SG-4860 Initial setup



  • Hi gang,
    just received my new Sg-4860 yesterday and did not order a mini-usb cable.
    Now I am trying to connect to the console port, I have standard USB to Mini-USB cables, however there seems to be some confusion as to what cable I really need. Do I need a Null-modem USB to Mini-USB ? Just a standard USB to Mini-USB ?
    The cable was a $4 option, you would think that on a $700 box, it would be included.
    As well, once the Putty session is opened and there is connection to this box, does a simple power-on or power-off power-on start the boot process ?
    Sorry, I have always worked with computer and EsXI based pfsense installations , this is my first time with a console port so not too sure how to proceed.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Christian L.
    Gatineau, Quebec
    CANADA



  • @strikeshield:

    Do I need a Null-modem USB to Mini-USB ?

    There's nothing like that (maybe some really clever chinese people will do it sometime, who knows?)
    You will need the drivers for the built-in serial-USB interface (from Silicon Image, IIRC). Someone linked them in this forum already.
    And then follow a thread called RCC-VE.



  • If it's anything like the RCC-VE 2440, you just need a regular USB-A to mini USB-B cable. 
    You will need to read the documentation and download a driver for the UART you are connecting to. 
    You also may need to modify a couple of conf files to specify port 2f8 on the USB stick you'll use to load the OS. 
    See the thread about the RCC-VE in the hardware forum.
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=91567



  • @jahonix:

    @strikeshield:

    Do I need a Null-modem USB to Mini-USB ?

    There's nothing like that (maybe some really clever chinese people will do it sometime, who knows?)
    You will need the drivers for the built-in serial-USB interface (from Silicon Image, IIRC). Someone linked them in this forum already.
    And then follow a thread called RCC-VE.

    Now the cable we are talking about is NOT a null modem cable, but just a plain old ordinary usb to mini-usb right ? The documentation specifies null-modem hence my confusion. As for the drivers, they would be in reference to the actual interface chips used ON the SG-4860 right ?
    Now this unit is already pre-loaded with the latest pfsense on a SSD 128 so it should just just boot or give me the same console screen you get when it is installed on a computer and you are plugged into the video card I gather.
    Would anyone know if there are specific boot sequences on this box, or just plug it in and that's it ?
    thanks again for all your help and patience with this.

    Christian



  • @strikeshield:

    @jahonix:

    @strikeshield:

    Do I need a Null-modem USB to Mini-USB ?

    There's nothing like that (maybe some really clever chinese people will do it sometime, who knows?)
    You will need the drivers for the built-in serial-USB interface (from Silicon Image, IIRC). Someone linked them in this forum already.
    And then follow a thread called RCC-VE.

    Now the cable we are talking about is NOT a null modem cable, but just a plain old ordinary usb to mini-usb right ? The documentation specifies null-modem hence my confusion. As for the drivers, they would be in reference to the actual interface chips used ON the SG-4860 right ?
    Now this unit is already pre-loaded with the latest pfsense on a SSD 128 so it should just just boot or give me the same console screen you get when it is installed on a computer and you are plugged into the video card I gather.
    Would anyone know if there are specific boot sequences on this box, or just plug it in and that's it ?
    thanks again for all your help and patience with this.

    Christian

    You just need a regular USB-A to Mini-B cable.  Just like is used for Playstation 3 controllers, cameras, etc.
    Since you already have pfSense loaded, just plug in a laptop on the LAN port, set your IP stack for DHCP and then navigate to https://192.168.1.1.  You can enable SSH from the webgui.



  • Just call 819 682 2067 they are opened tomorow from 10am - 5pm, I am pretty sure they
    have one or go to best buy.

    Serial Console cable
    Serial to USB console cable
    C2758 1U pfSense® Security Gateway Appliance
    VK-T40E pfSense® Security Gateway Appliance

    Cisco Console Cable RJ45-to-DB9
    FW-7551 pfSense® Firewall Hardware Appliance

    USB A to mini USB B Console cable
    SG-8860 pfSense® Security Gateway Appliance
    SG-4860 pfSense® Security Gateway Appliance
    SG-2440 pfSense® Security Gateway Appliance

    But I am pretty sure if this is not an USB OTG cable that comes with chips inside
    you will be the lucky one and able to buy a also cheap one to get things working!

    But once from me to this topic, why you need now a console cable really?
    pfSense is pre installed and should boot proper from the internal soldered
    nand or a SSD or a mSATA, likes you where ordering it. So at the first time
    you don´t need a console cable as I see it right.



  • You just need a regular USB-A to Mini-B cable.  Just like is used for Playstation 3 controllers, cameras, etc.
    Since you already have pfSense loaded, just plug in a laptop on the LAN port, set your IP stack for DHCP and then navigate to https://192.168.1.1.  You can enable SSH from the webgui.

    I tried that and it doesn't work as the WAN and LAN ports have not been set up so it would appear that I cannot log in as I need to assign those NICs. Unless I am mistaken.



  • You are mistaken.  LAN and WAN are assigned automatically.



  • So what you're saying is that all I have to do is plug into the LAN port and go to https://192.168.1.1 and that's it ?
    Why would I need the console port then ?
    I am trying every which way to connect to it, its DHCP server is not issuing IP addresses. Should I hard code a 192.168.1.2 to my laptop and then go to 1.1 ?



  • Further to my ongoing investigation into the USB cable, the docs indicate this what is copied hereunder.
    So the USB to Mini-USB cable that is used on a playstation is NOT the right cable if I understand correctly. Can an experienced pfsense user confirm this. This is very confusing. Thanks for all your help and sorry for being such a noob on this issue.

    Null Modem Serial Cables
    Between the client serial port and firewall serial port, a Null Modem serial cable is required, or a standard serial cable with a Null Modem Adapter. These cables are wired in a special way that rolls the transmit and receive pins allowing the serial ports to properly transmit and receive data from each other.
    Some special console cables that ship with embedded systems are already Null Modem cables. Check with the retailer or OEM to find out for sure.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    For these units, no null modem is required.

    The USB console port connects with a standard mini-B type connector cable and presents itself as a USB-to-serial adapter on the connecting PC. After dealing with the drivers, if necessary, fire up a terminal program on the new COM port and off you go.

    If the quick start guide mentions a null modem cable that's probably just leftover text from an older revision of the guide and it'll be fixed in a future revision of the doc.



  • Thank you everyone for your assistance.
    Just got off the phone with pfsense and after board resets, it appears that I have a faulty
    board. They issued and RMA and I am returning it for a replacement.
    Great people great response and service. This is a new system and board and faulty boards are very rare, so unfortunately I got a lemon. Shit happens !

    With respect to the pe-configured SG-4860 or any other for that matter, there is NO reason to connect through the serial console port. The appliance has a DHCP server pre-configured and should provide an IP address when one connects to the LAN port.

    (BTW, the console cable is a standard USB to Mini-USB cable nothing fancy. The UART chip contains the serial interface with the proper configuration which does NOT require a NULL MODEM cable. That information in the documentation is a remnant of older systems.)

    I must note that both SSD and SYSTEM LEDs were solid RED which was an indicator that there was an issue with the board. The engineer at pfsense had me do a jumper change and board reset but without success. So back it goes to Austin and will impatiently await the replacement.

    thanks again for all your help.


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