Basic Setup of a PAN VM 50

Quick Intro

Heyo! so on my last post we went through a basic install and update of a Palo Alto Firewall VM. Now it’s time to setup a dataplane NIC, some zones, some rules to allow some basic internet.

I decided to do some very basic setup of one NIC and was surprised to find I could not get any ping responses either from the firewall, or the firewall making any requests. I had a memory of talking to a smart fellow once before about this, and sure enough…

A Caveat

You have to enable Promiscuous mode on the VMPG the NIC is a member of…

I know it sounds ridiculous and it is, but without it, nothing flows through the PA VM. Quick Update on this, I didn’t like this idea one bit, so to ease the risk I did find something rather interesting: according to this (requires a PA login) this hasn’t been needed since PAN OS 7, I disabled it on my Test network

and the pings dropped… ugh… ok… According to the post it says PAN OS 7 and onward uses this setting by default but can be changed under:

Device > Setup > Management > General Settings

Enabled by default huh… doesn’t seem to be enabled to me…

enable it, commit. Now MAC address changes will take place in this case I did loose connection to my external IP, but pinging from my PA VM to my gateway managed to fix that quickly.

And now sure enough with Promiscuous mode rejected on my vSwitch settings…

Oh thank goodness I can go to bed knowing I didn’t suggest a terrible practice!

Basic Setup

Look at this test network… was using an OPNsense router/firewall, but all these guys are currently shutdown. Lets spin one up and make the PA VM 50 it’s new gateway…

Adding the required Virtual NICs

Then add a new NIC to the PA VM (since it only came with two by default (the first being the mgmt NIC, and the second I connected to my DC)

This should be the second Interface under the PA VM Network Tab.

K looks like we should be good, power on the PA VM again.

Configuring the Interface

Once in the PA Web interface, navigate to Network -> Interfaces.

Again this will be Ethernet 1/2, although it is the third NIC on the VM.

Once we click on Eth1/2 and configure it properly it should show up green as well. I have configured a interface mgmt profile already under Network -> Network Profiles -> Interface Mgmt. Ping checked off, open subnet permitted.

Also a simple Zone, simply named Test.

First thing we have to define is the type (Layer 3), we want a dedicated collision domain please. πŸ˜€ In this case I’m simply interested in PA to client connection in the dataplane to be confirmed. We will place the NIC in the default router as well as the Test zone.

Then we click on IPv4 to set an IP address up for this layer 3 NIC.

specifying /24 is important here. else any ip address without a defined subnet is treated as a /32. Then under the advanced tab select the interface mgmt profile to allow it to be pingable.

Once committed it should come up green.

and should be reachable by VMs in the same subnet….

Yay it is, but alas this is not enough to give this VM an internet connection. Remember that default router we connected the NIC to, well it has no default route defined, or well any routes for that matter, however because I connected both NICs (my ZewwyDC and Test) into the same router, even without any routes defined, the XP VM can ping the ZewwyDC IP of the PA VM

Security rules and the fact the server and VMs use a different gateway then what the PA VM has for its test IP in that subnet, the responses would never come back to the PA VM anyway, never mind that we didn’t define any security rules to allow it, it was simply because I had the “allow ping all” interface mgmt profiles on all the NICs and connected to the same router that made those ping requests work.

Since I’m not interested at this every moment to move the DCs internet right now, I’ll provide the PA VM a public IP address of it’s own and then create a NAT rule to allow the Test XP VM an internet connection.

The Internet Interface

Also since I don’t want to keep having to “system is shutdown” my PA, I guess this time I’ll populate it with all the VNICs it will ever be able to use… (8)

I did this mainly cause I wanted the last interface on the Web UI to be used for this internet connection

So you might remember my blog post on getting another NIC in my hypervisor host I was going to use it with OPNsense, but since my physical PA has become more useless than online multiplayer only game with all its servers shutdown. So this is to become a replacement as I re-purpose it’s chassis for another epic build I plan to blog about this summer :D!

Interface Mappings:

Well now that I got my MS paint fun out of the way you can get an idea of which NIC I want this PA VM to have one of it’s internet connections on: Eth9

I created a new Zone: Deadly Internet, and connected it to our default router:

Then I configured the public IP I had originally configured for my OPN VM by clicking on the IPv4 tab… and to help make sense of this, some more paint fun πŸ˜€

I also applied my Allow Ping All Interface Mgmt Profile so I can verify that the interface is not only up (green) but actually reachable, sure enough after a commit… the interface shows green (Also checked off Connected and connected at boot under the VM settings).

Mhmmmm not reachable…. ohhh right, the routers default gateway….

Default Route

Since we are configuring this statically and not via DHCP by our ISP this info is also provided to you.

Network -> Virtual Routers -> Default (in my case) -> Static Routes

So As you can see, anything it doesn’t know, next hop, the IP my ISP gave me as my default gateway.


Alright, my attempts to ping it are not successful, which has happened to me the last time I configured all this and I had to reboot the modem, but just before I do that. I’m going to login into the PA VM via SSH and attempt to ping out via that interface:

Alright well last time I got up to this point were I had everything tripple checked, I contract my ISP support and we ended up rebooting the modem which is in bridge mode, Since I assume the MAC address table isn’t being update accordingly or unno its stuck with the old MAC… I suppose I could test this theory by spoofing that NIC with the other NICs MAC…. mhmmmmmm I think I’m gonna pleasure my thought here teehee…

dang it won’t let me change the MAC while it’s on, power off PA VM… set MAC… Spoofed from old OPN sense VM… Power on VM… and…. nope I can’t manually assign it, it’s a dedicate MAC that ESXi won’t allow me to manually assign… so set back to automatic, and boot, if no pings after this rebooting the modem… sigh.

