Pfsense USB Install Guide (Rufus)

Previously we had written an article Pfsense USB Installation Guide, in which we showed you how to make bootable USB installation media for Pfsense. While the previous method does still work, we have found that using Rufus as a one stop shop for USB installation media, is now our preferred method. Below we will detail the steps required to create bootable USB installation media for Pfsense.

  1. Download the latest compatible version of pfSense in .img.gz format. Note: the file name should include “memstick”.
  2. Extract the downloaded file to a folder of your choice.
  3. Plug in an empty USB stick and fire up the Rufus.
  4. Select DD Image as bootable disk type (See Image).
  5. Click on the disk icon and browse to the download that was extracted in step 2.
  6. Click “Start” to restore the image onto the USB stick using Rufus (See Image).
  7. Insert the newly created USB stick into router.
  8. Boot into the BIOS of the router and set “USB – HDD” to the top of the boot order. (On Hacom routers, press Del to enter the BIOS).


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10 thoughts on “Pfsense USB Install Guide (Rufus)

  1. I have tried this method with the “pfSense-CE-memstick-2.4.1-RELEASE-amd64” version and it still only boots to the BIOS. Even after disabling all other boot options.

    I have created the boot image with Win32diskimage and Rufus as stated on the pfsense site.

    1. These problems are typically caused by one of two things. A poor quality USB drive or incompatible bios setting. Has the USB stick you are using been able to boot previously?

      1. Would have replied sooner, but I had some server issues. I got it working finally by changing from one 64 bit i3 environment to another. Apparently some 64 bit hardware aren’t supported.

  2. Brilliant!

    Thank you so much, I’d spent all day trying to install pfSense from CD and failed.

    I didn’t know if it was the burner at fault, the CD I used, or the CD reader.

    I followed your instructions and POW!

    2 minutes later, pfSense was installed and running.

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