pfSense book now available for purchase!

NOTE: We no longer recommend the 2009 print version of the book, being based on the 1.2.3 version, it is largely obsolete at this point. The pfSense Book, immediately available for Gold Subscribers and as a stand alone, is a living digital copy of the book that is continually updated. It’s the recommended version for everyone, as it has been greatly expanded and updated.

Click here for details.

Finally, comprehensive documentation for pfSense is available in print!

Table of contents is available here.

Authored by pfSense co-founder Chris Buechler and pfSense developer Jim Pingle, The Definitive Guide to pfSense covers installation and basic configuration through advanced networking and firewalling of the popular open source firewall and router distribution.

This book is designed to be a friendly step-by-step guide to common networking and security tasks, plus a thorough reference of pfSense’s capabilities. The Definitive Guide to pfSense covers the following topics:

  • An introduction to pfSense and its features.
  • Hardware and system planning.
  • Installing and upgrading pfSense.
  • Using the web-based configuration interface.
  • Backup and restoration.
  • Firewalling fundamentals and defining and troubleshooting rules.
  • Port forwarding and Network Address Translation.
  • General networking and routing configuration.
  • Bridging, Virtual LANs (VLANs), and Multi-WAN.
  • Virtual Private Networks using IPsec, PPTP, and OpenVPN.
  • Traffic shaping and load balancing.
  • Wireless networking and captive portal setups.
  • Redundant firewalls and High Availability.
  • Various network related services.
  • System monitoring, logging, traffic analysis, sniffing, packet capturing, and troubleshooting.
  • Software package and third-party software installations and upgrades.

At the end of this book, you’ll find a menu guide with the standard menu choices available in pfSense and a detailed index.

Buy now

Thanks for your support!

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150 Responses to “pfSense book now available for purchase!”

  1. Chris Buechler Says:

    Robbo: I’ve been bugging the publisher about that, need to follow up with them again. Last I spoke with them, the amount they make on Kindle books was very little, it’s considerably better for us and them in print. I’m a big fan of Kindle and other electronic formats though and expect we’ll have something electronic available at some point in the future.

  2. Robbo Says:

    Thanks Chris. One thing to remember is that your sales volumes should increase as it is easier to buy the book which means you should still make money on them. Hopefully you have a Kindle or similar ed soon.

  3. Stefan Says:

    Thanks Chris! I’m also interested in a Kindle edition of the book.

  4. David Reid Says:

    Hi Chris,
    Any idea on when or of a new version of the book will be coming out soon. I already bought it but I have been checking out version 2 and was wondering if there will be a new release of the book to cover the new version of pfSense.


  5. Chris Buechler Says:

    David: the whole updated book is a ways out, we’ll have pieces of it available via other means as it’s updated, check back here on the blog for a new post or send a blank email to get the details when that happens.

    In the mean time, the bulk of the existing book is applicable and is still the best available source of info on 2.0.

  6. Chris Buechler Says:

    A Kindle edition has been available for a couple months now for those looking for it, click the link in this post and you’ll see the Kindle option.

  7. Francis M Says:

    According to Amazon Reviews, the Kindle edition is not recommended due to deficiencies on the e-book, such as no Table of Contents and badly formatted book. Is it searchable?

    I prefer the Kindle for quick reference and less likely to be misplace. I prefer to purchase the Kindle edition, but has it been updated to correct the stated comments of the edition.


  8. Chris Buechler Says:

    Francis: I haven’t seen this, and our publisher left a comment on the one review you’re referring to asking for further info as he’s not seeing it either. The only complaint I’ve heard on the Kindle version was from someone new to Kindle books who didn’t like that they don’t have traditional page numbers, but that’s just a fact of how Kindle works.

  9. Joe Says:


    Just bought your book.


  10. Aydin Yakar Says:

    Thanks for book..

  11. Jeremy White Says:

    It looks like the book is pre 2.x of pfSense. Will an updated version be released in the near future?

    I am looking at using pfSense and buying the book, but would hate to do so only to find the information is dated and an update is around the corner.



  12. Chris Buechler Says:

    There is an updated version in the works, but it will be quite some time before it’s 100% complete and gets to print. The current book is still by far the best resource available, even for 2.0. We’ll be making parts of the 2.0 book available in some fashion before it’s in print, more info to come.

  13. Athiel Says:

    Great book , thanks to Jim Pingle and Chris..