Alright, so pinging my IP still no work even after reboot, I created a firewall rule assuming it was that… nope still no ping response even after commit that, odd cause I didn’t see anything under my traffic log on the firewall itself… so I logged into the firewall again via ssh, but this time I did mange to get a response from my gateway device, wooo yay… ok… so let me try pinging it again externally…. Yes! There it is! had me worried a bit, I had all bases covered so it should have worked, and now it is, w00t!

This is all well and good, however my test VM, on the test switch still won’t be able to reach out, however, it should be able to reach what will become it’s NATed IP address when it comes time to roam the interwebs.

Whoops that wasn’t possible till I expanded the scope of my security rule:

Firewall is very finicky about allowing packets through zones and subnets, so ensure you create rules accordingly. Normally I like to have a deny all rule at the bottom of my list, these would be however above the built in rules:

However there are some Caveats that comes from around doing that which I hope to cover at some point in my Palo Alto series blog posts. For now we won’t go there yet, just be aware of these rules, any packets that reach them are not shown under the traffic tab (IIRC).

However now that we have got all that out of the way, we can finally create the NAT rule (as well as a security rule) we need for getting internet access to our test subnet.


It’s time to get into the baby potatoes… mhmm who doesn’t move some baby potatoes…. anyway I won’t be covering all the possible NATs that can be accomplished (although I do plan on covering a whole post on those in this series as well), we will do a basic internet NAT here to get us started.

Policies -> NAT -> Add

Pretty straight forward configuration here, anyone from my test subnet from my test zone, will be NATed out my internet connection on Eth9 using the IP address I have assigned it which came from my ISP.

Security Rules!

I hope you liked my pun there, if not, alls good lets setup some security rules…

Policies -> Security -> add

To do this more salable instead of adding the subnet IP by IP range every time, I added an object…

User tab is passed, as we won’t get into that meat today…

Application: Web Browsing, DNS, Ping, ICMP

Service: Application Default

Now Commit, we should hopefully be able to ping out to an external DNS provider, like from our Test subject VMs… muhahahahaha

Boo yea! There we go.. and internet… whoops… forgot to allow DNS lol….

mhmm connection reset ehh, well I guess we need another application defined… or right SSL



for some reason a couple days later, I noticed I was unable to access Google, even though I had accessed it before, as the above screen shot shows.

Then I created an open rule and i was able to access google, and found out for google to work it’s defined as it’s own App ID (Google-base), I like granular control, but I should be able to select web browsing and that should be able to group sub apps to make my web browsing experience work… On top of that I noticed the same reset connection errors going to Youtube, and reddit… ok this is getting a bit redic…

Here’s my new ridiculous rule just to go to Palo altos own site that referenced a youtube video, google itself, and one reddit result I was interested in… Holy eff man…

Setting the Host Name

Device -> Setup -> General Settings

Here you can enter, the host name, domain name, login banner, timezone and a couple other general settings:

Awesome even though it appeared squished after pasting. It still applied πŸ˜€


It be ridiculous to expect those systems in the Test network to configure themselves, let’s give them a hand with good ol’ DHCP.

Network -> DHCP -> add

Select Interface (in our case Eth2), enter a range in the IP Pools, and Click OK.

Commit, it’s that easy, once created there’s a link to show the IP allocations. πŸ˜€

If you need to add custom DHCP options, just click the options tab. Which you will for things like the gateway and DNS servers πŸ˜›


Well I hoped you enjoyed this blog post, we got some basic things done, some zones, some policies, some new interfaces, objects, yet we haven’t even got into the real meat and potatoes, like wild fire profiles, and URL cat profiles and all those other fun things we will get to soon.

The idea behind the basic first couple blog posts is to just get our baseline going so when it comes to the more complex stuff I have some reference material already available for those that need some reference as to exactly “how I got here“.

In my next post I’ll cover using some of the great features, some of these features will be provided with a standard license, other are license separately for your needs and requirements. Since I got a whole lab bundle for educational purposes I’ll get to post about all the goodies soon. πŸ˜€

Stay Tuned!

Setting up a Palo Alto Networks VM 50


Heyo! It would seem the awesomeness of spring has sprung on to us, and that delightful sun’s warm and longer days just feel so awesome in the wake of a cold long winter.

Anyway…. PAN TIME. so I finally got my auth codes I’ve been waiting on. To start you need to get a deploy-able image from a Value added reseller (VAR). Since Palo Alto has no public download for their VM series firewalls. Not a huge fan of their tatics on this one, honestly I believe education should be free and easily accessible. SO this is one area where I do tend to have to give PAN a thumbs down. However when it comes to security, and granular control of said security it is really nice.

Installing PAN VM 50

Deploy the OVA

For my Lab I’ll be using ESXi and an OVA deployment file. So on the vSphere Management, File -> Deploy OVF template. (If you are using the web management, follow this)

In this case my A drive is a mapped drive of all my applications and images, although I did request a newer image than 7.1 as that is rather old and I was hoping for 8.x for 9 even, but I’m hoping I can just update the VM software with my auth codes once I get the VM up and running.

