Having the hardware in house, it was time to load it. I chose pfsense as the starting OS for my IP690 install due quite simply to features. It has everything I wanted to include all of the features that were missing in other firewall distributions I have used in the past.
This may seem like a round-about method. My goal on any install is a clean, direct installation. This method allows the actual install to be done ON the IP690. One could install pfsense in another system and move the drive over, edit a few files and be done. To me the method below is cleaner in terms of final product.
What you will need:
- Hard Drive you want to install to (2 if going to for RAID1)
- USB drive to install with
- RJ-45 Serial Console Cable
- Another PC ( that you can get in to! )
What my IP690 came with:
- Hard Drive (40gb Fujitsu SATA150)
- 128mb CF Card
- 2gb RAM
- Encryption Accelerator Card
- 4 Port 1000BaseTX Card
- 2 Port 1000BaseSX Card
- 2 Port 1000BaseSX Card
- Dual Power Supplies
I replaced the HD with a pair of WD 320 Scorpio Black HDs. RAM was upgraded to the maximum the system would support which is 8gb from ebay for 12$.
On to the real work:
- Download the latest version of pfsense. For this install I used 2.2.2. Key items here are the x86 (32bit version) with serial console. The image was:
- Write the image to your USB drive/stick
- Place the install HD in to the extra PC. Remove any other drive. If going for RAID1, you only need one drive.
- Plug the USB in to the PC and boot from the USB drive.
- Perform an install to the hard drive, accepting all the defaults to speed things along (don’t worry, we get to the fun stuff later)
- Once the install is complete shut down the extra PC. Restore it to the original state as you will need it for the serial console.
- Remove the CF card from the IP690
- Place the loaded hard drive in to the IP690, making sure it is in SLOT A.
- If you are going for RAID1, make sure the second hard drive is blank. Install the second hard drive in to SLOT B
- Cable up to the serial console. Default console is 9600 8N1
- Do NOT plug the USB drive in to the IP690 yet. Doing so will lock the system up during boot!
- Power on the IP690: You should see a short text blurp from the console, then a memory test.
- I have seen two things happen here. The system should boot from the installed hard drive directly in to pfsense. In some cases it would drop down to a console prompt with an error about finding the system/root FS. If it fails to boot with this error proceed to STEP 18
- If the system booted in to pfsense fine you will be presented with the normal console menu. Select 8 to drop to the console/shell
- Now for the part one may find odd, we want to break the install by deleting the root line from fstab. For mine this was:
/dev/mirror/pfSenseMirrors1a / ufs rw 11
- Reboot the IP690
- During the boot process, you will again see the memory test. Once this disappears from the screen plug the USB drive in to the front USB port. NOT BEFORE!
- The system should fail to boot and drop to a console with an error about not being able to find the root FS. This is expected and GOOD!
- Push the system to boot from USB by entering: ufs:/dev/da0 and pressing Enter
- The system should now boot from the USB drive
- Proceed through the process to install as usual. If you are using RAID1, you will be able to see and allocate both drives.
- At the end of the install reboot, making sure to remove the USB
- Enjoy your pfsense install!