FreeBSD 13: pfctl: Cannot allocate memory error
When working with large tables in PF on FreeBSD, you may hit limits. You may
encounter the dreaded
pfctl: Cannot allocate memory error, in which case the
table is too big to fit into memory. The usually suggested remedy is raising
the maximum number of table entries:
# /etc/pf.conf set limit table-entries 500000
You also need to ensure a large table won’t trip up PF at boot time, effectively disabling the firewall entirely (yes, that can happen, read that again), add the proper tunable:
# /boot/loader.conf net.pf.request_maxcount=500000
Reboot the machine and check the value has indeed taken:
pfctl -s memory
However, after you have done all that, PF may still throw the same error. The problem is that FreeBSD has a limit on the maximum size a program may be in memory. This is by default 524288 kB.
To check the value of the kernel data size (in kilobytes) run:
Now, add another tunable to raise the available memory according to your resources (in this case to 2 GB):
# /boot/loader.conf kern.maxdsiz="2147483648" # Set the max data size (IN BYTES)
After a reboot, those large tables should be no issue any more.