23.09 New Features and Changes

This is a regularly scheduled software release including new features and bug fixes.


This version is still under development and is subject to change at any time.


  • PHP has been upgraded to 8.2.8

  • The base operating system has been upgraded to a more recent point on FreeBSD 14-CURRENT

  • Support for SCTP has been improved in PF for firewall rules, NAT, and logging. Rules can now act on SCTP packets by port number, previously it was only possible to filter on source or destination address.

  • OpenSSL in the base system has been upgraded from 1.1.1t to 3.0.10.

    This change was necessary as OpenSSL 1.1.1 reached its End of Life (EOL) on September 11, 2023. This means there will be no security patches for vulnerabilities affecting OpenSSL 1.1.1.

    The OpenSSL team decided to make an explicit jump in numbering from 1.1.x to 3.x to highlight that this new version included major structural, and more importantly, application programming interface (API) and application binary interface (ABI) changes compared to previous OpenSSL versions.

    In addition to the differences in the library they also deprecated numerous weak algorithms of various types.

    Due to these differences, changing from OpenSSL 1.1 to OpenSSL 3.0 is not a simple upgrade. Netgate developers have handled most of these changes as automatically as possible, though some things may still require manual adjustments. See the warnings in the next section for details.

  • The ISC DHCPD server has reached its End of Life (EOL) as of October 5, 2022. Though ISC has stated they may continue to publish security fixes if they are warranted.

    Netgate developers have started the migration to Kea DHCP server from ISC as a replacement for ISC DHCPD. Basic functionality is present, but not all features are supported at this time.

    Currently the Kea implementation lacks the following DHCP server features:

    • Local DNS Resolver/Forwarder Registration for DHCP clients

    • Remote DNS server registration

    • High Availability Failover

    • Lease statistics/graphs

    • Custom DHCP options

    Kea is available as an opt-in preview feature on this release. The UI and settings for Kea are shared with the existing DHCP server. Administrators can easily switch between ISC DHCPD and Kea by navigating to System > Advanced, Networking tab and changing the new Server Backend setting in the DHCP Options section.

    After Kea integration is complete it will become the default DHCP server on a future release of pfSense software and eventually the deprecated ISC DHCP server will be removed. The exact timing of these changes has not been finalized.

  • Certain parts of the base system are being migrated to packages rather than grouping them all together in an archive in the “base” package. For the most part this should be entirely transparent to users.

    Specifically, the code from the main pfSense software repository is now a part of the “pfSense” package. This lets management of files be handled entirely by pkg rather than carrying them in an archive. This migration is ongoing, so future versions will include additional portions of the system being packaged differently.

OpenSSL 3.0.x Upgrade Warnings

Weak Certificate Digests such as SHA1 are Deprecated


OpenSSL 3.0.x no longer supports certificates signed with SHA1 or other older/weaker hashes. The minimum recommended hash strength is SHA256.

The upgrade process detects usage of weak certificates for the GUI, Captive Portal, and OpenVPN.

If the GUI or a Captive Portal zone utilize a weak certificate, the upgrade process generates a new self-signed certificate as a stopgap measure to allow the processes to start and let the user in to make any necessary corrections.

If an OpenVPN instance is using a weak certificate, the instance is disabled as there is no viable general automated recovery method.

OpenVPN peers using SHA1 certificates will fail, but such issues must be corrected on the peers. This may mean renewing or reissuing certificates or re-exporting clients for peers if they are currently using weak certificates.

Other consumers of certificates, such as add-on packages, may be similarly affected but cannot be automatically adjusted.

The best practice is to reconfigure all services utilizing certificates with stronger certificates and to test these functions before performing an upgrade to ensure a smoother transition.

Numerous Deprecated Encryption and Digest Algorithms Removed


OpenSSL 3.0.x removes a large number of deprecated encryption and digest algorithms. This primarily affects OpenVPN, as other areas had not supported the affected algorithms in some time.

Encryption algorithms removed from OpenVPN:
  • ARIA

  • Blowfish (e.g. BF-CBC), which was formerly an OpenVPN default

  • CAST5

  • DES

  • DESX

  • IDEA

  • RC2

  • RC5

  • SEED

  • SM4

Hash algorithms removed from OpenVPN:
  • MD4

  • MDC2

  • SM3

  • Whirlpool

On upgrade, tunnels using these deprecated algorithms will be adjusted so they use more secure default values when necessary.