Next you’ll get some details about how the VM will be deployed, simply ensure you have enough resources available to meet the deployment needs.

Click next to assign and name and location for the VM info and VHDD.

I gave it a generic name then the PAN OS number as again, I’m hoping to upgrade it with my auth codes. After that select the datastore to use, I used the local datastore for this VM, and stuck with thin provisioning after that, click next to begin the deployment. depending on your network connections and datastore selection, this time may vary.

Not sure if the copy of the file to my network share got messed, but every-time I deployed it from the share it failed, so I grabbed my IODD device where I had the initial copy, deployed it from there, and it worked.

Yay! Alright time to check its settings.

Alright a couple NICs I was expecting more than that… Anyway normally PAN devices are headless and you can’t see the boot process unless you connect to a serial port, but VMs have direct console, soo I’ll set the NICs not to be connected at the moment as I don’t want them to be in my home NATed network.

Powering on the VM

So disconnected the virtual NICs and booted the VM:

Then I got a login prompt, rather quickly, but don’t be fooled, you have to wait…

After a couple minutes, you’ll get the real login prompt.

Set Admin Password

Now that we got the VM up and running we should change the password:

As you can see it’s not cisco, so short wording doesn’t work. Also just to show that you don’t enter a password at the cli, you enter the word password and it will ask you for them without printing them back to the screen (thumbs up).

Don’t forget to commit. Now we need to figure out how to configure the mgmt IP address… mhmm

Set Management IP Address

So since I wanted to be able to manage this VM easily in my current home network “VM Network” vSwitch on my ESXi host, first I pinged an IP and ensured it was available. Then on the PA VM I ran:

Configure (get into configuration mode)

set deviceconfig system ip-address netmask default-gateway


Then I opened the VM settings and enabled the connect:

Then tested my pings again, and success πŸ˜€

K, so now that we can ping the management IP let’s see if we can access the web interface, and if so hopefully that should be all we need to do at the CLI. I love CLI commands and stuff, but for most management I like GUI’s unless it becomes doing something x number of times, then scripting via the CLI is a necessity.

Access the Web Interface

Once you access the VM’s IP in a local browser you shouldn’t be surprised to be presented with this:

Usual certificate security and warning of un-trusted due to self signed.. yada yada, advanced, proceed….

Mhmmmm I really miss that 7.x Web look, just the right amount of color…

If my upgrades go successfully I’ll be able to show you the new login, a tad more bland….

Awww man, just look at that delightful dashboard, the system info, haha unknown serial in VM mode with no license (yet) πŸ˜› I like how it even shows my two login sessions (CLI and Web).

As well as of course the usual, PAN Tabs (ACC, Monitor, Policies, Objects, Network and Device) mhmmmm so delightful.

Now my main goal of today and this post is simply to get the VM booted up, but also updated. Now I can’t do that without a license, which I got just a couple days ago. Now sadly I can’t share these with you, but I can tell you how to accomplish the task.

Managing Licenses

Click on the Device Tab -> Licenses

In my case I can’t remember if I had uploaded it to my usual PA login account online, so for now I will be using #2 Activate via Auth Codes.

First things first though, set the DNS servers.. :S whoops lol

Device -> Setup -> Services -> edit -> Primary and secondary DNS servers

So even after that I kept getting communication error message, so I googled.

After that I figured they are doing their usual ways, and locking this down in some other form that doesn’t provide any nice error message to try and stop use of these images if they leak, and it’s extremely frustrating for legit users… not gonna lie.

So I decided after I got my DNS up n running to apply the Auth code again and this time I got a different error, that my auth codes have to be registered to my support account before i can create and register the VM… ughhhhhhh

This as you can see is the real annoying side to any DRM. Let me jump through these hoops and come back to this post in a little bit… :S

Alright, so I logged into the online suport portal, found the section to register my auth codes, did that, then jumped back into the VM web and entered the auth codes again, this time it didn’t complain, the VM showed it was rebooting while the web interface stayed at the licenses section… odd haha I was going to take a snippet of that happening but the reboot was rather quick.

Since I knew the VM had rebooted as I saw it via the vSphere console window, I gave it a couple minutes before navigating to the web interface.

Sure enough after logging in again, I know have a serial number defined on my PA VM. πŸ˜€ I hope now I can actually check for updates without getting a generic, false error message…

Yes! So many PAN OS’s to choose from…. but sadly no PAN OS 9… or 8.1.x for that matter… Well that sucks I was hoping to be able to play around with TLS 1.3… oh boy… maybe I have to upgrade first?

Upgrading PAN OS on PA VM 50

Sooo I selected 8.0, downloaded and configured into software manager successfully awesome! Install failed, not enough memory…. nice.

Well considering it’s a VM which are amazingly salable in this regard I won’t blame them here, the message is to the point. I’ll just shutdown the VM and up it’s memory…

Device -> Setup -> Operations -> Shutdown Device

Yeap… System is shutdown. lol

Bammmm more memory like that!

