Install pfSense on headless appliances

Is it possible and advisable to install pfSense onto an SSD in a basic PC, then move that drive to a headless appliance with no video? The idea is to get pfSense off the ground from a regular PC, move the drive to the headless appliance, then use the an RJ-45 console on the headless appliance to assign the interfaces and set IP’s for the management gui.

When you install pfSense on one machine then move to another, it will detect the MAC addresses and/or NIC drivers are different and prompt you to confirm WAN vs LAN ports, before the webGUI will even be accessible.

I think you would have to enable console redirect in the BIOS and in pfSense before moving to the headless appliance. Can’t hurt to try.

There is a version of the installer available for systems without graphics output. On Download pfSense Community Edition, select

  • Architecture: AMD64 (64-bit)
  • Installer: USB Memstick Installer
  • Console: Serial
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Thanks for the information. I found a Riverbed steelhead appliance on eBay that l thought about for my home lab.