The best practice is to reconfigure tunnels using modern secure encryption and hashing, and to test tunnels before performing an upgrade to ensure a smoother transition.

pfSense Plus

Changes in this version of pfSense Plus software.

Aliases / Tables

  • Fixed: Firewall rules fail to load when a URL table alias file does not exist #13068

  • Added: Type column on Alias lists #13245

  • Fixed: Static ARP entries are not configured at boot #14374

  • Fixed: Firewall rules are not displayed properly when they reference a URL table alias and its file does not exist #14574


  • Added: Option to invalidate GUI login session if the client address changes #14265

Backup / Restore

  • Changed: Increase timeout for password entry when restoring an encrypted configuration via ECL #14769


  • Added: Add unicast CARP indication and peer address to CARP status #14348

  • Fixed: Adding an IP Alias VIP using a unicast CARP VIP as its parent changes the CARP VIP to multicast at the OS level #14586

  • Added: Prevent CARP status/maintenance mode from being erroneously toggled #13804

  • Fixed: IPsec restart in CARP event scripts does not check VIP properly and never runs #14738

Captive Portal

  • Fixed: Captive Portal incorrectly allows leading zeroes on voucher roll numbers #14325

  • Fixed: Link to view Captive Portal custom HTML page content does not work #14598


  • Fixed: Cannot validate Certificates against Certificate Revocation Lists for Intermediate Certificate Authorities #9889

  • Added: Improve System menu behavior for Certificate Manager privileges #14347

  • Fixed: CA and Certificate renewal page does not properly list some SHA1 certificates as being weak #14678

Configuration Upgrade

  • Fixed: PHP Error in upgrade216_ipsec_create_vtimap() #14400

Console Menu

  • Fixed: PHP shell script pfanchordrill shows duplicate anchor content #14637


  • Added: Introduce Kea DHCP as an alternative DHCP server #6960

DNS Resolver

  • Fixed: DNS Resolver experiences intermittent resolution failures with SSL over TLS due to ASLR #14056

  • Added: Unbound Advanced Settings entry for sock-queue-timeout #14731

  • Changed: Update Unbound to 1.18.0 #14732


  • Fixed: System Information widget does properly form array of active hardware crypto algorithms #14417

  • Fixed: Gateway widget tooltip incorrectly indicates some gateways as being default #14542


  • Fixed: diag_edit.php warning is not cleared after picking non-directory to load #7589

  • Changed: Combining Interface and Rule ID state table filter fields returns no results #14399

  • Fixed: Improve error handling in status.php #14513

  • Added: Status output plugin hook for packages to include their own data #14777

Dynamic DNS

  • Added: Dynamic DNS support for Porkbun #14402

  • Fixed: PHP error with One.com Dynamic DNS provider #14649

  • Fixed: List of Dynamic DNS types with split host+domain name is missing several providers #14783

  • Fixed: Correct name of Gandi LiveDNS #14784


  • Fixed: Kernel textdumps are not recovered properly on systems with multiple swap partitions #14767


  • Fixed: Misleading error message when adding/editing static routes which use a gateway on a disabled interface #8846

  • Fixed: Cannot select IP Alias VIP with CARP VIP parent in Virtual IP drop-down on Gateway Groups #14524

  • Fixed: A default route can remain after setting the default gateway to None #14717

Hardware / Drivers

  • Fixed: Unnecessary delay when querying ixgbe(4) interfaces with SFP ports #13911

  • Added: Options to control Intel Speed Shift #14047

  • Fixed: Cavium qlnxe / if_qlnxe driver is not present #14534

  • Fixed: bnxt(4) driver errors #14569

IGMP Proxy

  • Fixed: Kernel panic when running IGMP Proxy: Sleeping thread owns a non-sleepable lock #12079

  • Fixed: Input validation error when saving IGMP Proxy settings #14301

  • Fixed: IGMP Proxy cannot start on VirtIO (vtnet) interfaces #14665


  • Changed: Clarify that the IPsec keep alive check option ignores Child SA Start Action #12762

  • Fixed: PHP error in status_ipsec.php after removing active IPsec tunnel configuration #14525

  • Added: Show IPsec phase 1 authentication type in Mode column of tunnel list #14726

IPv6 Router Advertisements (radvd/rtsold)

  • Fixed: IPv6 neighbor discovery protocol (NDP) fails in some cases #13423


  • Fixed: GIF-based interface MTU is assigned to parent interface on boot when parent interface is a LAGG #13218

