X700 & PFSense 2.0 Rc1

Tuesday, 03 May 2011 21:21 webadmin

X700 WatchGuard & PFSense 2.0 Rc1

images What started as a small request for help with a firewall bought on eBay turned into a completely new project. It gave me time off from studying my Cisco and opened a whole new world of FreeBSD. The Watchguard x700 would not let us in. I even found the correct managment tool on UseNext and downloaded the management tool. No Joy. I could not break into the box!

Then after a quick google searching for how to manage the box I kept seeing references to PFSense. After more searching I found the PFSense forum. Even then I was not sure I wanted to convert the box. After further research I burned an ISO of 1.2.3 version and loaded a laptop using an extra PCMCIA network card. The load is quick and FreeBSD is not based upon Linux but a secure build that has it roots in Unix. 


So, the white flags were still showing and I was not cracking this box yet so I made the decision and took out my screwdriver. I cracked the case but not the Watchguard OS. Inside was a basic power supply and system board. Celeron processor and 256meg PC133 ram. 4 noisy fans and the OS runs on a CF card. The picture is a stock box without the hard drive tray that covers the right area near the CF card slot.


The real trick to this setup and to get version 2 to run is to get PFSense 2.0Rc1 ISO and setup a laptop or workstation that has two network cards. Two cards you say? Yes, in order to get the build to work you will need a Wan side and Lan side. Once you get the load running you can use the LiveCD and write the OS to a 2.5 laptop hard drive that can plug right into the 40pin header on the system board. 

If you are interested in an enterprise solution and have one of these firewalls from Watchguard, PFSense runs on many of these. The x500, x700 & x1000 are basically the same hardware level. Watchguard used these model types to distinguish different OS builds and capabilities. The internals are the same. There are some items to clean up but the version 2.0 Rc1 runs solid. Some other tweeks you may want to check out are new quieter fans, upgrading the processor and memory and modding the drive tray. If you follow the forum, you can even get the LCD and LED lights to work in a functional way.

If you are interested let me know as I have an Acronis backup. My next stage in this project is to work on building a new box using the CF imbedded version of PFSense. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2011 22:17