Rebooting the Firewall

pfSense® software can be rebooted safely and returned to an operational state using the page at Diagnostics > Reboot System or the console.

Reboot Methods

The following reboot methods are possible, but available options may be limited depending on the platform and installation options.

Reboot normally:

Performs a normal reboot in the traditional way. This method is always available.


Performs a “reroot” style reboot, which is faster than a traditional reboot but does not restart the entire operating system. All running processes are killed, all filesystems are remounted, and then the system startup sequence is run again. This type of restart is much faster as it does not reset the hardware, reload the kernel, or need to go through the hardware detection process.

Reboot into Single User Mode:

Restarts the firewall into single user mode for diagnostic purposes. The firewall cannot automatically recover from this state, console access is required to use single user mode and reboot the firewall.

This option is not compatible with ARM-based systems.


Using this option with ZFS will not automatically return to a normal boot and requires manual intervention at the console. See Re-mount ZFS Volumes as Read/Write.


In single user mode the root filesystem defaults to read-only and other filesystems are not mounted. The firewall also does not have an active network connection. This option must only be used under the guidance of a support representative or a FreeBSD user with advanced knowledge.

Reboot and run a filesystem check:

Reboots the firewall and forces a filesystem check using fsck, run five times. This operation can often correct issues with the filesystem on the firewall.

This option is not compatible with ARM-based systems or ZFS.

Reboot from the GUI

To reboot from the GUI:

  • Navigate to Diagnostics > Reboot System

  • Select the Reboot Method

  • Click fa-wrench Submit to reboot the system immediately

Reboot from the Console

To reboot from the console:

  • Access the console menu locally or via SSH with an admin-level account (admin, root, or another privileged account using sudo).

  • Enter the menu option which corresponds with Reboot system (e.g. 5)

  • Press Enter

  • Enter the letter which corresponds with the desired Reboot Method

  • Press Enter


The single user mode and filesystem check options require an uppercase letter to be entered to confirm the action. This is necessary to avoid activating the options accidentally. The reboot and reroot options may be entered in upper or lower case.