pfsense 2.2 Released! Major new version

pfSense Hyper-V 2.2-RC
pfSense Hyper-V 2.2-RC

Today pfsense 2.2 was finally released. Suffice to say we are excited. We have been testing pfsense 2.2 in the lab for over 6 months ever since the alpha build was available in 2014. pfsense 2.2 is a game changer, especially for those looking for a quick and easy to configure virtualized router and firewall.

Here is a bit more of our coverage on the pfsense 2.2 development:

Over the coming few weeks we will show a few guides on using pfsense 2.2 now that it is finally released. We have not only been running the software for months, but we have been running it virtualized on a Hyper-V 2012 R2 hypervisor. The hardware in the test system is a Supermiccro A1SAi-2550F which has a quad core Avoton processor. Our original configuration had only 4GB of RAM. Even with 4 Avoton cores and 4GB of RAM with a Microsoft hypervisor, we still had plenty of compute left over on the home network for other tasks.

pfSense Hyper-V 2.2-RC
pfSense Hyper-V 2.2-RC

The machine now has 32GB of RAM and handles not just router/ firewall duty (there are over 200 physical/ virtual machines on the lab network) but also a Ubuntu MAAS server and a small backup server.

One of the best features of virtualizing your router/ NAS is the ability to checkpoint and revert to previous checkpoints easily. For us, we kept many checkpoints over the life of the testing cycle, especially before each major upgrade:

pfSense Hyper-V Checkpoints
pfSense Hyper-V Checkpoints

When things went poorly due to a poor configuration choice, a bad package install/ upgrade or other issue, reverting to the previous checkpoint took a matter of seconds.

Here is a quick recap from our previous article:

Key Changes in pfsense 2.2

The biggest change with pfSense 2.2 is that pfSense 2.2 is based off of FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE. That meant that the pfsense team did quite a bit of work modernizing the project. Here are some of the key changes:

  • Upgrade to FreeBSD 10.1 from the previous 2.1 version based off of FreeBSD 8.3
  • IPsec stack to include AES-GCM, and IKEv2
  • Change to php-fpm
  • BIND changed to Unbound

The bottom line here is that there is an absolutely massive upgrade in driver support as well as other key features (e.g. mutli-threaded pf support, better crypto acceleration and etc.)

Security fixes

pfsense 2.2 has been in RC status for some time now. One reason for this is a number of low-impact security fixes which have been incorporated and tested. These include:

Suffice to say, we are extremely excited and will have more soon. For now, check out the pfsense page to get your copy.


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