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Backing Up and Restoring a pfSense Configuration File

pfSense® software keeps its configuration in one convenient XML document. A backup of this document can be saved by going to Diagnostics > Backup & Restore, and clicking Download Configuration as XML.

Before downloading, review the options available such as only backing up certain areas, or excluding the RRD data from the backup file.

Restoring a configuration is just as easy, click Choose File, locate the backup configuration file, then click Restore Configuration.

Configuration files can always be restored to any newer or equal pfSense release version. For instance, a 1.x or 2.0.x version configuration backup can be restored no problem to a 2.1.x version. Going backwards is not supported, for instance a 2.1.x configuration cannot be restored to a 2.0.x or earlier version.

Configuration files can be restored to a completely different piece of hardware without issue. If the new target hardware has different NICs than the system where the backup was taken, a prompt will appear to re-assign the NICs after restoring the configuration.

See the other articles in the Backup/Restore category for more hints and tips.

Package Functions

This page also contains two useful package functions:

Reinstall Packages: This button initiates a re-installation of all currently installed packages.

Clear Package Lock: This button is only shown when the post-upgrade/post-restore “Packages are Reinstalling” screen is active. If a package reinstall fails the lock may be left in place and this button will clear it manually.