Start-up problems with installation on a SD card in SD/MMC

  • I installed PFsense 2.1.5 from CD on a SD-card of 4GB in a generic SD/MMC on a PC with one NIC and a USB NIC.

    Everything works if I select option 3 (Boot pfSensse using USB device)  in the welcome menu.

    Is there a way to change the default option?  So that it will use option 3 instead of 1.

    any help for a newbie is very much appreciated.

    kind regards

  • so far i can understand, you have simply copied the cd content to the sd card?

    or if from the cd, you have selected install TO the sd card ?

  • I didn't copy the content of the CD on the SD-card; I installed pfsense on the SD-card instead of on a harddisk.


  • Rebel Alliance

  • What I mean is there a way to alter the order of the option menu and make option #3
    the default.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Selecting option 3 at the boot menu simply does the same thing as that doc ptt linked to.

    If running permanently from a medium that requires this delay, edit /boot/loader.conf.local and insert the following line:"10000"

    The loader.conf.local file does not exist by default so you have to create it.

    Why are you running a full install from an SD card? You should really be using a Nano image on flash media.


  • Thank you Steve for your clear explanation understandeble for a newbie.
    Now it works on the default option.

    I am running it on a SD card because I am using pfSense only as a firewall at home and I think there is place
    enough on a 4GB SD-card.
    An other reason is I wanted to make use of the write-only switch on the SD-card is protecting the settingsfile, FreeBSD
    and pfSense software.  (My pfSense PC is booted every day)
    But for one reason or an another this is not working.  In every state of the lock switch write to the card is possible.

  • Netgate Administrator

    4GB probably is more than enough if you're not using any hungry packages like Squid. However the reason to use one of the NanoBSD images id that they are especially designed for running from flash. Flash media has a much more limited number of write cycles before it becomes damaged so you have to take care not to write it too often. That means not using swap, moving temp files to a ram drive, disabling the filesystem marking each file with the time each time they are read etc. Nano does all that for you.

    If you are going to run a full install you should move /tmp and /var to ram disks using the options in System: Advanced: Miscellaneous:


  • Thank you Steve.
    I installed the nanoBSD image on a 4GB USB stick.
    Now I am going to look for a USB stick with a write-protect switch.


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