You got me again, you can code for the validation, but you can’t code the process to do that for me eh…. they could, they just didn’t want to.. so let me jump through some more hoops…

Dynamic Updates -> Check Now -> Apps n Threats -> Download (8136-5163 at the time of this writing) -> Install

Yay, at least that worked without some issue to overcome. Let’s try that software upgrade for a third time. Third times the charm right?

SO far so good, device needs a reboot, OK. πŸ™‚

And here it is.. the bland 8.0 login .. πŸ™

Just no color, no life… just go look and compere the login before and this one, I even liked that they had a soft indent of their logo in the background, made it feel so elegant to this… so minimalist…

As for the software, upgrading to 8.0 did make 8.1 available… but still no 9.0 errr lets upgrade again and see… ooo yeah…. there it is… 9.0!

So I can… Yeeee, I dunno if I’ll do it just yet, but good to know I can when I want to.


Overall the deployment and use of the PA VM is very good. I’m rather excited to get my SSL inspection rules setup for some stuff… πŸ˜€ as well as cover other blog posts covering some more in-depth setups and configurations.

In my next post I’ll cover actually setting up some zones and network configurations. or I might even just show how to migrate a physical configuration. In this case since I won’t have a 1 for 1 NIC assignment there would probably be some tweaking required, maybe even before the firewall would accept the config file. but we’ll cover that when we get there. πŸ˜€


OPNSense for Exchange Reverse Proxy

OPNsense and Exchange

Unlike the German blog I reference below, I use a Palo Alto as my main device to handle normal NAT for the OPNsense box’s internet, as well as the NAT rule to allow HTTP Validation (which I covered in my last blog as it was causing me some issues). Another notable difference is I have a dedicated Datacenter zone which has it’s own dedicated NAT rules for internet access, but not direct NAT rules from the outside world (as it should be), which means no dirty double NAT (like it should be). Then once certs are setup, the OPNsense will reverse proxy the HTTPS requests for OWA, and hopefully Active Sync.

First however, I’m going to add a new VMPG network in this I called it (DMZ) and assigned it a VLAN (70). Since this is ESXi running on an old desktop with only 1 NIC (initially) I have to utilize VLAN to make the most out of the lack of physical adapters. Then I’ll need to create a sub interface on my Palo Alto, with the same VLAN tag of 70, and give it an IP address of This will be the subnet of the DMZ. Now you maybe wondering why I’m putting the subinterface and IP on my Palo Alto and not on the OPNsense VM, the reason for this is I use Palo Alto firewall to manage all the other networks in my environment. so all known routes will take place there.

The whole idea here is to get Active Sync to work, and the PANs do not support reverse proxying. So the idea is to have a NAT rule allow port 443 (HTTPS) from the internet to the OPNsense vm. so after the redesign I have 1 OPNsense VM ( – VLAN 70) and a new DMZ VR, with a new subinterface on the PAN ( – VLAN 70)


and the PAN…

So I added static routes between my Zewwy network and my new DMZ, as you can also tell based on the mgmt-interface profiles, I only allowed pinging the gateway, so the OPNsense ICMP request shown above to succeed.

I had to set the default gateway on the OPNsense VM via the CLI first in order to gain access to the OPNsense web UI

route add default

change IP based on your gateway. Then once in the UI go to:

System : Gateways : Single : Add

This was required to keep the default route persistent after reboots.


Well I was getting a bit stuck so decided to google a bit and sure enough a blog to the rescue, odd enough, it’s a German blog. Ich can ein klein beste duetch aber nicht sehr gut. So I picked translate…

I thought… oooo he’s on a VM on ESXi too, and installing VMtools nice… goto plugins… don’t see a list like him, and thought… Shiiiit, my OPNsense have no internet…

Sooo, I decided to give my OPN VM internet access to get updates and plugins (best move). I won’t cover this but basically required me to add a default route to the DMZ VR, create NAT rule and Sec rule, test pinging internet IP from OPN, and success.

OK so.. Now that the PAN is all setup, and we have tested our NAT rule for internet for the OPNsense VM… let’s just go over the OPNsense install…

OPNsense Install

On your Hypervisor or Hardware of choice, in my case ESXi New VM. πŸ™‚

In this case I know I/O is not a big deal so the local ESXi datastore will suffice for this VM:

Pick VM V8 (cause I’m still on ESXi 5.5)

FreeBSD 64Bit (for some reason we won’t be able to pick EUFI)

CPU: 2, Mem: 2GB, 1 E1000 Nic in the DMZ

LSI Logic Parallel SCSI, New 20 Gig Thin Prov Disk, Create VM.

Edit VM settings, remove floppy, Boot Options Force BIOS.

Open Console, and Boot VM. Disable Disekette A:

Advanced, IO Device Config, Disable All (its a VM we don’t need these)

Now, Select the disc part and mount the OPNsense ISO for booting:

Boot it! by Pressing F10 in the VM and save BIOS settings:

Mhmmmmm so delightful…. and now we let it load the live instance, while this live instance is good enough to start using, I don’t exactly feel like loosing my settings every-time it boots and having to remount my ISO from my local machine… so we’ll install OPNsense by logging in with the installer account:

As you can see it’s assigned our one and only NIC the LAN settings, to ease our deployment and the above section I striked out, we’ll be assigning the interface the WAN value. πŸ˜› anyway logging in the with opnsense password.

