pfSense not making sense... No LAN internet

I recently acquired a 2U server blade with dual 10-core Xeons, 64GB RAM, 2.5TB of SSDs, dual redundant 900W PSUs, 4 RJ-45 NIs (not incl. the IMM port) and figured I’d do my dream server build, but I’m struggling a little.

My plan is to run Linux Mint as a host OS for VMware Workstation Pro 16 and run VMs for:

  • pfsense
  • OpenVPN
  • Home Assistant
  • Plex Media Server

I’m currently having trouble getting Mint to connect to the Internet through pfsense. I can ping the default gateway IP successfully in CLI, WAN and LAN configure in pfsense, pfsense can ping Cloudflare’s DNS, but I can’t access the Webconfigurator for pfsense or open a website in Firefox.

I’m fairly certain I have VMware’s network settings correct, but I’m a bit rusty on my network admin skills, so I’m not sure if I’m using the best subnet settings, etc. My biggest concern is that I don’t have network settings correct for Mint or pfsense. It feels like the bridged virtual network connection just isn’t working.

I’ve tried different default gateway IPs, turned DHCP on and off, restarted my modem… I just don’t understand what is going wrong.

Don’t hesitate to ask trivial questions. It may sound like I’m decently well-versed in this field, but my knowledge of this terminology is better than my practical knowledge, even though I do have some coursework and job experience with some of it.

Any help would be appreciated, as well as suggestions for a better way to accomplish my goal. I’m not willing to give up on running this all on this machine, but I’ll be honest that I have no idea if VMs and Mint were the right move.


You could start by looking if pfsense aquires an IP on the WAN side as for your routing setup there’s no way to tell as you provide zero information how you’ve configured this.

In general I’d advice (some will probably argue against) to use a bare metal setup for gateway/firewalling as it things a lot easier to maintain and if it dies it wont take down your complete network.

Yes, I have an IP from my ISP. Wouldn’t my being able to ping a DNS from pfSense kinda make that a prerequisite?

In what way are you arguing against it? Are you saying I shouldn’t do any of this? I’m pretty committed to doing at least some part of the plan I laid out. Or maybe you’re specifically referring to virtual networking inside the server vs. the physical ports? If so, I have, in fact, already had someone suggest I do what you’ve said for essentially the same reason. They suggested using a switch and/or buying a NIC.

Sorry, I missed that part. No idea how to fix routing (?) issues in your VMware setup :-/

Idk about virtual networking with VMware but have you tried assigning one of the Ethernet ports to lan and another to your virtual bridge and just using a patch cable to connect them? Just to get you online and rule out virtual bridge settings?

What goal are you trying to accomplish? For example, are you trying to replace your ISP device with Pfsense, or are you trying to set up a virtual sandbox to play with virtual machines? I use Vmware Workstation Pro so that I can figure out your network issues. I think I know what the problem is, but I need to know how you installed Linux Mint and VmwareWorkstatin Pro 16.

Check if GW is correct and netmask on the WAN side and if all ok.
Look at routing and what is default GW set to if correct
Look at DNS settings use your own DNS setup of a combination of multiple ones OpenDNS, Google…
Possible some Firewall rule is blocking the internet … i head that happen for me under pfBlockerNG and head to refresh the rules.
One of the above should fix your problem on the pfSense side to get it from there to your PC on the house you need to do Virtual Switch or Bridge ports …

At the same time way not use an OS that was specially made for VM’s like ProxMox ?