Mini pfSense Build

When I came across the Mini pfSense build, I didn’t even know what pfSense was. There was something about that tiny little computer that was compelling… so here I am with a completed build! I went with the recommended motherboard and CPU, and then used a spare SSD, SODIMM, and power supply I had onhand.

Type            Item                             Price 	
Motherboard     Intel DQ77KB                       $42 	
CPU 	        i5-3470T 35                        $32 	
RAM 	        4GB DDR3 SODIMM                 onhand 	
CPU Cooler      Titan DC 115X Low Profile 24       $16 	
Case 	        Goodisory C01                      $90 	
SSD 	        60GB 2.5"                       onhand 	
PSU             65W 19.5V 3.33A                 onhand
Total                                             $180


The build was super easy, although the case did cause some frustration. When I went to place the motherboard on the standoffs I realized that they had installed the bottom plate rotated 90 degrees, which caused the standoffs to not line up.


I took the case apart and installed the bottom plate correctly. Then, after everything was installed and I hit the power button for the first time, nothing happened. I pulled the front panel off and figured out that the soldering job on the button was poor. I happened to have the same switches on hand, so I cut the wires and soldered them up to the new switch.

Thankfully after that everything was in order, so I went about getting pfSense installed. I went through two (old and small) USB sticks that didn’t work before I finally decided to overwrite my Windows 10 install USB with the pfSense image. After that, the install went as described on JDM’s video.

Next up will be the changeover from my existing DD-WRT router to put this thing into production!

Thanks JDM for all your work… this is a great hobby and your efforts make it all the more enjoyable!!

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That is the dankest router. I LOVE IT.

I can’t wait for you to see how much faster that will be than your old one.

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Yeah, this case is like 50% of the reason why I decided to do this build!!

By the way, I know there was some discussion about the potential to mod this case to accept the 4-port pcie card. It’s definitely way too small for that, however if you need more NICs in this case, you could definitely get something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Gigabit-Ethernet-Controller-1000Mbps-RTL8168C/dp/B00B524102

For now I’m going to survive with just the two, but if I find I need another I’ll probably find a way to mount one of these in the full-height IO shield.