Pfsense – what to do if you lock yourself out

I’ve got a Watchguard firewall router that I’ve reflashed to run pfSense.

But the other day I managed to loose access to the Web interface – probably due to a configuration problem.

So how do you get back access to the web interface?


It turns out that you can do this from the serial port by interrupting the boot process after the bootstrap loader has finished it’s job, and during the pfSense booting:


___/ f \

/ p \___/ Sense

\___/ \


Welcome to pfSense 2.1.4-RELEASE …

Creating symlinks……done.

>>> Under 512 megabytes of ram detected. Not enabling APC.

External config loader 1.0 is now starting…

Launching the init system… done.

Press ctrl-C – and you get access to the shell

– now all you need is to find the backup directory where all your configuration backups are (you did take backups?) and copy one of the backups in to the configuration directory like this :

total 2294

-rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 13811 May 22 16:26 WGXepc

drwxr-xr-x 2 root wheel 512 Aug 23 14:24 backup

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 14417 Aug 23 14:24 config.xml

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 64139 Aug 23 13:54 config.xml.back

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 1613 Aug 22 23:00 dhcpleases.tgz

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 0 Jun 20 17:05 ez-ipupdate.cache

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 1066040 Aug 7 18:39 rrd.tgz

drwxr-xr-x 2 root wheel 512 Oct 29 2003 sshd

# # ls backup



# # ls -l backup

total 114

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 612 Aug 23 14:24 backup.cache

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 10834 Aug 23 14:00 config-1408802423.xml

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 11373 Aug 23 14:13 config-1408803203.xml

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 11388 Aug 23 14:14 config-1408803205.xml

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 10819 Aug 23 14:24 config-1408803875.xml

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 10834 Aug 23 14:24 config-1408803877.xml

# # cp config-1408803875.xml ^C

# cp backup/config-1408803875.xml config.xml

SmartMatrix – using large LED matrix screens

A Arduino library for the Teensy to enable use of the large led panels on the market :

The SmartMatrix Library is an Arduino library written specifically for the Teensy 3.1 microcontroller development system. Using the powerful DMA hardware built into the Teensy 3’s microcontroller, the library takes care of refreshing the LED driver circuitry on the display with 24-bits of color depth, and provides an interface to draw to a virtual screen and scroll text on top of the drawing.

[From SmartMatrix]

Smart shirt – in the technical meaning of the term smart

OMG – this is really good, I want one!

OM Biometric Smartwear syncs wirelessly with your phone, streaming continuous real-time biometric data through actionable insights – visual notifications, audio alerts and data reports – giving you the power to perform at a higher level.

[From Welcome – OMsignal]

Movement sensors – how to utilise them

We have a number of movement sensors in the house – with most of them sitting on a number of Jeenodes – where there are also sensors for temperature, light and humidity (and others).

We also have cats – they register on some of the sensors.

So how do I turn this into useful information to tell (as a example) the heating systems that we are actually at home, and please keep it warm enough, or that we are out so heating in all rooms can be turned down?

So far I’m collecting data to let us have a minimum number of movements in a room per hour to eliminate cat movement….


High power LED’s

Wow – this guy has made a driver board for 10W LED’s – that should be incredibly bright, and he is thinking about making it possible to drive them from a FadeCandy board.

A big part of the C.A.R.D.L.E desk lamps will be the actual lamps. Rather than using incandescent or halogen bulbs, they are full-color high-power LED light engines. I took the liberty of designing a custom driver board that can support 3 channels (red green and blue) which can be combined for any particular color. The actual driver chip is insanely small: it’s a 3mm x 3mm package.

After considering a wide variety of possible driver chips, I chose the Maxim MAX16819 for a number of reasons including external PWM control and an external drive transistor, meaning it can handle arbitrarily high currents. (Only after a pretty exhaustive search did I find this great chart comparing LED drivers. Wish I had seen that earlier!) These are pretty beefy and can drive something like 30 watts depending on the LEDs chosen. I’m using these 10-watt multichip RGB LEDs from DealExtreme

[From Untitled]

The Aerogarden is up and running again

At long last I sat down to fix the AeroGarden – the connectors between the base unit and the top (which powers the circulation pump) are really badly made, and on top of that they corrode. SO I had to fix them one more time – but now it’s all running as it should.


and the first signs of life can just be seen