We are excited to announce the release of pfSense® software version 2.4.4, now available for new installations and upgrades!

pfSense software version 2.4.4 brings security patches, numerous new features, support for new Netgate hardware models, and stability fixes for issues present in previous pfSense 2.4.x branch releases.

pfSense 2.4.4-RELEASE updates and installation images are available now!


The following lists are a brief summary of changes in pfSense 2.4.4. To see a complete list of changes and find more detail, see the Release Notes.

Free pfSense Gold Content

With the release of pfSense 2.4.4, all former pfSense Gold content is now free for all!

New Features

2.4.4 includes a number of significant new features:

  • OS Upgrade: Base Operating System upgraded to FreeBSD 11.2-RELEASE-p3. As a part of moving to FreeBSD 11.2, support is included for C3000-based hardware.
  • PHP 7.2: PHP upgraded to version 7.2, which required numerous changes to syntax throughout the source code and packages.
  • Routed IPsec (VTI): Routed IPsec is now possible using using FreeBSD if_ipsec(4) Virtual Tunnel Interfaces (VTI).
  • IPsec Speed Improvements: The new Asynchronous Cryptography option under the IPsec Advanced Settings tab can dramatically improve IPsec performance on multi-core hardware.
  • Default Gateway Group: The default gateway may now be configured using a Gateway Group setup for failover, which replaces Default Gateway Switching.
  • Limiter AQM/Queue Schedulers: Limiters now include support for several Active Queue Management (AQM) methods and Queue Scheduler configurations such as FQ_CODEL.
  • Certificate Subject Requirements: The Certificate Manager and OpenVPN wizard now only require the Common Name to be set, and all other fields are optional.
  • DNS over TLS: The DNS Resolver now includes support for DNS over TLS as both a client and a server, including for domain overrides.
  • Captive Portal Authentication: Captive Portal authentication is now integrated with the User Manager system. Captive Portal instances may now use RADIUS, LDAP, or Local Authentication like other integrated services.
  • Captive Portal HTML Design and Usability: The default Captive Portal page has been redesigned. Controls have also been added which allow the logo and background images and Terms of Service text to be customized without editing and uploading custom HTML code.
  • Integrated Switch Improvements: Netgate devices with integrated switches such as the SG-3100 and XG-7100 can now configure per-port speed and duplex settings, discrete port configuration interfaces can now be tied to switch ports for up/down status, and LAGG support is also now available (Load Balance mode only)
  • New Hardware: Support has been added for the new SG-5100.
  • and more!


This release includes several important security patches:

  • FreeBSD SA for CVE-2018-6922: Resource exhaustion in TCP reassembly FreeBSD-SA-18:08.tcp
  • FreeBSD SA for CVE-2018-3620, CVE-2018-3646: L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF) Kernel Information Disclosure FreeBSD-SA-18:09.l1tf
  • FreeBSD SA for CVE-2018-6923: Resource exhaustion in IP fragment reassembly FreeBSD-SA-18:10.ip
  • FreeBSD SA for CVE-2018-14526: Unauthenticated EAPOL-Key Decryption Vulnerability FreeBSD-SA-18:11.hostapd
  • FreeBSD SA for CVE-2018-6924: Improper ELF header parsing FreeBSD-SA-18:12.elf
  • FreeBSD errata notice for LazyFPU remediation causing potential data corruption FreeBSD-EN-18:08.lazyfpu
  • Fixed two potential XSS vectors and an authenticated command execution issue.
  • Upgraded several binary packages in the base system to address upstream vulnerabilities, including strongSwan CVE-2018-5388, OpenSSH CVE-2018-15473, and cURL CVE 2018-14618
  • Updated default cryptographic settings for OpenVPN, IPsec, and Certificates
  • Changed the included DH groups to those defined in RFC 7919
  • Added stronger IPsec Pre-Shared Key usage warnings, and a button to generate a secure PSK
  • Changed from sshlockout_pf to sshguard for monitoring failed logins and locking out offenders, this allows the lockout to work on IPv4 and IPv6 and also terminates states when adding offenders to the block list
  • Disabled OpenVPN compression by default on new instances for security reasons due to VORACLE

    • Users are strongly urged to disable compression on OpenVPN instances if they pass unencrypted data such as HTTP to arbitrary Internet sites.

