pfSense pkg server problems cause router CPUs to peg out

The morning of Jan 24 there was an issue with the pfSense pkg server. If pfSense checked for an update, the service would use 100% of one of the cores. For me it was more of a curiosity as to why the CPU usage was so high. However, it sounds like there are many people out there with pfSense instances with only 1 core. For those people, this was a major issue to the point of traffic not being passed. This is the Netgate tweet and here is a thread on the Netgate forum. It sounds like the only solution at the moment is to not check for updates when the servers are broken.

Interesting, I have observed this behavior from a misconfigured DNS on pfsense because it would hang checking for updates. Weird that their update server going down would also cause the system to hang. The should re-write the code so it just times out instead of hanging.

I’m not 100% sure what state the servers were in. Some were saying that it was a problem with the handshake not that the servers were down. Either way you should be able to have a time out after a couple of minutes. It also seems like checking for updates should need to use 100% of a core.

I had the same issue with all pfsense box’s at different locations. It did eventually recover but took several hours.