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Netgate Releases BETA of pfSense Plus Software Version 23.09

Netgate Releases BETA of pfSense Plus Software Version 23.09

Netgate has released a BETA of pfSense® Plus software version 23.09. An associated Release Candidate (RC) is targeted for later this month.

Call for Testing

Testing of this beta software release is essential. It is the most effective way to ensure that the software is robust and reliable for all users, given the diversity of their environments and configurations. By downloading and testing this beta release, and providing feedback on any issues, our users can play a vital role in improving the software for everyone.

Release Notes

Release Notes for pfSense Plus 23.09 software are available for review. Significant changes in this release include OpenSSL upgraded to 3.0.10, Kea DHCP added as an opt-in feature, PHP upgraded to 8.2.11, and the base operating system upgraded to a more recent point of FreeBSD 14-CURRENT. The release also addresses a number of bugs and other issues. 

The upgrade to OpenSSL 3.0.10 means that a number of older and weaker encryption and hash algorithms have been removed, and security certificates based on these older/weaker hashes have been deprecated. We HIGHLY recommend reviewing the release notes prior to any upgrade.

The Kea DHCP server is available as an opt-in feature. Basic functionality is present in version 23.09, but it is not feature complete. Switching to the Kea DHCP server is done by:

  • Navigate to System > Advanced
  • Choose the Networking tab
  • Change the new Server Backend radio button in the DHCP Options section to "Kea DHCP"

Installing the Upgrade

Netgate has a detailed Upgrade Guide available in the pfSense documentation to help explain the process. Below are the high-level steps to perform the upgrade.

Users currently running pfSense Plus software

Upgrades from an earlier version of pfSense Plus software are usually made through the Web user interface. It’s always recommended to save a backup of the pfSense Plus configuration prior to any major change such as an upgrade. You can find Backup and Recovery instructions in the pfSense documentation.

  • Navigate to System > Update
  • Set Branch to “Next Stable Version (23.09-BETA)”
  • Click Confirm to start the upgrade process

Users currently running pfSense Community Edition (CE) software

We encourage you to migrate from pfSense CE software to pfSense Plus software. This migration is still available at no charge, and doing so will ensure you have access to all of the benefits of pfSense Plus software. You will find details on How to Get pfSense Plus here.

Troubleshooting the Upgrade

To mitigate the risk of disrupting your production environment, Netgate recommends testing the BETA version in a lab, on a scratch system, or in a Virtual Machine, rather than on production systems. Please review the documentation on Troubleshooting Upgrades for the most up-to-date information on working around upgrade issues.

Where to report errors

We encourage you to test the things which are important or unique to your deployments. Please report any errors or concerns in the Plus 23.09 Development Snapshots category of the Netgate Forum. Depending on the issue, we may ask for more details, or for you to open a bug on

Include as much information as possible in your reports, such as console error messages, full PHP errors, the system configuration file (sanitized, if necessary), information from the text dump, etc. A full text dump might contain sensitive information, so be sure to inspect it before posting.


We want to express sincere thanks to all users willing to test this BETA release. Your community involvement is essential to making Netgate's pfSense Plus product a stronger solution for everyone.