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Setting Up VMware ESXi

This setup guide has been written for ESXi 6.7 however it applies to most recent and supported ESXi or vSphere versions.

Login to the web interface and click on “Networking” on the sidebar.

The Netgate® pfSense® VSG requires two network interfaces. In this case, two vSwitch interfaces which will be for pfSense LAN and WAN, respectively.

Multiple scenarios are possible for pfSense VSG networking, such as using external connectivity directly or using internal port groups that never leave the hypervisor. The example in this guide configures a vSwitch for LAN which will be connected to vmnic4 adapter and vSwitch for WAN connected to vmnic5 adapter.

Click the Virtual Switches tab in the right pane, then click Add Standard Virtual Switch. This displays a dialog to create a new vSwitch.


Enter a vSwitch Name, such as LAN vSwitch and pick the appropriate Uplink. Click Add, and then repeat the process for the `` WAN vSwitch``.

The vSwitches will appear in the Virtual Switch list.


Now change to the Port Groups tab and click Add Port Group. Enter a Name, such as pfSense LAN. Pick the appropriate vSwitch, such as LAN vSwitch, then click Add Repeat the process for the WAN port group.


The new port groups will appear in the list and show the appropriate matching vSwitch.


At this point pfSense VSG OVA file must be downloaded to the local computer, and then it can be deployed to the hypervisor.

Click Virtual Machines in the sidebar, then click Create/Register VM. A wizard will display asking about the new VM.

Select Deploy a virtual machine from an OVF or OVA file and then click Next.

Enter a name for the virtual machine, such as pfSense VSG.

Click on Click to select files or drag/drop. From there browse to the location of the pfSense VSG OVA file on the local computer, then click Next.


For the storage configuration, select the Datastore where the virtual machine will reside, then click Next.


Read through and agree to the License Agreement, then click Next.

Under Deployment Options, Network Mappings, choose the previously created port groups for WAN and LAN.

For Disk Provisioning, select Thin or Thick depending on how the disk should be initialized. In most cases, Thin is the best choice as it only consumes as much disk space in the hypervisor that has been consumed by the VM.

Select Power on Automatically if the VM should boot up along with the hypervisor hardware when it starts, which in most cases is the best choice.


On final Ready to complete dialog verify the settings and click finish.


Congratulations! The progress of the import task will be shown in the Recent Tasks area at the bottom of the screen. When the process is complete, a notification will briefly display at the top of the browser window.

At this point pfSense VSG virtual machine will be booting, so find it in the list of Virtual Machines and click the console to view the boot process.

If the pfSense VM has booted correctly, it will display the default pfSense menu.


From there, plug cables into the previously assigned network adapters for WAN and LAN to complete the pfSense configuration.