We have been covering pfSense for many years on STH so every new release is a big event. Today we have the release of pfSense CE 2.6.0 and also pfSense Plus 22.01. For those that are unaware, the pfSense that is the “free” version is now the Community Edition (CE) while the Plus version is the paid version/ version that comes with pfSense approved appliances. We covered that here.
pfSense CE 2.6.0 Released Along with pfSense Plus 22.01
As for the changes, this feels more like a smaller set of changes with the big ones being around IPsec and ZFS. FreeBSD has supported ZFS for a long time so it is not a big surprise to see that pfSense is taking advantage of the robust filesystem.
- Numerous changes to IPsec for stability and performance
- Read the IPsec section of the Release Notes carefully
- IPsec VTI interface names have changed in this release. Configurations will be updated automatically where possible to use the new names. If any third party software configurations or other manual changes referenced the old IPsec VTI interface names directly (e.g. “ipsecNNNN”), they must be updated to the new format.
- IPsec status page and widget are significantly faster, show more complete information, and have additional useful functionality
- See the Release Notes and Development Notes for additional details
- ZFS is now the default filesystem for installations where possible
- New ZFS status dashboard widget (pfSense Plus only)
- New Disks widget to replace the disk usage list in the System Information widget
- This widget is automatically added and enabled if the firewall configuration contains the System Information widget with disk usage section active
- AutoConfigBackup no longer makes pages wait to load during the backup process
- The default password hash format in the User Manager has been changed from bcrypt to SHA-512
- Improvements to the Captive Portal logout page and process
- RAM disks have been converted to tmpfs (Source: Netgate)
To us, the big one may actually be the ZFS status dashboard widget. This is only in pfSense Plus, but it feels like a bit like a minor feature. Something that the ZFS change does impact is logging. With the swap to ZFS and compression on by default, ZFS is handling the log compression rather than the log rotation feature.
There is already a disks widget on the dashboard in the pfSense CE 2.6.0. Seeing the status of the underlying disks is interesting, but this is probably a feature that will be used by a smaller segment of users.
Overall, new releases are good, but there seems like for pfSense CE users perhaps the biggest change other than default ZFS and the IPsec changes are going to be bug fixes. For those hoping pfSense 2.6.0 as a major dot release would bring a lot of new functionality running through the release notes looks mostly like bug fixes and minor enhancements. Of course, bug fixes are always welcome.
To get pfSense 2.6.0 you can download the ISO or upgrade in the Web UI. We suggest making backups before doing any upgrades. It is also usually wise when a new software version comes out to give it a few days before upgrading on remote systems just in case. Still, it great to see more development on pfSense.