[Soekris] pfSense on Net6501 hangs during boot

Giles Coochey giles at coochey.net
Mon Sep 16 14:12:08 CEST 2013


On 15/09/2013 13:55, Giles Coochey wrote:
> [26/09/2012] wrote:
> >Hi all,
> >after following all the recent discussions about pfSense on here, I 
> thought it sounded quite interesting and wanted to try it out and see 
> how I like it - >which is probably quite an interesting idea 
> especially since at this time, I honestly don't know a thing about 
> BSD-based systems just yet.
> >Since I wanted pfSense to boot from the internal MSATA flash module 
> and not from a USB stick, I did the following:
> >1. Downloaded the file pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-i386-nanobsd.img.gz
> >2. Copied the file to a USB stick.
> >3. PXE-booted the Debian installer in rescue mode, so I could get to 
> a shell on the Net6501.
> >4. Mounted the USB stick and copied the image file to the flash 
> module using zcat and dd.
> >5. Changed Baud rate to 9600 in Com BIOS.
> >6. Rebooted and saw that FreeBSD was booting on the console.
> >Unfortunately, the boot process seems to hang. The last output I get 
> is this:
> >Booting [/boot/kernel/kernel]...
> >After that, there is no more input on the serial console whatsoever - 
> no error messages or anything like that. What am I doing wrong?
> >Thanks for any help from all you pfSense experts! :-)
> >Robin
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> I've just done a install to a SSD on a 6501-70 and I'm hanging at the 
> same point when trying to boot off the SSD
>
> i.e. it hangs at:
>
> Booting [/boot/kernel/kernel]...               .
> -
>
> I was wondering if you managed to fix your problem and could give any 
> pointers?
I ended up putting the mSATA into a normal box with VGA etc... and 
running the install for the 2.1 pfsense release for i386. Then moving 
the mSATA disk to the Soekris.
I had to correct /etc/fstab to mount the root correctly.

All working!

While I could get PXE boot running, dd'ing images to the SSD didn't 
appear to work, and it seems that is the issue somewhat. I wanted to 
avoid moving the mSATA to another machine as it (a laptop) doesn't give 
the best access to it (need to remove the keyboard).

Does anyone have a list of tweaks for pfsense when using SSDs? I've 
selected the "Embedded" kernel during the install and enabled "*Use 
memory file system for /tmp and /var" *within pfsense webgui, just 
wondering if there is anything else that might prolong the SSD lifetime?

-- 
Regards,

Giles Coochey, CCNP, CCNA, CCNAS
NetSecSpec Ltd
+44 (0) 8444 780677
+44 (0) 7983 877438
http://www.coochey.net
http://www.netsecspec.co.uk
giles at coochey.net

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