Mhmmm just look at the old style look, make me juicy…

*NOTE* if installing EFI based the input here may freeze… googling it quickly I only found one reference to the issue by a comment by eugine-chow

  1. Press CTRL + C (This exists the installer)
  2. re-logon on as installer account (This resumes the install with keyboard control

OK, Let’s go! Accept, Guided instillation! Pick Disk, for simplicity and low disk, we’ll just pick MBR… and look at that installation go… mhmmm humbling…

Set a root password:

Now reboot and unmount the ISO, now the boots quicker and our settings will be saved! First things first, assigning NICs… or should I say our one NIC, login in as root via the console. Press 1 to assign interfaces. Even though I showed VLAN assigning above that is used by the ESXi hypervisor and thus I select no to VLAN tagging here, and then specify em0 as my WAN NIC:

Now in my case it wait a long while at Configuring WAN interface, cauuse it’s defaulting to DHCP, and there’s no DHCP in the subnet… ugh, I don’t know why they don’t ask for IP assignment type in this part of the wizard…

now Select option 2 to set IP which should have been part of the wizard in part 1…

Now that is out of the way, we can access the OPNsense web UI from our Datacenter Laptop/VM… you won’t be able to ping it, but the anti-lockout rule will be created on the WAN rules so…

Follow the config guide… only important part being the upstream gateway:

And of course in my case since it’s being NATed the RFC1918 Networks will be unblocked as it’s using one πŸ˜› and NO LAN IP.

First order of business is going to be moving th eport off of port 80 as that will be needed for Lets Encrypt Validation (only cause my DNS provider doesn’t have the API for DNS validation yet).

Finally time for OPNpackages

OPN packages

Bammmmm that was easy!

OK, Firewall, since my OPNsense only has WAN, and it’s open, all security will be handled by the Pal alto, so I don’t want to open HTTPS from the internet to my the OPN sense just yet, till we create the other requirements.


Create a Real Server, in this case this will be our Exchange server as in the topology.

Now for a Backend Pool

He doesn’t mention any other settings so I just clicked save… I probably should have named the Backend pool better but meh.

Following the German guide I was a lil upset cause I was running OPNsense 19.1, it seems they changed the HAProxy options, however I did manage to figure it out after a while…

ACLs now Conditions

Go to Services -> HAProxy -> Rules & Checks -> Conditions

Add a condition, for testing I kept it simple as the blog I was following:

and then…

Actions are now Rules

Go to Services -> HAProxy -> Rules & Checks -> Rules

add a rule:

Frontends are now Public Services

Go to Services -> HAProxy -> Virtual Services -> Public Services

Add a public service:

Enable The HAProxy Service:

OPNsense Firewall Settings

Even though this VM wasn’t routing any traffic, I still had to create an allow rule under the firewall area before my PA firewall would see completed packets:

first attempts, gave site unavailable and my PA logs showed…

On OPNsense:

Firewall -> Rules -> WAN -> Add -> TCP (HTTPS) Allow + TCP (HTTP) Allow


basically allowing all TCP packets, after applying I was able to get the OWA page from my Windows 10 VM in the datacenter:

so now it’s going to basically be creating a NAT rule on the PA to see it from the internet… but before I get to that…


Now that I covered getting Let’s Encrypt to work behind a Palo Alto firewall I should be able to complete this part!

Lets Encrypt

Enable the service, and the extension to HAproxy, hit apply
Create an Account

I did select my exchange front end, even though I didn’t show it here, then I created a Lets Encrypt Frontend as exchange won’t deal with HTTP:

LetEncrypt FrontEnd

Well lets test this out… Create a Certificate..

Click save changes, but just before we click Issue Certificates, lets tail the log (/var/log/ to see the process… If you try to open it before you click issue it will fail cause the file only gets created on first run… so click issue and then quickly open the log file with tail command… if it gets stuck at ACCOUNT_THUMBPRINT something went wrong… and of course… something went wrong… ugh……

Mhmmm sure enough… Domain Key error on second try…

But if I alter my HTTP validation to…

and attempt to issue the certificate then I see in my its success…

but the UI will still show validation error even though it was issued successfully…

Let me see if I can at least assign this cert even though it may not be automatic…

seems like it… lets test…

Well at least that’s something… I’m not sure if the auto renewall will still work… if so I’m not sure exactly what the point of the HA plugin really is… I mean if you can specify the normal WAN and port 80 to validate the certs and seclt the cert to use on the public service… figured it work none-the-less right?

Well I guess well find out… now there one last thing I want to cover… but I’ll do that when I get it figured out again…

For now I’ll post this blog post as is casue it is getting rather long.

Cheers! OK NM I did it quickly…

Blocking the ECP

Under OPNsense HAProxy go to Conditions:

Then Rules:

Then Edit your Public Service settings and add the rules:

Finally test access to ECP via the Proxy…

Ahhhh much better… πŸ˜€ something not mentioned by the German blogger makes me wonder if I can access his ECP.. mhmmm

Alright that’s all for tonight. πŸ˜€

VMware ESXi 5.5
D-Link DGE-530T RevC

The Story

Are you guys ready for a story? This one is actually not so bad. A couple days ago I post on Facebook if anyone happened to have a spare PCI/PCIe Network Interface Card (NIC), since it was going to be used for interest access I was ok with it being 100, but was aiming for 1000 (now that Shaw provide over 300mbps internet, clearly 100 doesn’t cut it).

