Upgrading from versions older than pfSense 2.1

See also

For information about upgrading to current versions, see Upgrade Guide.


Uninstalling all packages is required when upgrading from old releases. Packages must be removed before the upgrade is performed. After the upgrade is complete, packages can be reinstalled. Package configuration is automatically retained.

See the HA section at the end of this document for a High Availability-specific pfsync note about pfSense® software version 2.1 upgrades.

The State Killing on Gateway Failure feature (System > Advanced, Miscellaneous tab) now kills ALL states when a gateway has been detected as down, not only states on the failing WAN. This is done because otherwise the LAN-side states were not killed appropriately, and thus some connections would be in limbo, especially SIP. Due to the change in its behavior, State Killing on Gateway Failure is disabled by default in new configurations and is disabled during upgrade to pfSense 2.1.x from 2.0.x or before regardless of the user’s previously chosen setting. If the feature is desired even with its new behavior, it must be manually re-enabled post-upgrade.

The Allow IPv6 checkbox is NOT changed on upgrade unlike it was in early pfSense 2.1 BETA snapshots. This was changed so that the user’s chosen existing behavior is preserved. To allow IPv6 traffic after an upgrade, the setting must be changed manually. This setting is located on System > Advanced on the Networking tab. It defaults to allowed for new configurations.

Changes to policy route negation between pfSense 2.0.x and 2.1 may result in local/private traffic hitting policy routing rules that would not have happened on pfSense 2.0.x. This most commonly presents as an inability to reach local networks after upgrading. The automatic policy route negation rules on pfSense 2.0.x were too lenient, and that behavior was corrected. To ensure proper routing to other local interfaces, VPNs, or static route networks rules must be added to the local interfaces to pass traffic to these destinations without a gateway set. And that rule must be above any others that would match and have a gateway set.

Upgrading High Availability Deployments

If upgrading from any previous version of pfSense (1.2.x, 2.0.x, etc) to pfSense 2.1 or later in an HA environment, ensure that the pfsync interface has a rule to pass the correct traffic for state synchronization to work properly. pfSense 2.1 removed the automatic pfsync rule, since the documentation always recommended adding it manually and to add it behind the scenes with no way to block it could be counter-productive and potentially insecure. If the documentation was not followed, and a pfsync or allow all rule was not created on the sync interface, state synchronization may break after this upgrade. Add an appropriate rule to the sync interface and it will work again.

At a minimum, pass traffic of the pfsync protocol from a source of the synchronization subnet to all cluster nodes.