    Im in Mexico so is kind of expensive but worth every penny paid

    thank a lot.

  14. The Celtic Says:

    If I purchase the current book, will I be able to get the updated 2.0 book via amazon when it’s released? Should I wait for the 2.0 book? I use 2.0 🙂

  15. The Celtic Says:

    I’d also be happy to assist in proofing the new version if you need volunteers…

  16. Chris Buechler Says:

    The Celtic: no, it won’t be updated by Amazon as it’ll be a different book.

  17. pfSenser Says:

    Really liked the paper book, and just purchased the Amazon Kindle version of the book as I am traveling and wanted it with me electronically. Unfortunately the Kindle ebook conversion is very poor:

    * Cannot swipe up and down to switch chapters – have to go the slow route via the table of contents to move around the book, and the table of contents is really long and slow to traverse

    * The table of contents is poorly structured and formatted. Higher level headings are regular type while subheadings are bolded. Headings don’t all have numbers making it hard to keep track of where in the TOC you are. Headings with numbers and headings without are at the same level, hard to figure out the hierarchy of the TOC.
    One non-sensical TOC heading reads:
    “FeebackTypographic Conventions1. Introduction”

    * Poor formatting and spacing throughout the text. No space before headings. Key headings don’t start on their own page.

    Disappointed with the Kindle version, the difficulty of moving quickly through the book makes it a pain to use as a quick reference.

  18. Chris Buechler Says:

    We’re working with the publisher to fix the Kindle issues, thanks for letting us know.

  19. Dale Menken Says:

    Any ETA on the v2 book? I would much rather purchase the v2 book then the v1 book that doesn’t cover the features of the firewall I will be using.

  20. Chris Buechler Says:

    The next book will be a 2.1 book, and it’s a bit out still. The current book covers most things in 2.0 and is the only good source of general info for 2.0 aside from what’s on

  21. Ron Shir Says:

    We’re the Kindle issues straightened out? I’d much rather buy the Kindle edition. Thanks for a great product and docs!

  22. pfSense User Says:

    Please, write a proper book giving the reasons for the settings, not just presetting a setting and stating the obvious…. Give bacground details as to the choices and why each choice… in a clear manner.

  23. Chris Buechler Says:

    “pfSense User” – that’s precisely what our book, the one linked here, does. It seems from your description maybe you’re referring to the “pfSense Cookbook” book, which isn’t written by any contributors to the project, and isn’t helpful as it does exactly what you said. The book linked here, the official book, provides in depth explanations of everything it covers, there are no sections that “preset a setting and state the obvious.”

  24. Mike Robinson Says:

    Bought the book about a year ago and I have to say that though it was already a bit dated, it was still quite easy to figure out the changes. I am getting ready to update to a newer version at the end of this year and was wondering if we were going to see the V2.1 by then?

    Thanks Chris and Jim for a wonderful book. I know the software is advancing faster then you could possiblly print updated material and by no means am i suggesting that you slow down it’s development. Keep up the hard work.

  25. Steve Says:

    open source projects for which the *only* reliable source of information is books are well down the totem pole

  26. Chris Buechler Says:

    No idea what you’re talking about Steve. Yes the most authoritative and reliable source of info is in this book and the new one we’re working on. That can be said of countless open source projects. We also have a ton of reliable info on, so this is far from the only source of reliable info. We do tend to withhold all the advanced info, because 6 people make a full time living on the project and we have to have a way to make payroll. Selling information is part of that. Anyone who needs the kind of info we don’t make publicly available can very easily justify the minuscule cost.

  27. J Signed Says:

    When is your new book going to be ready and will it be available in an electronic format? I’d pay the same for the ebook as the physical book because the ebook is more useful to me. For example with an ebook I can search the entire text for a word or phrase in literally a second. Try doing that with paper. I also get the point about making a living and the ebook would put a few extra dollars in your pocket.

    Others will disagree with me I’m sure, but nothing in this world is free, not even open source code.


  28. Lee Says:

    Steve, this is an open project, there is no secret knowledge contained in the book. All the information required can be obtained for free. What is not free, for anyone, is the incredible amount of time, skill, and effort in order to collect and synthesize the information necessary for a successful implemention. What you are paying for with the book is your time and effort. It is a testament to the skill of the pfSense developers that they have made a highly complex and advanced piece of software appear so simple to the end user.

  29. Renzo Goia Says:

    I just bought the book.
    Thanks for the very usefull project.
    Only one suggestion, please make the book also in electronic format.