Notable Bug Fixes

In addition to security fixes, pfSense software version 2.4.4 also includes important bug fixes.

Upgrade Notes

Due to the significant nature of the changes in this version of pfSense software, warnings and error messages, particularly from PHP and package updates, are likely to occur during the upgrade process. In nearly all cases these errors are a harmless side effect of the changes between FreeBSD 11.1 and 11.2 and between PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.2.

Always take a backup of the firewall configuration prior to any major change to the firewall, such as an upgrade.

Do not upgrade packages before upgrading pfSense! Either remove all packages or leave the packages alone before running the update.

The upgrade will take several minutes to complete. The exact time varies based on download speed, hardware speed, and other factors such installed packages. Be patient during the upgrade and allow the firewall enough time to complete the entire process. After the update packages finish downloading it could take 10-20 minutes or more until the upgrade process ends. The firewall may reboot several times during the upgrade process. Monitor the upgrade from the firewall console for the most accurate view.

Consult the Upgrade Guide for additional information about performing upgrades to pfSense software.

Important Information about Upgrading and Installing pfSense software version 2.4.0 and later

If you have not yet upgraded to pfSense version 2.4.0 or later, read the information in the 2.4.0 Release Announcement before updating for important information that may impact the ability of a firewall to upgrade to pfSense version 2.4.x.

Non-pfSense Package Warning

Third party packages from alternate repositories are causing problems for users with the upgrade process and also with post-upgrade behavior. These packages have never been supported, and had to be manually added by users outside of the GUI.

Due to the major changes required for FreeBSD 11.2 and PHP 7.2, third party packages from alternate repositories cannot be present during the upgrade. There is no way to predict if a third party package supports the new version or will cause the upgrade itself to fail.

The upgrade process will automatically remove pfSense-pkg-* packages installed from alternate repositories. After the upgrade completes, the user can reinstall these packages. Packages from alternate repositories will not appear in the Installed Packages list in the GUI, and must be entirely managed in the command line.

This change does not affect packages installed from the official pfSense package repository.

Update Troubleshooting

If the update system does not offer an upgrade to 2.4.4, or the upgrade will not proceed, take the following steps:

  • Navigate to System > Updates
  • Set Branch to Latest stable version
  • Refresh the repository configuration and upgrade script by running the following commands from the console or shell:

    pkg-static clean -ay; pkg-static install -fy pkg pfSense-repo pfSense-upgrade

In some cases the repository information may need to be rewritten:

  • Navigate to System > Updates
  • Set the Branch to Latest Development Snapshots
  • Wait for the page to refresh
  • Set the Branch to Latest stable version

If the update still does not appear, run the commands above from the console or shell.

2.3.x EOL Reminder

The 2.3.x branch is rapidly approaching its end of life (EOL). Upgrade to 2.4.x on compatible hardware as soon as possible. See pfSense® Release 2.3.x EOL Reminder for more information.

Reporting Issues

This release is ready for a production use. Should any issues come up with pfSense 2.4.4-RELEASE, please post about them on the the forum or on the /r/pfSense subreddit.


pfSense CE software is Open Source

For those who wish to review the source code in full detail, the changes are all publicly available in three repositories on GitHub:


Downloads for New Installs

Using the automatic update process is typically easier than reinstalling to upgrade. See the Upgrade Guide page for details.

Supporting the Project

Our efforts are made possible by the support of our customers and the community. You can support our efforts via one or more of the following.

  • Official appliances direct from Netgate. Our appliances are the fast, easy way to get up and running with a fully-optimized firewall.
  • Commercial Support – Purchasing support from us provides you with direct access to Netgate Global Support.
  • Professional Services – For more involved and complex projects outside the scope of support, our most senior engineers are available under professional services.