PC Engines APU2 with OPNsense firewall on top as homelab gateway

There has always been some testing going on at home, but with the introduction of an extra firewall, there will be a separate network for tinkering and trials at home.

First I decided to buy an APU2 board from PC Engines. Although the APU first generation I had got fried quickly, their new version had the thermal issues the first generation had addressed according to the website.

When it arrived earlier this week, I still had to decide wether to run Linux or a BSD variant on top. After some quick research  I stumbled upon two FreeBSD based products that both seemed a good fit : pfSense and OPNsense. I soon discovered that OPNsense is actually maintained by some guys from my village. So OPNsense it was.

Right now I’ve only done the basic setup stuff, but the web interface et al look very promising. Clean, modern, snappy, complete. No CLI necessary for more advanced stuff.

It also has ‘cloud’ / virtualisation options, so I’m sure I will try that sooner or later.


BTW: For my serial line needs on MacOS I stumbled upon ‘Serial‘. Just evaluating, but it is rather nice. I just might pay the thirty euro for it