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pfSense® software notifies the administrator of important events and errors by displaying an alert in the menu bar, indicated by the fa-bell icon. pfSense can also send these notifications remotely via E-mail using SMTP or via Growl.

SMTP E-mail

E-mail notifications are delivered by a direct SMTP connection to a mail server. The server must be configured to allow relaying from the firewall or accept authenticated SMTP connections.

Disable SMTP

When checked, SMTP notifications will not be sent. This is useful to silence notifications while keeping SMTP settings in place for use by other purposes such as packages that utilize e-mail.

E-mail server

The hostname or IP address of the e-mail server through which the notifications will be sent.

SMTP Port of E-mail server

The port to use when communicating with the SMTP server. The most common ports are 25 and 587. In many cases, 25 will not work unless it is to a local or internal mail server. Providers frequently block outbound connections to port 25, so use 587 (the Submission port) when possible.

Connection Timeout to E-Mail Server

The length of time, in seconds, that the firewall will wait for an SMTP connection to complete.

Secure SMTP Connection

When set, the firewall will attempt an SSL/TLS connection when sending e-mail. The server must have a valid SSL certificate and accept SSL/TLS connections.

From e-mail address

The e-mail address that will be used in the From: header, which specifies the source of the message. Some SMTP servers attempt to validate this address so the best practice is to use a real address in this field. This is commonly set to the same address as Notification E-mail address.

Notification E-mail address

The e-mail address for the To: header of the message, which is the destination where the notification e-mails will be delivered by the firewall.

Notification E-Mail Auth Username

Optional. If the mail server requires a username and password for authentication, enter the username here.

Notification E-Mail Auth Password

Optional. If the mail server requires a username and password for authentication, enter the password here and in the confirmation field.

Notification E-mail Auth Mechanism

This field specifies the authentication mechanism required by the mail server. The majority of e-mail servers work with PLAIN authentication, others such as MS Exchange may require LOGIN style authentication.

Click fa-save Save to store the settings before proceeding.

Click fa-send Test SMTP Settings to generate a test notification and send it via SMTP using the previously stored settings. Save settings before clicking this button.

Startup/Shutdown Sound

If the firewall hardware has a PC speaker pfSense will play a sound when startup finishes and again when a shutdown is initiated.

Check Disable the startup/shutdown beep to prevent the firewall from playing these sounds.


Growl provides an unobtrusive method of delivering desktop notifications. These notifications pop up on a desktop and then hide or fade away. Growl is available in the App store for Mac OSX, and it is available on Windows and FreeBSD/Linux as well.

Disable Growl Notifications

When checked, the firewall will not send Growl notifications.

Registration Name

The service name the firewall will use to register with the Growl server. By default this is pfSense-Growl. Consider this as the type of notification as seen by the Growl server.

Notification Name

The name of the system that produces notifications. The default value of pfSense growl alert may be sufficient, or customize it with the firewall hostname or any other value to make it distinct.

IP Address

The IP address to which the firewall will send Growl notifications.


The password required by the Growl server.

Click fa-save Save to store the settings before proceeding.

Click fa-rss Test Growl Settings to send a test notification via Growl using the previously saved settings. Save before attempting a test.