Overview

A complete guide on how to

  • create a pfSense VM on a local Hyper-V server,
  • prepare it for Microsoft Azure,
  • upload the disk to Azure and
  • create a multi-NIC VM.

Download

Download the latest image from https://www.pfsense.org/download/

pfsense

Create VM

Open Hyper-V Manager and create a Generation one VM. We added 4096 ram, two cores, used VHD, added an extra NIC (for the second interface)  and selected the downloaded ISO.

Create a fixed VHD as Azure supports only fixed VHDs for custom VMs.

pfsense

Boot from iso and install pfSense

Start the VM and at the first screen press Enter.

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At all screens, we accepted the default settings. Finally, at the reboot prompt remove the installation ISO.

There is no need to setup VLANs. Select the second interface for WAN and the first for LAN.

pfsense

pfsense

Once the pfSense is ready to press 2 and set the LAN (hn0) interface IP to one on your network. Select option 14 to enable SSH.

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Now we can log in with Putty, with username admin password pfsense and press 8 for Shell access.

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The first thing is to update the packages running:

pkg upgrade

Python

Install Python, as it is a requirement for the Azure Linux Agent.

Search for Python packages running:

pkg search python

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Install the latest Python package, setup tools, and Bash:

pkg install -y python27-2.7.14
pkg search setuptools
pkg install py27-setuptools-36.2.2
ln -s /usr/local/bin/python /usr/local/bin/python2.7
pkg install -y bash

Azure Linux Agent

ref: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/linux/create-upload-generic

pkg install git
git clone https://github.com/Azure/WALinuxAgent.gi
cd WALinuxAgent
git tag
git checkout WALinuxAgent-2.1.1
git checkout WALinuxAgent-2.0.16
python setup.py install
ln -sf /usr/local/sbin/waagent /usr/sbin/waagent

Check the agent is running:

waagent -Version

pfsense

Set LAN interface

One final step before uploading the VHD to Azure is to set the LAN interface as DHCP. This can be done by the web interface.

Go to https://lanaddress, log in using admin / pfsense, and go to interfaces / LAN and select DHCP as IPv4 Configuration Type.

pfsense

Upload to Azure

Now, shut down the pfSense and upload it to Azure Storage.

Use Storage Explorer ( https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/features/storage-explorer/), a free and powerful tool to manage Azure Storage. Login to your Azure Account and press Upload. Select as Blob type: “Page blob”

pfsense

Create multi-NIC VM

After the upload is completed we can create a multiple NIC VM. This cannot be accomplished from GUI. We will create this using PowerShell.

$ResourceGroupName = "******"
$pfresourcegroup = "*******"
$StorageAccountName = "******"
$vnetname = "*****"
$NSGname = "******"
$location = "West Europe"
$vnet = Get-AzureRmVirtualNetwork -Name $vnetname -ResourceGroupName $ResourceGroupName
$backendSubnet = Get-AzureRMVirtualNetworkSubnetConfig -Name default -VirtualNetwork $vnet
$vmName="pfsense"
$vmSize="Standard_F1"
$vnet = Get-AzureRmVirtualNetwork -Name $vnetname -ResourceGroupName $ResourceGroupName
$pubip = New-AzureRmPublicIpAddress -Name "PFPubIP" -ResourceGroupName $pfresourcegroup -Location $location -AllocationMethod Dynamic
$nic1 = New-AzureRmNetworkInterface -Name "EXPFN1NIC1" -ResourceGroupName $pfresourcegroup -Location $location -SubnetId $vnet.Subnets[0].Id -PublicIpAddressId $pubip.Id
$nic2 = New-AzureRmNetworkInterface -Name "EXPFN1NIC2" -ResourceGroupName $pfresourcegroup -Location $location -SubnetId $vnet.Subnets[0].Id
$VM = New-AzureRmVMConfig -VMName $vmName -VMSize $vmSize
$VM | Set-AzureRmVMOSDisk `
            -VhdUri https://********.blob.core.windows.net/vhds/pfsensefix.vhd `
            -Name pfsenseos -CreateOption attach -Linux -Caching ReadWrite
$vm = Add-AzureRmVMNetworkInterface -VM $vm -Id $nic1.Id
$vm = Add-AzureRmVMNetworkInterface -VM $vm -Id $nic2.Id
$vm.NetworkProfile.NetworkInterfaces.Item(0).Primary = $true
New-AzureRMVM -ResourceGroupName $pfresourcegroup -Location $locationName -VM $vm -Verbose

Once the VM is created, go to the VM’s blade and scroll down to “Boot diagnostics”. There you can see a screenshot of the VM’s monitor.

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Go to the Networking section and SSH to the Public IP.

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Also, we can log in to the Web Interface of pfSense

pfsense

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In this case, we have added both NICs at the same Subnet, but in a production environment add the LAN interface to the backend subnet and the WAN interface to the DMZ (public) subnet.

Of course, more NICs can be added to the VM, one for each Subnet in our environment.

Route external traffic through the pfSense

We cannot change the gateway at an Azure VM, but we can use routing tables to route the traffic through the pfSense.

From the Azure Portal, select New and search for Route table.

pfsense

We need to configure two things. One is to associate the Route table to a Subnet and the second is to create a Route.

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Open the “Route table” and click the “Routes”. Press “Add route” and in order to route all outbound traffic through the pfSense then add for Address prefix “0.0.0.0”, next hop type Virtual appliance” and Net hop address the IP address of the pfSense’s LAN interface IP.

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Then go to the “Subnets” and associate the required subnets.

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