How to setup Wifi from Shell/Console

  • Hi,
    I am new to pfsense.  I resently setup a box for VPN and is working great.  Now I am trying to setup a second.  But there is a catch.  Its a Laptop with 1 Ethernet and 1 wireless adapter and I want to set it up as an AP and then setup for VPN for a different country.  From what I can see while attempting to setup, I will need to do this from linux shell.  I do know linux command line a bit and am comfortable with VI. Can anyone help?  I just need to get the most basic SSID running and connect.  Rest I can setup on web-gui.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Just found this in install manual from pfSense.

    NOTE: If only one NIC is assigned (WAN), This is called Appliance Mode. In this mode, pfSense will move the GUI anti-lockout rule to the WAN interface so the firewall may be accessed from there. The usual routing functions would not be active since there is no "internal" interface. This type of configuration is useful for VPN appliances, DNS servers, etc.

    I will try connecting computer by network cable to WAN and try to access, tonight.

  • Was able to remote into PC at home where the laptop is and access the web-gui via WAN port.  I was also able to select the wireless card as LAN and also assign same adapter to Opt1 and then configure AP. Dashboard is showing UP for WAN and Opt1.  I went to configure a Cert and got disconnected.  I am hoping it changed from Application mode to what would be setup for Router..

    If I can connect to wifi, how do I confirm this and ensure firewall security? At atleast what default would be?

  • So I would assume a shell setup is possible. I would loosely follow these instructions.

    I have never attempted a complete wireless install from shell, but I have been digging around checking out "if_bridge" under command shell… Seems you can create a bridge from the shell.

  • Here is an example using laptop.

    I am having a hard time understanding your problem. Are you trying to remotely install pfSense, then setup wifi? You mention VPN then Linux and i am lost after that… Break your question down into something digestible.. I dunno why you say Linux Vi, but pfSense does use Vi as well.

    Do you have physical access to the second box your setting up?

  • My goal is to setup a laptop as access point.  Forget what I mentions about VPN and Linux VI.
    Issue that I found was that I had no LAN port to access web gui since is was being used for WAN. I was able to access web gui from WAN port 2 days ago and I thought I setup wireless properly but I lost connection and cant get back in.  I also dont see the SSID on my other wireless devices.

    Thanks I will take a look at link.

  • Single Interface Setup

    Fresh Install–From Console
    Set WAN=ATH0
    Set LAN=EM0(Or Similar)
    Goto menu#2
    Set Static IP's for both LAN and WAN(Seperate subnets)
    Set DHCP server on LAN with address ranges.

    Connect to LAN port on pfsense via ethernet and another computer. Wait for Windows to connect.

    Pull up WEBGUI at LAN IP - Setup your WAN as WIFI/AP/SSID///Persist common settings=ON///
    Goto DHCP Server tab. Set WAN DHCP server ON with appropriate address's.

    Now reboot your pfSense laptop.

    On reboot from console menu #1 swap your device assignments like this.


    Then you need to go to #2 on the console menu and set your LAN IP and re-enable DHCP server and address ranges for your wireless network. You can now set WAN to receive IP via DHCP client.

    Reboot pfsense laptop, disconnect LAN connected computer and when up --Login via wifi to confirm working.

    Now you can use the ethernet jack to provide internet to your pf/laptop from your upstream box.

  • Here is an old tutorial.Still relevant.
    Youtube Video

  • Changing the LAN IP from is advisable, especially if using on a network with an exsisting addresss, such as your upstream box.

    In the video he does it from the WebGUI. You could also do it on interface swap setup on my instructions from console. My directions are slighly different. Both work. He details AP setup good.

  • I had to update my instructions to include a dhcp server on both interfaces before swap. It really helped. So i started with on WAN and on LAN before swap and after swap ends up as LAN/wifi and WAN is Dynamic Dhcp.

  • Awesome, thank you so much.  Ill try this as soon as i have free time.

  • It worked!
    Thanks so much!

    Now I am trying to config OpenVPN… Problems... Guess a different tread for that one.

  • Have you tried this walk-thru for openVPN.

  • sorry update. forget if I looked at that last walk-thought, but the laptop was not able to push out a strong enough signal for my needs.
    I ended up getting a second old pc and putting pcfsense on that and then connected an old wireless router.

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