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Nokia IP690 – Loading pfsense


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:

  1. 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:
    pfSense-memstick-serial-2.2.2-RELEASE-i386.img
  2. Write the image to your USB drive/stick
  3. Place the install HD in to the extra PC. Remove any other drive. If going for RAID1, you only need one drive.
  4. Plug the USB in to the PC and boot from the USB drive.
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. Remove the CF card from the IP690
  8. Place the loaded hard drive in to the IP690, making sure it is in SLOT A.
  9. If you are going for RAID1, make sure the second hard drive is blank. Install the second hard drive in to SLOT B
  10. Cable up to the serial console. Default console is 9600 8N1
  11. Do NOT plug the USB drive in to the IP690 yet. Doing so will lock the system up during boot!
  12. Power on the IP690: You should see a short text blurp from the console, then a memory test.
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. Reboot  the IP690
  17. 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!
  18. 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!
  19. Push the system to boot from USB by entering: ufs:/dev/da0 and pressing Enter
  20. The system should now boot from the USB drive
  21. Proceed through the process to install as usual. If you are using RAID1, you will be able to see and allocate both drives.
  22. At the end of the install reboot, making sure to remove the USB
  23. Enjoy your pfsense install!

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