NIC Change - Setup Wizard invoked on reboot

  • Hi, I have been using PFSense for a few years now and have it installed in a number of locations. I also use it myself. I have become a big advocate of the product. I just have one query regarding a change of NICs, whether it be to add a nic or remove a nic. When the firewall is powered back on or restarted, it invokes the setup wizard and asks you to if you wish to setup VLANS etc…. This has caused a couple of issue where a 4G dongle may be removed from a firewall, when it is restarted, it invokes the setup rather than booting. If this expected behavior, as this is my experience with a few setups. Is it possible to set PFSense to boot regardless of a NIC addition or removal. For example. I had a perfectly working firewall. Shut it down to install a new PCIe nic and upon powering it back on, it started the setup wizard which I had to do on the unit itself. I would expect that in that scenario, that PFsense would boot as normal and when the webconfiugator is online, you can then simply connect and setup the new NIC without having to do the initial config and then restore a backup config. This is partiucularly hard when you are working remotely and a 4G dongle is removed prior to removing the NIC from the webconfigurator. Upon rebooting, it prompts for the VLAN setup. Is it possible to tell it just boot. It should have the mac addresses of each nic, if one is removed, it should just be disabled. If a new nic is added, it should just be there to setup as a new interface. Does this make sense?

  • @ETAU:

    Does this make sense?

    Your Enter key is broken.

  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    In most routers the interfaces are fixed (Ciscos are slot-identified.  There is no such mechanism in FreeBSD and Peecees.).  In pfSense you can change the underlying hardware.  There is improvement that could be made in this area but it's pretty much up to the FreeBSD project to do it.  Care must be taken when making changes to available interfaces.

  • Netgate Administrator

    The interfaces assign prompt should only be triggered if you remove an interface. If it run if, when the config file is parsed, it has references to interfaces that are no longer present in the system.
    This is a problem, as you say, for newer 4g devices that appear as USB Ethernet devices. Using MAC addresses is often not a viable solution. They can be spoofed but more importantly they often do not correctly provide a MAC to the OS and use a randomly generated one leading to much confusion!
    Some 4G devices can be reconfigured to use a PPP interface which has no problem with disappearing hardware.
    You could add the usb ethernet type to the list of interfaces that are not parsed at boot (VLANs, QinQ etc).  Hard to say quite how that might affect things if you have other interfaces though.


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