCDd can accept simultaneous connections, so you can also use others programs to create dispalys, and you can use lcdexec to create menus.

    lcdproc is flexible in the way you can select different screens which will be displayed one by one, and with lcdexec you can create menus with (limited) actions.
    but screens are pre-programmed.

    another alternative is lcd4linux, which allows to customize your screen, but you can have only one screen.
    another nice feature is the availability to display 2 graphs in one line, there is a complex routine to allow that with only 8 graphic chars, this is remarquable.

    unfortunetely, it does not compile natively under freebsd, i did it, but it was extremely long to setup, and for installing it it on pfsense, you will have to add manually a lot of libraries.


  • Hi

    Thanks JJ - :)
    One other question.
    Do have the pin layout for the firbox x series by any chance?


  • there's another thread about the x550e which is virtually the same as the x750e.,20095.15.html

    I've got the x700 and the x750e

    problems with larger cards on the x750e, but yes it does work.

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