How To Setup Pfsense 2.4.4 On Oracle VM VirtualBox 6.1 In A Few Simple Steps.

PFSENSE is one of the world’s leading open-source firewall solution that is free to download, install and use on almost any computer. It can be a dedicated rack server, tower server, standard desktop, virtual machine, public or private cloud environment, as long as if PFSENSE supports it you can pretty much deploy it free of charge.  PFSENSE has amazing features that are normally found on popular PAID firewall solutions and those features include : STATEFUL PACKET INSPECTION, GEO BLOCKING, IPSEC AND OPENVPN, DYNAMIC DNS, CAPTIVE PORTAL GUEST NETWORK, SITE-TO-SITE AND REMOTE ACCESS VPN SERVER, DHCP & DNS SERVER, PROXY AND CONTENT FILTERING, DOMAIN / URL FILTERING, RADIUS SERVER, MULTI WAN LOAD BALANCING, SNORT BASED PACKET ANALYZER, RULE BASED FIREWALL and alot more features.  Continue reading this tutorial to learn how to setup a PFSENSE version 2.4.4 virtual machine on Oracle VM VirtualBox 6.1 in a few simple steps.

Requirements.

In order to complete this tutorial successfully the following items are required. Please ensure to have these items available before taking implementation action on this tutorial :
1) Desktop or laptop computer with Windows, Linux or MacOS installed
2) Pfsense 2.4.4 install disk image file (ISO)
3) Internet connection (optional)
4) Oracle VM Virtualbox 6.1

Overview.

1) Click HERE to go to the official PFSENSE download page to get a copy of the PFSENSE 2.4.4 disk image file.
2) Open virtualbox and create a new freebsd virtual machine, allocate 1024 MB of memory, a 50GB virtual hard disk and two virtual network interfaces
3) Power on the virtual machine, set the PFSENSE disk image file as the startup disk and install PFSENSE
4) Open a web browser, open the PFSENSE web configurator and complete the PFSENSE post installation setup.

Step One : Download PFSENSE 2.4.4 Install Disk Image File (ISO)

1) To get started setting up PFSENSE as an Oracle VM VirtualBox 6.1 virtual machine download the official pfsense installation ISO file HERE.

On the downlad page, choose AMD(64) on the ARCHITECTURE drop down and choose a mirror location closest to you on the MIRROR dropdown menu.

Once the download completes,extract the PFSENSE zip file using 7ZIP or WINRAR to any location on your computer (the desktop or documents folder would be ideal.

Step Two : Create The PFSENSE Virtual Machine

2) Open Oracle VM virtualbox 6.2 installed on your computer and click on the “NEW” button. This will launch the “CREATE VIRTUAL MACHINE” wizard.

3) On the “NAME AND OPERATING SYSTEM” section, type in a name in the “NAME” text input box to identify the pfsense virtual machine. Choose a location tosave virtual a machine files on the “MACHINE FOLDER” drop down menu.

On the “TYPE” drop down menu choose BSD and select FREEBSD(64 BIT) on the “VERSION” drop down menu.

Click on the “NEXT” button to proceed.

4) On the “MEMORY SIZE” section, select the amount of memory to allocate to the PFSENSE virtual machine using the memory slider or specify an exact value on text input box. PFSENSE recommends a minimum of 512MB or more of RAM for PFSENSE to work well.

5) Select the “CREATE A VIRTUAL HARD DISK NOW” radio button and click on the “CREATE” button to proceed.

On the “HARD DISK FILE TYPE” virtual box supports VHD, VDI and VHDX file types. This allows the creation of a virtual hard disk that can be used on other virtualization platforms such as microsoft hyper-v. This is a handy feature if you intend to move the PFSENSE virtual machine to a microsft hyper-v, vmware or linux based virtualization host.

