Tutorial on Installing and Configuring PfSense on a Mini PC

Preparation:

Required for Setup:

  • PfSense image file
  • USB flash drive (minimum 4GB capacity)
  • Win32 Disk Imager (tool for writing the image)

 

1. Downloading PfSense Image File and Crafting Installation Media

1-1. Access the PfSense download page by opening your web browser and visiting //www.pfsense.org/download/. Choose the following specifications: AMD64 (64-bit), DVD image (iso), Austin, TX USA. Once your choices are made, click on DOWNLOAD. After the completion of the download, employ decompression software to extract the file into ISO format.

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1-2. Obtain Win32 Disk Imager by entering //win32diskimager.org/ in the browser’s address bar. Following the download’s completion, proceed to install and launch the software. Connect the USB flash drive and utilize the software to inscribe the PfSense ISO file onto the USB drive.

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2. PfSense Installation (Disconnect Ethernet Cable During Installation)

2-1. Place the prepared USB flash drive into a USB port on the computer designated for the pfSense installation. Power up the computer and swiftly press either the F11/Del/F7 key on your keyboard (depending on your computer model) to access the Boot Setup menu. Opt for the choice starting with “UEFI:” followed by the USB drive’s name and press Enter. Allow the system self-check to finalize, guiding you to the installation wizard. Follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with the installation. Reference the provided screenshots for visual guidance: [Include relevant screenshots if available.]

 

 

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2-2. When prompted with “How would you like to partition your disk?” in this tutorial, opt for “Auto (UFS) UEFI format.” This choice is essential to avoid scenarios where the operating system might encounter difficulties initiating without a connected display.

 

 

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2-3. At this juncture, the pfSense files have been effectively transferred to the hard drive. To circumvent re-entering the installation interface upon restarting, eject the installation media (USB drive) and initiate a restart. This action will lead you to the pfSense command-line console.

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3. Initial Configuration of PfSense

3-1. As illustrated in the image below, you’ve accessed the pfSense command-line console. When asked, “Should VLANs be set up now [y | n]?”, respond with n and press Enter.

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3-2. Configuring the WAN Interface involves entering the WAN interface name or selecting “a” for auto-detection. For this guide, choose “re0” as the WAN interface. Input “re0” and press Enter.

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3-3. To set up the LAN Interface, input the LAN interface name or select “a” for auto-detection. In this tutorial, opt for “re1” as the LAN interface. Enter “re1” and press Enter.

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3-4. When prompted with “Do you want to proceed [y | n]?” Enter “y” and press Enter.

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3-5. Upon successful setup, link the Internet network to the WAN port and connect the LAN port to the local LAN network. In standard DHCP-enabled network setups, IP addresses are acquired automatically. For this tutorial, both WAN and LAN IP addresses have been obtained automatically.

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3-6. Utilizing a Mini PC connected to the LAN network, launch a web browser and input the LAN IP address into the browser’s address bar. In this guide, the management IP address is 192.168.1.1 (alternatively, you can set the WAN and LAN IP addresses in the console by pressing the number “2” to align with your network needs). The default pfSense username is “admin,” and the default password is “pfsense.” Once you gain access to the web management interface, adhere to on-screen instructions to configure essential parameters based on your specifications. Refer to the provided partial screenshots for visual guidance: [Include relevant screenshots if available.]

 

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