Build a Powerful Home Router with ZimaBoard and pfSense

Introduction to pfSense:

pfSense is an open source version of FreeBSD customized for firewall and router functionality. It is installed on computers as a firewall and router in the network and is known for its reliability.

Required Equipment:

1 x ZimaBoard 832

1 x Display

1 x Mini DP to HDMI cable

1 x Keyboard

1 x USB drive (for installation)

2 x Network cables

Quick Configuration Guide:

  1. Install pfSense: First, install pfSense on the ZimaBoard.

  2. Connect network interfaces: One for connecting to the WAN and the other for connecting to the LAN. Connect these interfaces to the appropriate networks.

  3. Configure the WAN interface: Configure the WAN interface. This usually involves assigning a static or dynamic IP address, subnet mask, gateway, and DNS servers. Your Internet service provider typically provides this information.

  4. Configure the LAN interface: Configure the LAN interface, including IP address and subnet mask. This will be the entry point for your internal network.

  5. Start pfSense: Boot pfSense and access it through the web interface. Type the IP address of pfSense in the browser.

  6. Configure DHCP server: If you want pfSense to assign IP addresses to internal devices, you need to configure the DHCP server. Specify the address pool range, default gateway, etc.

  7. Firewall rules: Configure firewall rules to control incoming and outgoing traffic. By default, pfSense will block all traffic, so you need to create rules to allow necessary traffic.

  8. Port forwarding: If you need to forward external traffic to internal servers (like a web server), you need to set up port forwarding rules.

Installation Guide:

Step 1: Download the pfSense image file.

Step 2: Make installation USB drive.

Step 3: Install pfSense

3.1 Click Accept

3.2 Click Install

3.3 Select disk partition scheme

3.4 Select disk to use

3.5 Wait for installation to complete

3.6 After completion, click Reboot

Step 4: Select appropriate IPs for WAN and LAN interfaces.

Step 5: Log in to pfSense

5.1 Type IP address to log in

The default login account and password for pfSense is:

Username: admin

Password: pfSense

5.2 Further configure pfSense according to your needs


Combining ZimaBoard and pfSense software router takes advantage of both to provide a better experience:

  1. pfSense provides a powerful software router system with routing, firewall and other capabilities. ZimaBoard provides hardware support.

  2. ZimaBoard’s quad-core processor and 8GB RAM ensure smooth operation of pfSense features.

  3. ZimaBoard’s metal casing is good for heat dissipation, ensuring a stable and reliable system.

  4. ZimaBoard’s small size makes placement easy, and the two gigabit ports meet the WAN/LAN requirements of pfSense.

  5. ZimaBoard + pfSense has a lower cost but allows flexible feature expansion and great price/performance ratio.

In summary, the combination of ZimaBoard and pfSense software router makes full use of their strengths to deliver high-performance, flexible and cost-effective software router solutions.

1 Like

no matter how i change settings during installation, a direct install on the zimaboard failes. therefore i install proxmox and pfsense as a virtual machine. advantage backup and snapshots


I had some initial struggles with pfSense, i ended up using Sophos Home for about 3 weeks and then moved to OPNSense for the routing and Zenarmour for the firewall filtering. I would suggest giving it another shot as its running smoothly on the 432 ZimaBoard here.


Pretty interesting, excited to see how much more threads like these will be posted! Awesome to know that there will be information that is way more accessible to people searching for help online with a ZimaBoard/ZimaBlade or just with CasaOS in general.


That’s the plan :slight_smile: we have a great community of awesome people that are happy to help and introduce the tech to those that are unfamiliar:-) I’m sure there will be lots to come


I have had pfSense+ running on mine for 6 months, runs very smoothly. I had to select boot device via the boot menu in the BIOS. I have noticed that the BIOS settings seem to change each time it boots regardless of saving them. Could be me though, still new to this.

So when you put routing responsibilities onto the Zima832, is it better to go the Docker or direct install route? Once that install is up and running then (whichever way you install it) does that preclude loading any further server roles into the 832 because of system load? Sorry if that’s a dumb question but I’m just now starting my config design and got my 832 delivered yesterday.