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How To Use Minicom To Reset a Netgate Device


Utilize the serial program, Minicom, to access the pfSense console CLI to perform a restoration or factory reset.


  1. Ensure your Netgate unit has a console cable connected to your server with an Linux OS installed (preferably CentOS 7.x).
  2. Minicom Installed


Step 1: Identify The Port

Firstly, you would need to identify which interface your USB / Console Port is using. Use the following command to check your ports.

dmesg | grep tty

Your USB serial port should look something like this – ttyUSB0 / ttyUSB1

Step 2: Establish Minicom Connection

Once you have identified the port interface name, access the minicom screen via: –

minicom -s
– Enters minicom’s setup mode

On the Minicom interface, enter the Serial port setup and then change the values to the following: –
a. Serial Device: /dev/ttyUSB0 (may vary depending on the interface used)
b. Lockfile Location: /var/lock
c. Callin Program:
d. Callout Program:
e. Bps/Par/Bits: 19200 8N1
f. Hardware Flow Control: No
g. Software Flow Control: No

Select Save setup as DFL and exit the screen. You should be able to connect to the serial console interface after that.

NOTE: IF the console interface does not start, you may exit the Minicom interface by pressing CTRL+A, then press Q to quit. After that, you may try the following command: –

minicom -D /dev/ttyUSB0

Step 3: Restore / Reset pfSense Settings

In your pfSense console CLI, you may select either one of the options to restore / reset your settings: –
1. Option 4 – Reset to factory defaults
*IMPORTANT NOTE* Make sure you have a backup XML file beforehand before going for a reset if you do not wish to lose all your configurations.

2. Option 15 – Restore recent configuration
You may choose the options if you know which last setting that you have misconfigured and wanted to rollback before that point.

Updated on July 7, 2020

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