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 4200 for the platform. Make sure to include the 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.

    See also

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

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

  4. Insert the memstick into the USB port on the right side and boot the system.

  5. Wait for the BIOS prompt to appear.

  6. Press Esc to enter the BIOS.

  7. Use the left/right arrow keys to select the “Save & Exit” header.

  8. Use the up/down arrow keys to move into the Boot Override section.

  9. Select the entry for the USB memstick

    The entry is likely at or near the bottom of the list. The name of the entry varies by brand/make/model of the USB memstick.

  10. After a minute the pfSense® Plus loader menu will be displayed with a 3 second timer. Either allow the menu to timeout or press 1 (the default) to continue.

  11. Choose one of the console type options the installer offers for serial console installation.

    The optimal choice for a properly configured terminal is xterm. Choose the correct console output most compatible with the serial client.


    Of the choices, vt100 is the most widely compatible type but it is also limited in how it can display output. The xterm option renders the best on GNU screen and many popular modern clients and terminals.

  12. Read the Copyright and distribution notice displayed by the installer. Press Enter to accept the terms of the agreement.

  13. The installer will automatically launch and present several options. On Netgate firewalls, choosing Enter for the default options on each screen will complete the installation process. One exception to this is that it may be necessary to press the space bar to select the correct target disk.


    Options such as the type of disk partition can be modified through this installation if required.

    See also

    For more information on the available choices during this process, see the Installation Walkthrough.


    If there is an existing installation on this device, the Recover config.xml option will attempt to mount the existing installation drive and copy the previous configuration, including SSH keys. Choose that option first, then proceed through the install as usual.

  14. If prompted to clean up multiple identical boot entries, select Yes and press the Enter key.

  15. The installer will then prompt to Reboot. Select Reboot and press Enter. The device will shutdown and reboot.

    Dec 21 22:41:37 Waiting (max 60 seconds) for system process `vnlru` to stop... done
    Waiting (max 60 seconds) for system process `syncer` to stop...
    Waiting (max 60 seconds) for system process `bufdaemon` to stop... done
    All buffers synced.
    Uptime: 5m43s
    umass0: detached
  16. Remove the USB drive from the USB port.


    If the USB drive remains attached, the system may boot into the installer again.

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.