  30. joel Says:

    just recently ordered a book from amazon. when is the second edition coming out? can’t wait for it. 🙂

  31. Mikael Arhelger Says:

    Just bought the book on Amazon. I hope to learn more about the many functions pfSense has to offer.

  32. Patrick Says:

    Really… what pfSense needs is more documentation! Please create the v2 version. It should be more of a community effort if time is the problem… A promotional/marketing/support team is very welcome that makes sure this kind of stuff gets attention instead of just the technical side of things… This is wrong with lots of open source projects. Its all too much targeted at the hard core audience. Just a general thought.

  33. Jared Dillard Says:

    The community is a large part of our promotional/marketing/support team and anyone can get access to create documentation (or make it better) in the wiki. Feel free to start discussion over at explaining where you think the weak points in the documentation are for the more novice audience.

  34. Chris Buechler Says:

    Patrick: there already is a 2.1 book available for gold subscribers, as we announced previously. It has detailed, in-depth documentation on every part of the base system. More documentation will come for gold and support subscribers as well. We’ll also be making some more of that freely available, at least enough to get people up and running. If you need something beyond basic documentation, you’ll have to pay for it.

  35. Chris Buechler Says:

    ATTENTION EVERYONE: See my updated note in the original post about the print book (based on v1.2.3), now very outdated. The 2.1 updated version will be available in print eventually, but it’s immediately available in PDF to gold subscribers. The 1.2.3 book is still somewhat relevant, but it’s been thoroughly updated and expanded in the 2.1 edition. With 2.1 out now, many parts of the 1.2.3 edition are no longer applicable, inadequately covered for 2.x versions, or suggest ways of doing things that work but there are far easier and faster ways to accomplish the same thing in 2.1. So I would suggest everyone get the PDF 2.1 book with the gold subscription at this point, and not bother with the old print version.

  36. Mike Says:

    Any update on when the 2.1 version of the book will be available in print?

  37. Leo Says:

    I want to buy the 2.1 book, but I’m not very interested in a Gold membership.

    Is there any way to buy the 2.1 book itself? Digital or printed doesn’t matter, I just want to pay you for it and get it (but not $99, at least not at this point in time).


  38. Dale Menken Says:

    I want the v2.1 PDF book but still don’t see it available anywhere to purchase. A GOLD subscription is not appealing to a home user. When will you make this available to purchase?

    Thank you for building a awesome product.

  39. Raymond Says:

    There IS a print edition of the book in the works, right?

  40. Ken Says:

    Almost a year and no response to 2.1 book for non Gold members.
    interesting to see what happens if you want support as a Gold member.

  41. Chris Buechler Says:

    Ken: the response here and elsewhere, on many occasions, is the gold subscription is the only means of obtaining the 2.1 book for the time being.

    Re: “interesting to see what happens if you want support as a Gold member”, I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Gold doesn’t include any support. If you want support as a support customer, then you’d be among the many thrilled at the level of service provided.

  42. David Pierce Says:

    Bump, still waiting and wanting to see the 2.1 book available for non-Gold pfSense users. I don’t mind making occasional donations to support improvements, but would like to be able to get the documentation without having to get a $99 Gold membership. Would even understand it being a snapshot of the current evolution of the book in PDF form.

  43. Tom Landmann Says:

    Another home user here, waiting for the general availability of the updated book.
    I cannot believe that the GUI links to an old blog post selling an old version of the book which we are discouraged from buying.

  44. khan Says:

    another home user.. me also want to purchase latested edition of the book sans gold membership..

  45. Tim Says:

    Out of stock :> must be good reading to be sold out

  46. Chris Buechler Says:

    Tim: the print version is outdated and now out of print, check the link for gold subscription in this post to obtain access to the latest version.

  47. Gary Says:

    Would definitely buy this immediately if it were available on Nook or compatible e-book

  48. Roger Says:

    Here another one of the wannabee book buyers that wants to pay a normal price for this book. That gold membership is great for companies. I think $35 should be enough.

  49. James Says:

    Please make this available for purchase outside of Gold. I’d pay $35-40 even for an ebook. But $100 is a bit spendy.

  50. Jared Dillard Says:

    The HTML version of the book is now available for $24.70:

Please don’t post technical questions or off-topic comments. It is far more likely that your questions and concerns will be addressed effectively through one of our support channels.

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