Reinstalling pfSense Plus Software

  1. Please open a TAC ticket to request access to the Plus firmware by selecting Firmware Access as the General Problem and then select Netgate 2100 for the platform. Include the Netgate Device ID (NDI) and serial number in the ticket to expedite access.

    Once the ticket is processed, the latest stable version of the firmware will be attached to the ticket, with a name such as:



    pfSense® Plus is preinstalled on Netgate appliances, which is optimally tuned for Netgate hardware and contains features that cannot be found elsewhere, such as ZFS Boot Environments, OpenVPN DCO, and the AWS VPC Wizard.

  2. Write the image to a USB memstick (8GB or larger).

    See also

    Locating the image and writing it to a USB memstick is covered in detail under Writing Flash Drives.


    Remove and reinsert the memstick and the workstation will see a FAT partition on the drive. Place a configuration backup file on this drive as config.xml to restore later using the External Configuration Locator.

  3. Connect to the console port of the Netgate device.

  4. Insert the memstick into the USB port and boot the system.


    The best practice is to connect to the console, turn off the device gracefully by using the Halt system option from the console and removing power once the shutdown procedure completes, then insert the USB memstick and boot the device.

    Starting the recovery process requires interrupting the boot process very soon after the boot process begins, so having an active console connection before booting is important.

  5. When prompted, press any key to stop the autoboot process.

  6. Type run usbrecovery at the Marvell>> prompt and press Enter.

  7. Enter the destination device or press the Enter key to accept the default value.


    The onboard eMMC flash memory is mmcsd0.

    If a M.2 SATA drive is installed (e.g. Netgate 2100 MAX), it will be ada0.

  8. Type y then press the Enter key if prompted to confirm the device choice.

  9. Enter the filesystem to use for this installation, either UFS or ZFS, or press Enter for the default (ZFS).


    ZFS is more reliable and has more features than UFS (e.g. ZFS Boot Environments), however ZFS can be memory hungry. Either filesystem will work, but if RAM usage is critical to other tasks that will run on this firewall, UFS can be a more conservative choice. ZFS memory usage can be tuned, however, so that shouldn’t be the only deciding factor.

  10. Type y then press the Enter key if prompted to confirm the filesystem choice.

  11. Wait for the recovery process to complete.

  12. Once the install has completed, remove the memstick, and cycle the power (unplug the Netgate 2100 and plug it back in) to reboot the Netgate 2100.


    If the FAT parition on the memstick contains a configuration file to restore using the ECL method, leave the memstick plugged in while cycling the power.


See also

For information on restoring from a previously saved configuration, go to Backup and Restore.


If this device contains multiple disks, such as when adding an SSD to an existing system which previously used MMC, additional steps may be necessary to ensure the device boots from and uses the correct disk. Furthermore, having separate installations of the software on different disks is a known source of problems. For example, the kernel could boot from one disk while the root filesystem is loaded from another, or they could contain conflicting ZFS pools.

In some cases it is possible to adjust the BIOS boot order to prefer the new disk, but the best practice is to wipe the old disk to remove any chance of the previous installation causing boot issues or conflicts.

For information on how to wipe the old disk, see Multiple Disk Boot Issues.