Versions

There are three pfSense® platforms, multiple release versions, and development/testing snapshots available. You can see the changelog of realase notes on the releases section of the blog. The following describes the available platforms and versions.

Summary

Downloads for pfSense software are split into two sections: New Installs, and Upgrades. You can determine the files needed for your install by checking the following table, and reading the rest of this page for guidance.

New Install Files

Filename Purpose
pfSense-2.1.2-RELEASE-arch.iso.gz Live CD/Full installer
pfSense-memstick-2.1.2-RELEASE-arch.img.gz USB stick installer
pfSense-2.1.2-RELEASE-size-arch-nanobsd.img.gz NanoBSD/embedded (Serial Console)
pfSense-2.1.2-RELEASE-size-arch-nanobsd_vga.img.gz NanoBSD/embedded (VGA Console)
*.md5 MD5 hash files for download verification
*.sha256 SHA256 hash files for download verification

Upgrade Files

Filename Purpose
pfSense-Full-Update-2.1.2-RELEASE-arch.tgz Full install update
pfSense-2.1.2-RELEASE-size-arch-nanobsd-upgrade.img.gz NanoBSD/embedded (Serial Console)
pfSense-2.1.2-RELEASE-size-arch-nanobsd_vga-upgrade.img.gz NanoBSD/embedded (VGA Console)
*.md5 MD5 hash files for download verification
*.sha256 SHA256 hash files for download verification

Architectures

Starting with pfSense 2.0, there are versions for both i386 (32-bit) and amd64 (64-bit) architectures. This architecture is noted in each of the filenames for download. The amd64 architecture (which does work even on Intel 64-bit CPUs) can address more memory and may have other performance advantages, but requires a compatible CPU. If you have a 64-bit capable CPU, use the amd64 version.

Platforms

Three platforms are available:

Live CD or USB Memstick with Installer

The Live CD platform allows you to run directly from the CD without installing to a hard drive or Compact Flash card. The configuration can be saved on a floppy disk or USB flash drive. Some features are not compatible with the Live CD platform. In most circumstances, this should only be used as an evaluation of the software with your particular hardware. Starting with pfSense 2.0 the Live CD is also available in a USB memstick version that works identically to the Live CD.

The Live CD files are named pfSense-2.1.2-RELEASE-arch.iso.gz where arch is i386 or amd64, depending on if you want to run the 32-bit or 64-bit version.

The USB memstick file is named pfSense-memstick-2.1.2-RELEASE-arch.img.gz.


Hard drive installation

The Live CD includes an installer option to install pfSense software to the hard drive on your system. This is the preferred means of running pfSense software. The entire hard drive must be overwritten, dual booting with another OS is not supported.


Embedded (NanoBSD)

The embedded version is specifically tailored for use with any hardware using flash memory (mostly Compact Flash) rather than a hard drive. Flash memory can only handle a limited number of writes, so the embedded version runs read only from flash, with read/write file systems as RAM disks. The NanoBSD platform has two OS slices and a config slice. One OS slice is used to boot from, the other is used for upgrades, and the config slice is where the configuration resides is held separately.

There are two variations of the NanoBSD platform: The default version which uses a serial console, and another that supports using a VGA console. Each of those variations also comes sized for different sizes of storage media.

The filename for NanoBSD downloads is laid out as follows: pfSense-2.1.2-RELEASE-size-arch-nanobsd.img.gz. In that filename, size can be one of 512mb, 1g, 2g, or 4g. The arch, as above is for i386 or amd64. The nanobsd part can is either nanobsd for serial console, or nanobsd_vga for the VGA-enabled version.

Stable Version

2.1.2 Release

This is the most recent stable release, and the recommended version for all installations. It includes a few bug fixes and updates for a couple FreeBSD security advisories, as detailed in the release notes.

Deprecated Versions

2.1.1 Release

This was a maintenance release in the 2.1.x series, including a few bug fixes and updates for a couple FreeBSD security advisories, as detailed in the release notes.


2.1 Release

This was the initial release in the 2.1.x series. It brought many new features, as detailed in the release notes and has been superseded by the above 2.1.x versions.


2.0.3 Release

This was a maintenance release in the 2.0.x series, including a few bug and security fixes since 2.0.2 release, as detailed in the release notes.


2.0.2 Release

This was a maintenance release in the 2.0.x series, including a few bug and security fixes since 2.0.1 release, as detailed in the release notes.


2.0.1 Release

This was a maintenance release in the 2.0.x series, including a few bug and security fixes since 2.0 release, as detailed in the release notes


2.0 Release

This was the initial release in the 2.0.x series. It has been superseded by the above 2.0.x versions.


1.2.3 Release

This was the final maintenance release in the 1.2 series. It includes several bug fixes and updates for a couple FreeBSD security advisories. Details in the release notes.


1.2.2 Release

This was a maintenance release in the 1.2 series. It included 4 bug fixes since 1.2.1, and updates for a couple FreeBSD security advisories.


1.2.1 Release

This was a maintenance release in the 1.2 series. It provides a number of bug fixes since the original 1.2 release, and changes the base FreeBSD version from 6.2 to 7.0.


1.0.x Release

This is the first release version, no longer recommended for use. It has numerous known bugs and a few security issues patched in newer releases.