[Solved] pfSense 2.1 nanobsd boot from USB automatically

I just configured pfSense 2.1 on a m-itx board that I will use as my main firewall at home.

I’m replacing my Cisco ASA with pfSense, because I only have a ASA license for 10 simultaneous hosts on the inside talking to the outside, which cause some strange errors from time to time.

The first time I came across this license limit, I was really puzzled and started reconfiguring DNS to try to resolve the problem. Glad I eventually looked at the firewall syslog…

Anyway. pfSense is really great, and configuration is a breeze. I made a bootable USB flash drive, and configured it in a few seconds. My problem was that after each reboot, it didn’t find the USB drive unless I chose boot menu option 3.

What I went looking for was a way to make the USB boot option 3 the default.

It turned out that the only thing that option does is introduce a delay in the boot sequence, so that the kernel/modules have time to probe the USB buses.

The solution was easy:

  • enter the Shell (choice 8 after pfSense has booted)
  • remount the root filesystem rw to be able to:
  • add /boot/loader.conf/local containing:
  • kern.cam.boot_delay=10000