OPNSense – Installing On Intel Apollo Lake

So, I’ve had some issues getting OPNSense (or pFsense, anything based on FreeBSD) to install and boot properly on my shiny new router. The router is based on the Intel J3455 CPU, which uses the Apollo Lake architecture.

The Gigabyte (Gigabyte GA-J3455N-D3H) board’s BIOS is rather basic – it does not allow you to configure ACPI or HPET settings; these are what cause issues in FreeBSD 11. To get around this, some stuff is needed to be done:

Booting the USB:

  • Ensure the CSM is enabled and set “Other Devices” to “Legacy”
  • Boot the USB installer in UEFI mode
  • Press “3” 
  • Type: set hint.hpet.0.clock=0
  • Type: set hint.acpi.0.msi=2 – repeat four times for “0” to “3”
  • Type: set machdep.disable_msix_migration=1
  • Type: boot

Install OPNSense/pFsense as normal.

Once installed:

  • When the machine reboots, repeat the steps above
  • Login to the console
  • Select the “Shell” option
  • Type: cd /boot
  • Use vi to add the following lines to loader.conf.local:
    • hint.hpet.0.clock=”0″
    • hint.ahci.0.msi=”2″ (add 4 lines from “0” to “3”)
    • machdep.disable_msix_migration=”1″
  • Reboot the machine

Now, the device should boot up without hanging or intervention required. This guide is what worked for me on this particular system installing to an SSD connected via SATA – hopefully FreeBSD 12 fixes this problem.

Hope this helps – good luck!

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