OPNSense – Automatic Configuration Backup with Google Drive


OPNsense is a free and open-source firewall and routing platform that provides advanced features such as traffic shaping, VPNs, and intrusion detection. It is essential to backup your configuration in case of a system failure or in the event of needing to restore your settings. The configuration file can be saved in XML format, which is a standard format for storing and exchanging data, making it easy to transfer your settings between systems. You can save the configuration file locally on your PC using a USB stick or remotely in the Google Drive cloud service, which allows you to access your backup from anywhere with an internet connection.

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You will need a Google Account to set up a Google Project and Google API. Create a Google Account.

1. Set up a Google Project

To begin with, you must create a project in the Google Developer Console.

  • Enter a Project name.
  • Select CREATE.
2. Enable the Google Drive API
  • Search for Google Drive API.
  • Select Google Drive API.
  • Make sure OPNSense Config backups is selected if you have multiple projects.
  • Select Enable.
3. Create a Service Account
  • Search for Service Accounts.
  • Select Service Accounts.
  • Service account name: Enter a service account name.
  • Service account ID: Automatically populates based on service account name.
  • Service account description: Enter a description.
  • Select DONE when finished.
4. Create a private key in P12 format
  • Select Action.
  • Select Manage keys.
  • Select ADD KEY, then select Create new key.
  • Select P12, then select CREATE.
  • Save the P12 to a folder. You will upload this key to OPNSense Portal later on.
  • Select CLOSE when done.
  • Select DETAILS.
  • You will need the email for the next step so the BackupAgent can access the Google Drive folder.
  • The Unique ID will be the Email Address on the OPNSense Admin Portal.
5. Create a Google Drive Folder
  • Open Google Drive. You should be still logged into your Google account, otherwise log in.
  • Select New.
  • Select New folder.
  • Name the folder: OPNSense Backups (or whatever you choose).
  • Select Create.
  • Select Share.
  • Paste the service account BackupAgent into Add people, groups, and calendar events.
  • Your Service Account email should look like this: backupagent@opnsense-config-backups-418316.iam.gserviceaccount.com
  • Make sure the Editor is selected.
  • Select Share.
  • Double-click on the folder you created for OPNSense Backups to open the folder.
  • Below is the Folder ID you will need to input on OPNSense Admin Portal.
6. Set up the account in OPNsense
  • Navigate to System ‣ Configuration ‣ Backups
  • Enable: checked.
  • Email Address: Client-ID in the Google Cloud console (refer to step 4).
  • P12 key: Browse and select the downloaded PK12 Key (refer to step 4).
  • Folder ID: Copy and Paste the folder ID from step 5.
  • Prefix hostname to backupfile: checked.
  • Backup Count: select number of backup (Default is 60).
  • Password: Enter and confirm password to encrypt your backup, you will need this password to restore the configuration.
  • Select Setup/Test Google Drive.
  • If everything is correctly input, you should receive the message below.
  • On your Google Drive you should have a new config uploaded to the OPNSense backups folder.
  • After set-up, the backup feature will run a first backup of the OPNsense configuration file. Then, if the configuration is subsequently changed, a new backup will be run once daily, early in the morning.
  • You may consider specifying additional Cronjobs when more frequent remote backups or remote backups at different times of the day would be required.
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