After a day of no luck, and a bunch of funny remarks (as almost none of my friends had any idea of what I was talking about), I decided to take another look through my old computer hardware to see what I could scrounge up…

PCI NIC Found!

well, well, not even dusty, a PCI NIC, exactly what I needed in my hypervisor to play with OPNsense. I originally was going to try layer 2 trunking via VLANs, however the main vSwitch already had VMkernel Nics bound to the physical adapter @ layer 3, and the same interface on my firewall (Palo Alto) wouldn’t allow me to create a layer 2 sub-interface is the main interface was already bound to layer 3. Since I wanted my OPNsense VM to get an actual public IP address, this required my device to get a connection from my VM, directly to my modem at layer 2… yeah another NIC. So here we are, and it didn’t take long for me to shut down my VMs and install the card, and boot my hypervisor back up (I hope to one day have multiple hypervisor to not have to shut down my VMs, but even then, if you don’t pay chances are you won’t get access to the APIs that migrate the memory states of the VMs for you, so it’s a hassle either way…. anyway back to the story.


Oh Borat, who brought you in?!?! So as you may have guessed I went to add a new vSwitch for my new VM to get it’s direct Public IP, and to my dismay there was no physical NIC to pick… what the….

So to Google! and hopefully either VMware support, or usually always better personal blogs! We all loves these right… ahem… anyway…

You can probably guess where the official answer went, but I’ll enlighten you as I did follow along for … pain? OK I don’t know why I did, I was really hopeful it wasn’t going to be the answer I knew it was going to be….

Hey! some of the command they provided helped, or did they? All this was, was some BS data chasing to tell you, IT’s Not supported, SOWWY!

Clearly, there must be some answers by the community forums right??

Community’s great! VMwares…. :S

So what do we get… One… unanswered and crying about a badly referenced link to source two... also unanswered crying about the same stuff we already know…. it’s officially not supported. Well I’m running ESXi 5.5 Free and using GhettoVCB’s scripts, also unsupported, so not really an issue… the issue is teh lack of help right now.

But bring me down, I don’t thikn so, the internet has many sites, and many people sharing their knowledge, how?!?! BLOGS! Ahem…

Blogs to the Rescue!

Yes believe it or not it is the power of the real untethered, unfiltered beauty that is blogging that we actually get some meat and potatoes. My first source showed signs of light! One problem, it’s literally 9 years old and using ESXi 4. OK well it also wanted a fair amount of direct file placing and special manipulation. Most of this works fairly differently in ESXi 5.x, and vibs or precompiled binaries that work with esxcli are the more preferred method. I avoid saying supported here, cause I use these methods to install unsupported packages :D.

Alright, so now what, well the Holy Grail! This King managed to not only blog about getting this working but shared the drivers/vibs packages required to get it to work too! Epic! Let’s get this dang NIC working…

1) Grab the VIB files

2) Change your support level on ESXi5+:

~ # esxcli software acceptance set –level=CommunitySupported
Host acceptance level changed to β€˜CommunitySupported’.

3) Install the driver with: β€œesxcli software vib install -v /DLink-528T-1.x86_64.vibβ€œ

4) Reboot

Sounds simple enough lets give it a shot… and I hit some errors, classic…

I won’t show the erros just yet as I have it one long snippet, but basically I had a bit of problems cause of the GhettoVCB scripts I had pushed on to my host, but the error results weren’t exactly clear… I attempted a couple things first, like copying the VIB to the path it kept complaining about and specifying the fully qualified path to the VIB.. nothing till I stumbled across this...

esxcli software vib install -v /full/path/to/.vib -f

which finally gave me a driver install successful!

Alright, and after reboot…..

OMG! No way, there it is with the proper name and everything. Considering the blog post I followed was for a different NIC model I wasn’t sure if it would work, but there it is… so lets not get to ahead of ourselfs and see if it comes up and is able to transmit packets…

I was having some issues initially so I decided to give my lil netbook a simple /24 IP and give my OPNsense a simple /24 IP just to validate the card wasn’t the issue, or the drivers I just installed.

Plug them together, lights come up, that’s good… checking ESXI vSphere…

That’s good, and finally can we transmit?!?!

Hey!!!! we have communication! Now it’ll be figuring out getting the Public IP configured properly. But we’ll save that for another post. πŸ˜€ Cheers!

Palo Alto VPN (GlobalProtect)
Part 5 – Rules, Testing, Troubleshooting


In this 5 Part series I covered all the requirements to configure Palo Alto Network’s GlobalProtect VPN:

1) Authentication, Auth Profiles and testing them.

2) Certificates, Cert Profiles, SSL/TLS Profiles and creating them.

3) Portals, what they do and how to configure them.

4) Gateways, what they do and how to configure them.

This part will cover the security rule required, and a little troubleshooting steps along the way.

Things not Covered

I didn’t cover creating DNS records, as again, these come down to your own DNS provider and whatever tools and portals they offer to manage those.

I don’t cover configuring the interfaces (public facing or internal), I don’t cover the virtual router and routes. All these are assumed to be handled by the administrator reading these guides.

I don’t cover installing the client software, if you have the certificates installed on the client devices (Required), it’s simply navigating to the portal address with a supported browser and downloading the installation packages (.exe for windows).

