Installing VirtualBox and creating a new virtual machine should not be a big deal:
- Install VirtualBox with all the default options. It’s just a matter of clicking Next a few times.
- Login on Windows as administrator. Browse to the folder where you have downloaded the VirtualBox Extension Pack and double-click it. Click Install.
- Agree (you have to) with the TOS and you’re done.
Before you create the VM, consider all the options you may want to enable in pfSense (web proxy, Snort, VPN, etc.), in order to allocate resources appropriately. Also, don’t forget that you need two network interfaces. A good start is the Selection & Sizing section on the official website. Anyway, if in doubt, you can always revise the settings of your VM after creation. The virtual machine which I created had this configuration: 1 CPU, 128 MB of RAM, 2 GB HDD, and 2 NICs (I don’t intend yet to use Snort – that will need a minimum of 512 MB of RAM).
So let’s proceed:
- Start VirtualBox
- Click New
- On the next window type in the name of the VM and choose the OS and version (pfSense, BSD, and FreeBSD in my case). Then click Next:
- Now set the amount of memory:
- Select a virtual hard disk option. Choose Create a hard disk:
- In the Virtual Disk Creation Wizard, leave the default option unchanged (VDI), unless you plan to use this VM in the future with a different virtualisation software, such as VMware Workstation:
- Set the size of the virtual disk file as dynamically allocated, so the virtual disk’s size will increase progressively, as it fills up (up to the maximum set, that is):
- Set the maximum size of the virtual disk:
- You’ve finished setting up the virtual disk. Click Create:
- Now you have finished with setting up the VM. Again, click Create: