PfSense Can't Ping Network Gateway

  • I have a pfSense firewall with four interfaces:

    WAN  -> em0 -> v4: /29
    LAN  -> em1 -> v4: /28
    OPT1 -> em2 -> v4: /24
    OPT2 -> em3 -> v4: /24

    The firewall is a fresh install. I have yet to access the web interface. The only firewall rules are what come with the new install.

    The issue I'm having is that the from the pfSense shell I can't ping em1's network gateway, I have other hosts on that subnet that can ping the gateway, em1 and one another. Also, I can ping the other hosts on that subnet from the pfSense shell.

    When I ping the gateway,, from the pfSense shell I get the response "ping: sendto: Host is down"

    I ran tcpdump on em1 from the FreeBSD shell while a ping to the gateway,, was running in the background, and the "who-is tell" ARP requests have no ARP responses.

  • You found your problem, lacking even the most basic level of network connectivity between those devices. Wrong NIC plugged in, NICs plugged into the wrong place, or something along those lines most likely.

  • The other hosts attached to the firewall have no issues communicating through the firewall and through the interface in question to the gateway in question. I don't see how the interface could be plugged into the wrong place if this scenario is working. If the interface wasn't connected correctly to the target subnet, nothing on the firewall would be able to access that subnet.

  • It's possible to have connectivity issues between two devices and not others for switch or other reasons. The other possibility is an IP conflict, depending on the OS it might not reply if it knows the source IP as a diff MAC or has that source IP locally assigned.

  • I removed the NIC from the pfSense virtual machine in VMWare, put it back, and then it started working properly. It even picked up the same MAC when I put it back. Who knows…

    Thanks for your help

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