pfSense® software is a free, open source customized distribution of FreeBSD specifically tailored for use as a firewall and router that is entirely managed via web interface. In addition to being a powerful, flexible firewalling and routing platform, it includes a long list of related features and a package system allowing further expandability without adding bloat and potential security vulnerabilities to the base distribution.
The pfSense project was started in September 2004 by Chris Buechler and Scott Ullrich, with a growing development team. Chris is a long time contributor to the m0n0wall project. m0n0wall is a great embedded firewall, but one of the great things about its design is also a limitation to expandability. m0n0wall runs entirely from RAM, the entire OS and all applications are loaded into RAM at boot time. This is a great design for embedded systems, for performance and reliability reasons. However m0n0wall is not capable of being installed into a normal file system on a hard drive. Hence many desirable functions can't be reasonably implemented.
See this blog post for background on the name behind pfSense software.
pfSense is a federally registered trademark of Electric Sheep Fencing LLC. Any unauthorized use of this trademark is prohibited by state and federal law and international treaties.
All rights reserved.
Portions from m0n0wall, Copyright 2002-2014 Manuel Kasper. Please refer to source code header for exact copyright information.
Copyright © 2004-2015 Electric Sheep Fencing, LLC. All rights reserved.
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
"This product includes software developed by the pfSense Project for use in the pfSense® software distribution. (http://www.pfsense.org/)."
"This product includes software developed by the pfSense Project for use in the pfSense software distribution (http://www.pfsense.org/)."
THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE pfSense PROJECT "AS IS'' AND ANY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE pfSense PROJECT OR ITS CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
We look forward to your patches. Before we can accept them, you must sign and submit (via postal mail, email, or electronic submission) an Individual Contributor License Agreement (ICLA) or a Corporate Contributor License Agreement (CCLA). Please read for details.
The purpose of this agreement is to clearly define the terms under which intellectual property has been contributed to the pfSense project and thereby allow us to defend the project should there be a legal dispute regarding the software at some future time. From the individual contributor agreement: "This license is for Your protection as a Contributor as well as the protection of ESF; it does not change your rights to use your own Contributions for any other purpose."
In order to get access to the pfSense build repositories you first must sign the appropriate Contributor License Agreement mentioned above and then submit (via electronic submission only) a License Agreement. Please read the License Agreement (available here in PDF format) for details.