Installing pfSense onto a 16GB SATA SSD



  • I would like to install pfSense onto a system containing a 16GB SATA SSD. For this purpose, should I use an "embedded" CF image, or a regular desktop install?

    If I use the CF image, will my disk space be limited to 4GB? If so, is there any way (e.g. re-partitioning) to utilize my entire drive?



  • Are you installing on a PC or an appliance like an ALIX unit?  Embedded is mainly for appliances; full install for PCs/virtual machines.


  • Netgate

    I'd install the regular LiveCD, even on an ALIX if it had and SSD instead of CF/SD.

    There might be some increase in wear leveling capacity if you only make the partition 6 or 8 or 12 etc GB but I'm not sure.

    And it depends.  If you're planning on running a squid cache, etc, it will use the drive much more than pfSense itself, but since you can't run squid on Nano/embedded I guess that point is moot.  And I'm not saying you will be using the drive too much.  Just something to think about.



  • It's a fanless 1U rack-mount server. I wouldn't really call it a full PC, but it can run a "normal" OS without a problem. The SSD datasheet says it has some built-in wear leveling, but I don't know how advanced it is.



  • Full install for sure then.



  • @Derelict:

    I'd install the regular LiveCD, even on an ALIX if it had and SSD instead of CF/SD.

    There might be some increase in wear leveling capacity if you only make the partition 6 or 8 or 12 etc GB but I'm not sure.

    And it depends.  If you're planning on running a squid cache, etc, it will use the drive much more than pfSense itself, but since you can't run squid on Nano/embedded I guess that point is moot.  And I'm not saying you will be using the drive too much.  Just something to think about.

    I've been trying to find out if the wear levelling will use any space on the ssd not already included in the partition. If it did, potentially the life will be longer than would normally be expected in a typical ssd setup where the partition(s) fills the entire disk.

    Windows, spots when its running on an SSD and disables the swap file automatically as the ssd is almost as fast as ram, but in pfsense mine running on ssd are showing a swap file is used, when imo its not required.


  • Netgate

    FreeBSD does not like to run out of memory.  It might be mandatory - I can't remember.  You will probably see nothing but this though - or your firewall performance will be really sucking hard.

    Fro my home unit on a 64G SSD:

    ![Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 9.52.05 AM.png](/public/imported_attachments/1/Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 9.52.05 AM.png)
    ![Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 9.52.05 AM.png_thumb](/public/imported_attachments/1/Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 9.52.05 AM.png_thumb)



  • I think my 2.1.x versions used swap, but cant say I have noticed 2.2 using swap yet. Perhaps the latest bsd version spots ssd in use and just doesnt use it now?