NIC Drivers: Embedded vs LiveCD/Full



  • Is there an article somewhere which lists the differences in available drivers/supported hardware from the embedded image vs the LiveCD?  I'm currently using Parallels to create a pfSense VM which I will then migrate out to a USB Flash drive onto a system.  If I boot the LiveCD in a VM, it sees the emulated NICs just fine (Realtek 8029(AS)), but after writing the embedded image to a disk image and booting it, it's not finding any interfaces.  I dug through the wiki and the dev wiki and couldn't find anything that listed out the differences in the kernel between LiveCD and Embedded.  Is this expected, or maybe a bug I'm running into?



  • Afaik there should be no difference in nic support between livecd, embedded or full install. If you install the livecd to the media does it work then? You can manually set such an full install to "embedded mode" by changing the platform string ( diagnostics>edit file, /etc/platform, change from "pfsense" to "embedded" and reboot).



  • @hoba:

    Afaik there should be no difference in nic support between livecd, embedded or full install. If you install the livecd to the media does it work then? You can manually set such an full install to "embedded mode" by changing the platform string ( diagnostics>edit file, /etc/platform, change from "pfsense" to "embedded" and reboot).

    Fired it up that way and it works fine, I just flipped it to embedded.  What are the differences?  I noticed that I see the 'starting embedded specific' during the rc, and lots of filesystem is dirty running fsck -ys.  It still dumps to VGA console this way.  However, the important part is the pfSense kernel vs the embedded kernel, the NICs do work, so I'm guessing there are some drivers excluded from embedded.  Are there any details on converting full to 'embedded' run mode?  Basically I'd like a full pfSense install (and have the space for it) but I'm aiming to put it on flash, so I'd prefer it writing to ramdisks.



  • Embedded will run the filesystem read only to save writecycles on flashmedia. It doesn't offer packageinstallation and has logs and other things on a ramdisk.

    You can still enable the serial console at system>advanced if needed. You might need to set the platform to pfSense again though to see he option, not sure…. or manually add it to the config.xml.



  • @hoba:

    Embedded will run the filesystem read only to save writecycles on flashmedia. It doesn't offer packageinstallation and has logs and other things on a ramdisk.

    You can still enable the serial console at system>advanced if needed. You might need to set the platform to pfSense again though to see he option, not sure…. or manually add it to the config.xml.

    So the filesystem dirty messages are just a byproduct of an 'ugly' handler for the ramdisks I take it?  As long as it's not something broken because there's another setting somewhere I missed, I'm cool with it.  Seems functional even with the messages though.  Basically I'm just trying to avoid using any moving part media, but still using a full PC as the hardware around it.



  • I think the problem appears because you set the system to embedded while the media is mounted writeable. You could probably get rid of this "spam" by setting the file to platform pfsense again, performing a clean shutdown and then modifying the file back to embedded while pfsense is not running on this media so it boots up already with this file being set to embedded. You'll need another freebsd (or even pfSense) system to do this which sould not be too hard as you do this all in vm anyway.


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