  • Fixed: Cannot add a QinQ interface to a bridge #14377

  • Fixed: find_interface_ipv6_ll() can return a VIP instead of the interface address #14392

  • Fixed: Primary interface address is incorrectly set to the last address on the interface #14623

  • Changed: Eliminate direct config access in interfaces.php #14790


  • Fixed: Log rotation is not active if the configuration contains an empty <syslog> section or if that section is not present #14517

  • Fixed: Per-log settings for file size and retention count are not honored #14545

  • Added: Improve SCTP support in filterlog #14667


  • Added: Allow SMTP notifications from non-root processes #14337

  • Fixed: PHP error when failing to write config.cache #14432


  • Fixed: DCO OpenVPN server bound to Localhost does not pass traffic as expected #14682

  • Fixed: Rapidly clicking certain options on OpenVPN Client Overrides can cause hide/show field behavior to invert #13088

  • Fixed: OpenVPN can select the wrong interface IP address when multiple addresses are present #14646

  • Changed: Prevent weak SHA1 certificates from being used with OpenVPN clients and servers #14677

  • Changed: Check for deprecated OpenVPN encryption and digest options on upgrade #14686

Operating System

  • Fixed: Error when deleting ZFS Boot Environment created from duplicate of non-default entry #13348

  • Fixed: Console and system log may contain unnecessary Netlink debug messages from IPsec #14370

  • Added: Support receiving EAPOL frames on VLAN 0 in wpa_supplicant #14457

  • Changed: Automatically configure PF states hash table size #14750

PHP Interpreter

  • Added: Option to configure a custom value for the PHP memory limit #13377

  • Fixed: URL scheme is not properly validated in some cases #14356

PPP Interfaces

  • Fixed: PPP interface default username/password are not being populated from provider data on interfaces.php and interfaces_ppps_edit.php #14544

PPPoE Server

  • Fixed: PPPoE Server address input validation is incorrectly allowing IPv6 #13903

Packet Capture

  • Added: Change default match modifier from “all of” to “any of” #14650

Rules / NAT

  • Fixed: Ethernet rule Action field hint text lists “reject” option which is not compatible with Ethernet rules #14515

  • Added: Support interface macros in Outbound NAT rules #3288

  • Added: Option to wait for interface selection before displaying firewall rules #13124

  • Fixed: Default tab on firewall_rules.php is not selected if the configuration has no WAN interface #14345

  • Added: Support interface groups in firewall rule source/destination fields #14448

  • Fixed: “Convert interface definitions” option is not respected when bulk copying rules #14576

  • Fixed: Rule separators are ordered incorrectly after removing rules in certain positions #14619

  • Fixed: Rule separators are hidden when their index is greater than the number of rules #14621

  • Added: Extend support for SCTP in firewall and NAT rules #14640

  • Fixed: Separators get shifted when copying firewall rules between interfaces #14691

  • Fixed: ctype_digit() returns unexpected result for values <= 255 which can break some validation functions/usages #14702

System Logs

  • Fixed: Firewall log parser does not handle SCTP log entries #13940

Traffic Graphs

  • Fixed: PHP Error when viewing Traffic Graphs in iftop mode #14500

Traffic Shaper (ALTQ)

  • Added: Include ixv in ALTQ capable NIC list #14408

  • Fixed: Kernel panic when using traffic shaping on a PPPoE interface #14497

Traffic Shaper (Limiters)

  • Fixed: Limiters have no effect on upload traffic passed by policy routing rules #14039


  • Fixed: Some functions fail if the Language does not exactly match an available Locale #13776

  • Fixed: Polish translation contains an invalid sprintf() format in the text for firewall_nat_out_edit.php #13946


  • Changed: Update miniupnpd to 2.3.3 #14307

  • Fixed: Remove broken stun.sipgate.net from UPnP STUN server list #14673


  • Fixed: Update check in GUI does not always honor the configured proxy settings #14609

User Manager / Privileges

  • Fixed: Copy function for User Manager Groups does not work for first group in list #14695

Web Interface

  • Changed: GUI pages should use POST for AJAX calls, not GET #12431

  • Fixed: Refactor IPsec code using config access functions #13704

  • Fixed: PHP error in CSRF Magic from invalid time value #14394

  • Fixed: Breadcrumb path missing on system_register.php #14462

  • Changed: Prevent weak SHA1 certificates from being used with GUI and Captive Portal #14672


  • Fixed: PHP error in handle_wireless_post() when toggling some wireless interface options #14579