Hardware Selection

The use of open source operating systems with untested hardware may create hardware/software conflicts. Hardware Tuning and Troubleshooting offers tips on resolving various issues.

Preventing hardware headaches

Use Genuine Netgate Hardware

The best practice is to use hardware from the Netgate Store. Netgate hardware has been developed to assure that specific hardware platforms have been thoroughly tested and validated.

Search for the experiences of others

The experiences of others are a valuable source of knowledge which can be found by researching pfSense software and hardware compatibility online, especially on the Netgate Forum. Reports of failure are not necessarily considered definitive because problems can arise from a number of issues other than hardware incompatibility.

If the hardware in question is from a major manufacturer, an internet search by make, model, and site:netgate.com will search the Netgate website for relevant user experiences. Searching for the make, model, and pfSense will find user experiences on other websites. Repeating the same search with FreeBSD instead of pfSense can also turn up useful experiences.

Naming Conventions

This documentation refers to the 64-bit hardware architecture as amd64, the architecture designation used by FreeBSD. Intel adopted the architecture created by AMD for x86-64, thus the name amd64 refers to all x86 64-bit CPUs.

Netgate sells ARM appliances compatible with its factory edition of pfSense software. This hardware is based on the armv6 and armv7 architectures (also called arm) and aarch64 (also called arm64). Items specific to those unique architectures will be called out as necessary. The generic term ARM may be considered to apply to all of these, but only for the specific ARM-based appliances sold by Netgate, such as the 2100 and 3100.