I recently purchased a server to run m0n0wall or pfSense but I've learned since then that both of these firewall products are based on versions of FreeBSD which weren't yet compatible with the NICs in my new server.

The SuperMicro server that I purchased has dual Intel 82574L Gigabit LAN NICs which and I'd like to find a way to install some sort of firewall on them which will ease firewall management via the use of a GUI.

I know I could simply use pf but since we'd like to have a GUI front end, what are our options? Do I need to return this server and find a vendor that sells older hardware which will be compatible or can I make this hardware work somehow?

  • Have you tried asking pfsense/m0n0wall if they are planning to update the drivers? – pauska Jul 6 '11 at 16:51
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    Looks like pfSense is tracking 8.1 for their upcoming 2.0 release. The EM driver was updated by Intel in February and is part of 8.2 release. I imagine pfSense will take a while to catch up; it may be possible to swap in the newer kernel without breaking much, but I haven't tried it. – Chris S Jul 6 '11 at 17:11

pfSense 2.0 has back ported Intel drivers from FreeBSD 9 so that will definitely work, and is generally the preferred release for new deployments anyway. m0n0wall snapshot versions should work too.


M0n0wall snapshots (development version) are currently based on 8.2 and should support your NICs.

You could also use a full install of FreeBSD with Webmin for the GUI. I haven't used Webmin on FreeBSD, so I can't attest to the completeness of the interface like pfSense or M0n0wall.


If the current pfsense or monowall won't do and you don't want to run beta or release candidate versions, you could grab the latest Freebsd or OpenBSD and use Firewall Builder. You won't get all the extras that monowall or pfsense provide, but if all you want is a firewall it will work.


You could always put a hypervisor beneath it (ESXi free will definitely work with an 82574, and pfsense 2.x will work with the Intel emulations ESXi provides :). Also makes upgrade management/testing a snap...

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