Virtual & Cloud based Installation


Installing OPNsense on a virtual machine can be done by using the DVD ISO image. Full instructions are available in chapter Initial Installation & Configuration .

General tips

For optimum performance and compatibility, these guides are given:

  • Minimum required RAM is 1 GB

  • Minimum recommended virtual disk size of 8 GB

  • Disable all off-loading settings in Interfaces ‣ Settings


VMware ESXi

VMware offers full instructions for installing FreeBSD, these can be found here.

To install the VMware tools just goto System ‣ Firmware ‣ Plugins and install os-vmware by clicking on the + sign next to it.



While other network setups may work fine, the VMXNET 3 is the recommended one according to VMware’s Compatibility Guide.


To install the Xen tools just goto System ‣ Firmware ‣ Plugins and install os-xen by clicking on the + sign next to it.



HyperV Generation 1 and 2 are supported out of the box, no additional drivers or tools are needed.

  • Secure Boot setting must be un-ticked in the Hardware > Security section for the VM.


i440FX chipset OPNsense on KVM works with virtio disks and network devices (confirmed on QEMU 5.0).

Q35 chipset As of 22.1.x, OPNsense is based on FreeBSD 13.0, which includes support for the virtualized Q35 chipset and newer generation of KVM virtio devices. Note that this was a relatively recent addition to FreeBSD, so it may not be as well tested as the i440 support.


OPNsense can be installed on all virtual machines that support FreeBSD (such as Bhyve, VirtualBox).


For hosted installations where you can’t install using the DVD ISO an alternative approach is available in the form of opnsense-bootstrap.


opnsense-bootstrap(8) is a tool that can completely reinstall a running system in place for a thorough factory reset or to restore consistency of all the OPNsense files. It can also wipe the configuration directory, but won’t do that by default.

It will automatically pick up the latest available version and build a chain of trust by using current package fingerprints -> CA root certificates -> HTTPS -> OPNsense package fingerprints.

What it will also do is turn a supported stock FreeBSD release into an OPNsense installation. Both UFS and ZFS installations are supported.

opnsense bootstrap is available for our github source repository

Amazon AWS EC2 Cloud


Installing OPNsense into the Amazon cloud can be a daunting task as no console is offered. Luckily an easy to install AMI is also available in the aws marketplace.

See also our how-to for Installing OPNsense AWS image.

Microsoft Azure


OPNsense is also available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace as an easy installable virtual appliance.

See also our how-to for OPNsense Azure Virtual Appliance.

Common Issues

Some common issues have been reported for different virtual environments. You can find known solutions to these problems below.

If your problem is not listed always try the General tips mentioned in the article first.

File copy failed during installation

This issue is most likely caused by low memory setting. Make sure your virtual OPNsense installation has a minimum of 1 GB of RAM.

Disk Errors on VMware

This issue can be caused by a defective drive. Changing the drive mode to IDE has been reported to help for certain ESXi versions.

NAT issues on XenServer

This issue has been reported to be solved by disabling checksum offloading on both OPNsense domU and Vifs.

Traffic Shaper does not work on VMware

If you are using vmxnet3 drivers try to switch to E1000.