Step 1 – New VM

pfSense install on VMWare ESXi as a network firewall/router Part 2  Section 2 – Virtual Machine Setup

Step 2 – Typical Setup

pfSense install on VMWare ESXi as a network firewall/router Part 2  Section 2 – Virtual Machine Setup

Step 3 – Name your VM

pfSense install on VMWare ESXi as a network firewall/router Part 2  Section 2 – Virtual Machine Setup

Step 4 – Select Datastore

pfSense install on VMWare ESXi as a network firewall/router Part 2  Section 2 – Virtual Machine Setup

Step 5 – OS Type
If you’re using PFSense, select “Other” and “FreeBSD 64bit”

pfSense install on VMWare ESXi as a network firewall/router Part 2  Section 2 – Virtual Machine Setup

Step 6 – Two NICs
Unlike most VMs with 1 NIC, add 2 NICs to this VM.
Make sure one adapter is on “WAN” network and one adapter is on “LAN” network.

pfSense install on VMWare ESXi as a network firewall/router Part 2  Section 2 – Virtual Machine Setup

Step 7 – Allocated HD
PFSense doesn’t need much space, but it should be allocated a 2:1 for swap (e.g. 4096 MB swap file for 2048 MB of RAM), plus some extra space for packages and logs may be useful.

pfSense install on VMWare ESXi as a network firewall/router Part 2  Section 2 – Virtual Machine Setup

Step 8 – Edit before completion

pfSense install on VMWare ESXi as a network firewall/router Part 2  Section 2 – Virtual Machine Setup

Step 9 – Final settings
As this is my firewall, I want to make sure it is plenty fast. So I opted for 4 cores and 2 GB RAM. Also attach the CD drive to PFSense installer (be it datastore ISO or real USB/Optical drive).

pfSense install on VMWare ESXi as a network firewall/router Part 2  Section 2 – Virtual Machine Setup

Step 8 – Verify Network
Hop back to Configuration > Networking and you should see something like this. Note: various VMs are all attached to the LAN vSwitch, however only PFsense VM is attached to both WAN & LAN (just like a real firewall).

Step 9 – VM Startup
Go to Configuration > VM Startup/Shutdown
Click Properties

Step 10 – Set PFSense to first boot order
You may have other VMs that you want to auto-start, but as this is your firewall, it should be the first to start.

Step 10 – Set PFSense to first boot order You may have other VMs that you want to auto-start, but as this is your firewall, it should be the first to start.

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