For giggles, I tested navigating my portal from my phone, it did prompt me for my certificate (the VPN was working well) yet after selecting my certificate I got a connection reset error on my browser and checking the Palo Alto Firewall logs (Monitor tab -> traffic) I indeed saw the Deny traffic and action reset-both action… why this is, even though the application was identified correctly as web-browsing and that was enabled in the rule, it wasn’t being allowed by my rule and instead was being denied by my deny all rule. I”m not sure exactly why this is, however I don’t have intentions of accessing my portal web page anytime soon, so for now I’ll ignore this as I use IPsec XAuth RSA on my android device.

I have also noticed that for some reason with Samsung Android I can’t seem to get this VPN setup to work, from quick google searches people seem to say it’s due to packet fragmentation somehow. I haven’t yet had the chance to look into the nitty gritty of this issue just yet, but when I do it will be it’s own blog post!

I also don’t cover installing the completed certificates onto end devices as again this comes down to the end devices being supported by the administrator configuring Global Protect and is outside the scope of this guide.

The Security Rule

As you can tell pretty simple, anyone from the internet (I could be connecting from anywhere, and my IP address changes on my phone all the time, random access points etc) to my public IP address which hosts my portal and gateway, and the required applications (IKE, ipsec-esp-udp, and the SSL and web-browsing) again I haven’t exactly figured out the portal web-page loading issue just yet.

My Phone Config

In my case I do run an Android phone, running : 8.0.0: Kernel 4.4.78

The OS is some H93320g couldn’t find much but this about it

For the most part I install both my Offline-Root-CA and my Sub-CA certificates on my phone. Which can be found under (General -> Lock Screen & Security -> Encryption & Credentials -> Trusted Credentials (Instead of CA’s who knows?) -> User (Both Should be listed here)

Then Installed the User certificate with the private key, which then shows up under (General -> Lock Screen & Security -> Encryption & Credentials -> User Credentials (Instead of User Certificates?)) The other annoying part is once you have the certificate installed, this area doesn’t allow you to see the certificate details, you can see them under the area mentioned above, but this area…. nope.. :@

Once the certificates are installed, it simply comes down to configuring the VPN settings. (Settings -> Network -> VPN -> BasicVPN -> Click the plus in the upper right hand corner. Then)

Name: Give it a meaningful name

Type: IPSec XAuth RSA

Server Address: The Address defined in Part 3 -> Agents -> External Gateways

IPSec User Cert: The User Certificate you installed and verified above

IPSec CA Certificate: Don’t verify server (Which is probably why I didn’t need the above server address in the gateway certs as a SAN)

IPSec Server Certificate: Receive from server

Then enter a username and password for a user you defined to be allowed per your Authentication Profile you created in Part 1.

You shouldn’t have to define the advanced settings as those should defined to the client from the gateway config we created in Part 4.


If done correctly you should have a successfully, you should be able to see all the parts play out in both the traffic logs, and the system logs…



That is pretty much it, if you have a failed connection do the usual step by step troubleshooting starting with connectivity, you should be able to see the access attempt from the device in the traffic logs, if they are being blocked by rules, adjust them accordingly.

If you verified all other things, it maybe your chain, or you are enabling extra security like verifying the server certificate than you chain would have to be different then presented here, probably all certificate including the portal and gateway certs being signed by the sub CA completely, then all certs will be trusted by all devices. I’ll admit this isn’t the cleanest setup, but it’s the closest to a bare minimum install of Global Protect using your own internal PKI.

I hope this guide helps someone. πŸ˜€

Palo Alto VPN (GlobalProtect)
Part 2 – Certificates


In my previous post I covered recovering a downed CA, cause it will be needed for this section of the GlobalProtect tutorial.

Step 1) Importing the CA Certs

We need to add all the CA certs that are involved in completing the chain, so this includes, the Offline-Root-Ca, as well as the Sub Ca.

Adding the Sub CA cert:

Device -> Certs -> Import -> Base64 cer file

Step 2) Generating a CSR

Generate a a Sub CA Key for the PA to handle the Gateway certs, afterwards generate a Gateway certificate as well.

Click generate:

Click Generate

export the CSR, for some reason the latest Chrome causes a constant refresh, argggg had to export the CSR via IE, gross….

Navigate to your CA’s signing Web page (the Sub CA in this case), open the CSR in notepad and paste the results, and select Sub CA for the template:

Then save as Base64 type cert, and import back into the PA firewall, if successful will look like this:

Also import Offline-root-ca cert to complete the chain

Step 3) Certificate Profiles

Alright time for Certificate Profiles

Add all the Certs

Step 4) SSL/TLS Profiles

Create a SSL/TLS Profile:

Name it whatever, pick TLS 1.2 as min and max, and select the PA Sub CA we created earlier.

Step 5) Create User Certificate

Step 5.1) Create Template on CA

Then under Cert Templates, right click it, and duplicate

5 Years, i don’t like doing this often

Signature and encryption, check off include symmetric allowed by subject, min key size of 2048 and key is exportable

Along with the default, check off MS RSA and AES, and RSA SChannel

Subject Name, Supply in the Request, it will complain about the security risk, accept them. (Normally you’d create the certificates at the client machines, but in this case I am doint it the “wrong way” by having a global user certificate)

Click Apply.

If you require additional permissions apply them now, by default domain admins have full control, and domain users have enroll rights.

