Netgate Blog

13 Years of pfSense® Software! And an a hui hou.

This month marks thirteen years of pfSense software releases! It’s amazing to reflect on how the project and community have grown and evolved over the years. Looking back on the journey, Netgate is proud of its involvement and contributions. A few interesting factoids:

  • pfSense® software was forked from m0n0wall in 2004, and first released in October 2006.
  • 6 more releases occurred between 2006 and 2012: 1.2 and 1.2.1 in 2008; 1.2.2 and 1.2.3 in 2009; 2.0 and 2.0.1 in 2011
  • Since 2012 Netgate has been both the underwriter and steward of the pfSense project. In 2012, the project had an installed base of nearly 100,000 instances, but was significantly challenged by reliability, supportability, and scalability issues.
  • From 2012 to present, Netgate has contributed over 60% of the 39,892 code commits through Release 2.4.4-p3. Notable contributions include a completely rewritten and modernized GUI; GUI internationalization support for 18 languages; a completely rewritten package manager; a fully redesigned build system and refactored build processes for improved reliability; and strong IPsec support via IKEv2 and AES-GCM crypto - all of which substantially improved reliability, supportability, and scalability.
  • Netgate has provided a rewritten, scalable Automated Configuration Backup (ACB) - first as a pfSense package, but now built into core software - enabling instant, secure offsite backups of firewall configurations with no user intervention
  • 65 security advisories have been issued by Netgate - each describing problem, impact, and resolution - a testament to the company’s ethos that security is a right, not a privilege
  • Netgate has contributed 43 pfSense releases - each a compiled and fully tested binary accompanied by a release package, installer, documentation, and distribution
  • pfSense software has had well over a million consumer, home-lab, SMB, enterprise, educational institution, government agency, and service provider installations - across literally every continent on the planet

The above is a synopsis of what the Netgate team has contributed. There are, of course, many unsung heroes who have generously contributed along the way - a few are called out below, though in some cases, we only know a pseudonym for them:

  • Bill Marquette
  • Phil Davis
  • Anthony/BBcan177
  • PiBa-NL
  • NOYB
  • Seth Mos
  • Bill Meeks
  • Warren Baker
  • Colin Fleming
  • Peter Berbec
  • Denny Page
  • stilez
  • Sjon Hortensius
  • Bcyrill
  • Charlie Marshall
  • k-paulius
  • NewEraCracker
  • Darren Embry
  • heper

Beyond these, we also wish to acknowledge the greater FreeBSD community for their work on both the FreeBSD base system upon which pfSense software is built, as well as the excellent ports collection that is used for our add-on packages.

Finally, one of our highly-valued users and a close friend of the project, Bill Bradford (@mrbill), passed away a few months ago. We’d like you to know Bill worked selflessly to continue assisting the project, even while battling cancer. We are forever grateful for his contributions, humor, generosity, and presence here on earth. Mahalo ā nui, e kuʻu hoaaloha, a hui hou, Bill.