pfSense + Freeswitch

According to the pfSense blog there’s been an effort to implement Freeswitch as an installable package to pfSense. This is very interesting. There’s a long list of comments to the blog post which collectively spell out some of the merits of this idea, as well as how it relates to running an IP-PBX inside the LAN.

Some indicate a preference for Asterisk over Freeswitch. Others ask for a lightweight configuration supporting just a SIP proxy to an inside PBX. It’s noted that Freeswitch is a much larger application than siproxd, which would handle that well enough.

I’ve been considering giving pfSense a try. This is just one more good reason to make the effort some time soon.

  • As I tweeted the other day I love pfSense. It’s heavier than m0n0wall for sure, but the featureset and rate of development make it worth it for me. An old Pentium 3 with 256MB RAM served as my router in an environment with 8 WAN links and bandwidth utilization sometimes breaking 75mbit/sec while supporting QoS and running siproxd so the two SIP hardphones I had were able to work without NAT traversal issues or quality problems.

    It’ll be very interesting to see what this Freeswitch integration gets us. Personally I’d love to have a pfSense-based appliance that I can feed some SIP trunks and throw phones behind with some very basic call flow.

  • I have been using pfSense for two commercial sites and my home with good control on VoIP quality. Would be nice to have SBC functions in pfSense (beyond just IP filters).

  • It should be noted that FreeSWITCH can scale up or down, but it isn’t actually designed to be a proxy but rather a switch, hence the name. It works very well as B2BUA and this is where it would shine in performance compared to say Asterisk. I don’t know that I would want a full-featured PBX running on my pfSense box, but that’s an individual decision. In any case, FS plays well with other programs. In fact, FreeSWITCH is really a library, libfreeswitch, that can easily be embedded into other programs. IMHO, Mark Crane made a good choice by utilizing FreeSWITCH.


  • Sloan

    pfsense can be run as an appliance. There are an increasing number of packages on pfSense that you may want to run in appliance mode.

  • mcrane

    A few things to keep in mind about pfSense + FreeSWITCH

    One admin reported he has run two pfSense firewalls with fail over on two Dell 2950s. and a sustained traffic of over 800mb a second for a major website.

    FreeSWITCH is multi-threaded and can completely take advantage of mult-core multi-processor systems.

    Firewall with Phone System or Phone System with a Firewall?
    Many VOIP phone system run outside of NAT perhaps in a DMZ, other phone systems run in a large network and need to be firewalled from neighboring devices on the network. To put it more bluntly security has become more and more necessary even down to the device level. For these reasons a firewall that protects the phone system is absolutely ideal.

    pfSense can be setup to run as dedicated appliance for the task of your choice.

    FreeSWITCH and pfSense together equal a very powerful and secure phone system.

  • pfSense FreeSWITCH package has become multi-platform it still works on pfSense but now it works on FreeBSD, Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, Open Solaris and others. I’ve named the project FusionPBX and doubled its features.

    New features.
    Interactive conference which allows you to record conferences, kick, lock, control the volume, mute, deaf and more.

    Active channels and Active Extensions these are tools for operators or a dashboard display and allows you to interact with calls transfer, park, and hangup calls from a web page.