I have been running pfsense on an Alix tiny computer for a long time. Pretty much have not touched it for years apart from occasional firewall rule change and pfsense auto upgrades. Recently I wanted to upgrade to pfsense 2.3 and had nothing but trouble. I am still not sure if this is a problem with the Alix specs, bad compact flash, unclean power down or the pfsense upgrade procedure.
I document here what I found but note I ended up backing up the configuration, flashing the same 4G compact flash and restoring configuration. So far it is working for me with the caveat I am still looking why the web interface bombed a few times. I think it is because you need to disable the updates available auto check on the System Info page but not sure. This issue did not affect the firewall functions so not a big deal for me right now.
The upgrade will run for a very long time after downloading and stating upgrade started. When I say long I mean long. Finally I would get to a point like below.
Apr 13 19:16:04 php: config.inc: New alert found: Something went wrong when trying to update the fstab entry. Aborting upgrade.
You can check the full upgrade log under Diagnostics -> NanoBSD. Also worth nothing my first upgrade left me in a not booting state. I fished out a null modem cable and on the serial console pressed some keys and after that I could get back to previous version.
For reference here are some log snippets:
[2.2.4-RELEASE][firstname.lastname@example.org] Broadcast Message from email@example.com (no tty) at 8:39 CDT... NanoBSD Firmware upgrade in progress... Installing /root/latest.tgz. NanoBSD upgrade starting [..] Installing /root/latest.tgz. SLICE 2 OLDSLICE 1 TOFLASH ada0s2 COMPLETE_PATH ada0s2a GLABEL_SLICE pfSense1 Wed Apr 13 19:08:58 CDT 2016 [..] dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ada0s2 bs=1m count=1 1+0 records in 1+0 records out 1048576 bytes transferred in 0.257870 secs (4066298 bytes/sec) /usr/bin/gzip -dc /root/latest.tgz | /bin/dd of=/dev/ada0s2 obs=64k 1890945+0 records in 14773+1 records out 968163840 bytes transferred in 311.756151 secs (3105516 bytes/sec) After upgrade fdisk/bsdlabel
This looks to me like things starting to go wrong should not be unclean file system.
/sbin/fsck_ufs -y /dev/ada0s2a ** /dev/ada0s2a ** Last Mounted on /builder/pfSense-230/tmp/pfSense/_.mnt ** Phase 1 - Check Blocks and Sizes CANNOT READ BLK: 1485136 CONTINUE? yes THE FOLLOWING DISK SECTORS COULD NOT BE READ: 1485136, PARTIALLY TRUNCATED INODE I=93161 SALVAGE? yes [..] 15850 files, 866146 used, 993212 free (1932 frags, 123910 blocks, 0.1% fragmentation) ***** FILE SYSTEM MARKED DIRTY ***** ***** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED ***** ***** PLEASE RERUN FSCK ***** /sbin/tunefs -L pfSense1 /dev/ada0s2a Checking for post_upgrade_command... [..] fdisk: invalid fdisk partition table found bsdlabel: /dev/ada0s3: no valid label found bsdlabel: /dev/ada0s3: no valid label found mount: /dev/ufs/pfSense1: R/W mount of /builder/pfSense-230/tmp/pfSense/_.mnt denied. Filesystem is not clean - run fsck.: Operation not permitted cp: /tmp/pfSense1/etc/fstab: No such file or directory sed: /tmp/pfSense1/etc/fstab: No such file or directory umount: /tmp/pfSense1: not a file system root directory fdisk/bsdlabel log:
Just a few references below.
Alix board specs here.
For pfsense 2.3 it sounds like Alix bios need to be 99f.
This user describes a similar issue and re-image worked.
Installing pfSense on a Compact Flash card