Step 5.2) Generate User CSR

With the Template configured, lets create the User Cert for the VPN, in this case we generate the CSR on the PA, but since we made the key exportable, we can export the certificate with key to be installed on the end device (instead of the CSR being generated on the device and then signed, and the public key being installed on the portal, which is the right way… hopefully I can get that, but the toughest part is generating certificates on phones, have to learn each devices OS on how to do it)

On the PA Device, Certs, Generate

*NOTE* I noticed that with the latest Chrome that when you attempt to export any certificate it just seems to refresh the page, sadly the only work around I have is to use IE… Ugh….

Open the CSR in Notepad, navigate to your Sub CA’s certificate signing page, sign the certificate.

*Secrete enable remote management on IIS Core*

lol, I was wondering why i couldn’t see my Template in the web interface, so I looked up my own very old blog post (3rd one I believe) and I realized I forgot to publish it, like I did the Authentication Session Template. Durrrr, then it kept complaining about https for cert destro (makes sense) but since I had a core subca, I couldn’t connect to the IIS remotely, then I found this, saved my bacon, and followed this to enable HTTPS, Then finally…

then Import it on to the Firewall,

it should look like this

In the next section I’ll cover configuring the Portal and Gateway settings. πŸ˜€

vCenter Network Partitioned

Have you ever experienced a Network Partitioned warning in vSphere 5? Hopefully not, but if you find yourself with this warning in vSphere. Don’t panic its not as bad as it could have been in 4.x.

This literally just means that the host can not communicate with any of the designated VMK’s checked off for management traffic. In my case it happened after making network changes to my infrastructure. In this case I still had bonded links at my switches, but somehow the VMK load balancing algo had switched to “route based on originating port ID”, this load balance algo doesn’t work with bonded NICs, and needs to be “route based on IP hash”. My end goal was to get off bonded links for my host and use the default load balance algo that VMware uses, as this can be down with non stacked switches and can be done with minimal switching knowledge (in case others need to manage the system in the future).

It took me a little bit to catch the issue, cause the symptoms were that each host could ping any device in their respected management subnets but NOT the other host, flat /24 subnet too, really had me baffled. As I couldn’t vMotion in this state either, but lucky the VMs on each host remained active (as they have separate communication VMPGs on dedicated physical connections).

Once I caught the error, I was able to verify vMotion worked again. That’s all there is to it!

To Paraphrase to solution:

1) Check which VMKs have management checked off.
2) Check those vSwitches physical connections.
3) If multiple ports check configs on physical switch and load balance algo.
4) Google any errors along the way.
5) Check host to host communication by consoling into host and using vmkping.

Jan 2018 Update

I remember this…

Changing Network Location to Domain

Have you ever restored a VM? Have you done your DR testing by actually doing a full recovery with AD? Did you find you had a couple odd things occur after restore, such as not being able to RDP into your recovered server? Chances are your network profile has changed to public, instead of Domain. This in turn causes certain firewall rules to trigger.

I remember coming across this issue multiple times, especially when people usually want private instead of public and vice versa. So chances are you’ve come across this, telling you to use PowerShell cmdlet to change its setting, which to my guess makes a registry change. The other option they specified was to use the GUI.

Well I find changing local security policies and all that other stuff rather annoying. Soo after a bit more googling I found a really nice answer, which worked and was very simple to implement. Very nicely written and easy to follow by a Evan A Barr. You can view his site here.

To Paraphrase to solution Using Network Connection Properties:

0) by adding a DNS suffix so that NLA can properly locate the domain controller.
1) Go to Network Connections.
2) Go to the properties of of the network adapter in the wrong location.
3) Go to the properties for IPv4.
4) Click the "Advanced..." button.
5) Select the DNS tab.
6) Enter your domain name into the text box for "DNS suffix for this connection:".
7) Disable and then enable the connection to get NLA to re-identify the location.

Windows Shares over SSH tunnel

I am the worst at writing blogs. I seldem get excited enough to write anything. But today…. TODAY! I feel like this is going to be a good blog.

A fanastic blog… anyway, so I moved into a new place, but have my server still running at my old place I run a very lightwheight server from there.
pssssst, it’s really just a router but perfect for hosting a network shares, torrents, web servers (cough this page), ssh and smb (cough this as well)

If you haven’t heard about DDWRT, I’d suggest you check it out here

Anyway, while i use SSH tunnel to manage this router via CLI, I can always tunnel its web management interface port, to my local machine and manage it that way too.
Yes most changes does cause it do it a soft reboot and breaks the connnection, a simple reconnect after a couple minutes useally all it takes.
I figured I’d just forward the servers SMB port just like I do most of my other ports… to my dismay it didn’t work… so I decided to GOOGLE!

As it turns out, there is more tweaking required to do this that I first thought, like disabling the SMB service at start-up, and using a loopback interface..
If you have a Windows share server (SMB) at home and happened to have SSH for management also available, then check this link out!

Bye for now….

Jan 2018 Update

These are always neat tricks to keep in the back of your head, even if your playing around just for fun. I wouldn’t see the real world use for this type of hack today as everything is pretty much OpenVPN or some other VPN solution. Still love my SSH though.

Lucky the link is still active otherwise this post would be as useless as tits on a bull.

Feb 2019 Update

Mind Blow

This is a blog post from someone at the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics… dude, that’s awesome!!!!!!