pfsense on Hyper-V – my personal light sword of open source routers

Thanks to a reader of the blog and another friend of mine who is sticking closer to the pfsense topic than me, I got a hint about the latest snapshot of pfsense which now has the Hyper-V integration services built in.
You can get an overview of the BSD Integration Services (BIS) at the official FreeBSD wiki.

I’m really happy to see what’s coming around.

What the heck is he talking about?

As you might know and I have already blogged, FreeBSD 10 got (almost) the full feature set of Hyper-V integration tools early this year.
Azure support came later as well.

And as you might also know, pfsense is a highly recommend and premium class open source router OS/system I always loved to get on Hyper-V with OOB support. It is much more useful to me than ipfire/ipcop or the other systems you can find out there.
Especially the well integrated support of IPv6 will give you tears of joy compared with other systems.

The still existing 2.1.x line is stable and is based on FreeBSD 8.x which lacks Hyper-V support.
It was a bit hurting lately to get it running.
Without Hyper-V support the network has to be reset on every boot which is possible with a little assistance in the shape of a startup script.
But due to use of legacy network cards the CPU load can go up to… ewww. You name it.

How you can get that running is described here:

Without Hyper-V support and with older network interface

Another way is to integrate the Hyper-V tools from the FreeBSD 10 branch.
This blog post describes how it works:

So… now you understand why it is not a good solution.

The snapshot series of pfsense 2.2.x are declared as beta and highly experimental but they seem to be working fine for testing purposes.
And this is exactly the point.
Try this at home.
For several reasons (mostly security) it is usually not recommend to have routers virtualized within virtual environments.
But for testing purposes you will love it like i do. I’m pretty sure.

Anyway… try it for yourself.


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