Choose an option that best suits your needs and click “NEXT”

6) On the “STORAGE AND PHYSICAL DISK SECTION” select the “DYNAMICALLY ALLOCATED” option. A dynamically allocated virtual disk will only use physical disk space as it fills up.

Click on the “NEXT” button, specify a the hard disk size on the next session (i.e 50GB would be ideal) and click on the “CREATE” button.

7) PFSENSE requires atleast two network adapters for function properly as network firewall. However virtual box only assign one network adapter when a virtual machine is beign created. To add a second network adapter, select the PFSENSE virtual machine and click on “SETTINGS”.

Choose the “NETWORK” option.  Adapter 1 is already enabled, select adapter 2 and click on “ENABLE  NETWORK ADAPTER”. Select an interface type  on the “ATTACHED TO:” drop down menu and choose a physical network interface on the “NAME” drop down menu.

Click on the “OK” button to proceed.

Step Three: Start The Virtual Machine And Install PFSENSE.

8) On the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager,To power on the PFSENSE virtual machine and click on the start button.

9) Click on the browse icon on the “SELECT STARTUP DISK” dialogue that appears and click start.

10) The newly created PFSENSE will now boot up using the select pfsense install image file (ISO). Press “ENTER” to select the “BOOT MULTI USER” option

11) Press the ENTER key to accept the “COPYRIGHT AND DISTRIBUTION” notice.

12) Select the “INSTALL PFSENSE” option and press “ENTER”. On “KEY MAP SELECTION” press “ENTER” to continue with the default keymap (US keyboard map).

On the “PARTITIONING” section select the “AUTO UFS Guided Disk Setup” option. This will automatically partition the virtual hard disk and start the installation process.

13) Once the installation process is complete, the PFSENSE installer will ask if you would to open the shell and make any final manual changes. If the are no changes needed at this stage select the “NO” option and press “ENTER”.

Press “ENTER” on the “REBOOT” option.

14) After the reboot, PFSENSE will automatically configure the LAN and WAN network adapters. The default login username is admin and the password is pfsense. Enter these login credential on the login prompt and PFSENSE will display WAN and LAN ip address information.

Step Four: Open The Web Based Configurator In A Web Browser And Complete The PFSENSE Post Installation Setup Process.

15) Open your favourite web browse and enter the PFSENSE LAN ip address (https://192.168.1.1) in the browser search bar. This will open the PFSENSE web configurator.

Enter the username “admin” and the password “pfsense” and click “SIGN IN”
16) On the PFSENSE setup wizard click on the “NEXT” button until your reach “STEP 2 OF 9”. Add a hostname, domain name, primary dns server and secondary dns server on the appropriate text input box’s and click “NEXT”

17) On “STEP 3 OF 9” add a URL for an NTP server in the “TIME SERVER HOSTNAME” field and choose a timezone on the “TIMEZONE” drop down menu.

18) On “STEP 4 OF 9” configure the WAN interface settings. PFSENSE supports DHCP, STATIC, PPPOE and PPTP WAN connection types. If the PFSENSE virtual machine is running in a LAB environment and the WAN network is in a private address space ensure to uncheck the Block RFC1918 Private Networks check box at the bottom of the page.

Click “NEXT” to proceed.

19)On “STEP 5 of 9” you can change the “LAN” address address from the default to a custom address. and on “STEP 6 OF 9” set an admin password for the PFSENSE WEBGUI.

20) PFSENSE will save and apply change and settings that you have selected on the setup wizard. The web configurator will reload and open the PFSENSE administrator dashboard.

Proceed by clicking on “SYSTEM > UPDATE” . To check for any available updates. If there are updates available, PFSENSE will automatically prompt you to install them.

21) You can also change the web configurator protocol from the default HTTPS to HTTP and also set a custom port number for added securtiy. To do this go the “SYSTEM > ADVANCED . ADMIN ACCESS”
22) AWESOME! You have successfully Setup Pfsense 2.4.4 On Oracle VM VirtualBox 6.1​

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