Those of you who read my blog know that I am a big fan of pfSense, I think it’s an excellent firewall/router platform. I’ve been so busy the past few weeks that I didn’t even notice the first release candidate of the much anticipated version 2.0 was now available. Version 2.0 has a ton of great new features but most importantly the core OS has been updated to FreeBSD 8.1. Many of the packages have also been updated for version 2.0
Notable features in pfSense 2.0
- Enhanced web GUI with support for widgets
- Improved multi WAN support
- SMTP email alerts
- Updated traffic shaper
- New user manager
- Support for 3G
Check out the full list of new features
Upgrading to version 2.0
Upgrading pfSense from version 1.2.3 to 2.0 is very easy to do, the whole process takes less than 5 minutes to do. I didn’t run into any problems during my upgrade but just to be safe you might want to backup your configuration first. You can create a backup from the Backup/Restore page found on the diagnostics menu.
Download the 2.0 RC1 update file
You can download the update file from one of the pfSense mirrors. My pfSense system has a 32 bit processor so I downloaded the i386 version, if you have a 64 bit processor you will need the AMD64 file.
(32 bit) pfSense-Full-Update-2.0-RC1-i386-20110226-1429.tgz
(64 bit) pfSense-Full-Update-2.0-RC1-amd64-20110226-1626.tgz
Starting the Update process
Once you have downloaded the update file you can start the upgrade from the manual update page (System\Firmware). Click ‘enable firmware upload’ then browse to the location of the update file you downloaded. Clicking ‘Upgrade Firmware’ will begin the update process. PfSense will automatically reboot when the update is completed. The reboot will take longer than normal while the updater performs some post update tasks such as migrating all of the RRD graphs to the new format. You can monitor the process from the console if you have a monitor connected, otherwise just wait a minute or so.
That’s basically all there is to it, once pfSense starts back up you will be greeted with the new and improved web GUI. All of my settings were saved and the internet was working as soon as the router started back up. As far as upgrades go this is about as easy as it gets.
I think the pfSense team has done a great job with version 2.0! I’m looking forward to experimenting with all of the new features in this version. My first impression with this release is that it feels very polished for only being the first release candidate. I highly recommend upgrading your pfSense system to version 2.0.