There are two development branches to FreeBSD: FreeBSD-CURRENT and FreeBSD-STABLE.
FreeBSD-CURRENT is the "bleeding edge" of FreeBSD development. It includes work in progress, experimental changes, and transitional mechanisms that might or might not be present in the next official stable release of the software. Users of FreeBSD-CURRENT are expected to have a high degree of technical skill and should be capable of solving difficult system problems on their own. This is technically the developers version and is not intended for the general public. FreeBSD-CURRENT releases are NOT suitable to run your company or business using it.
FreeBSD-STABLE is the development branch from which major releases are made. Changes go into this branch at a different pace and with the general assumption that they have first gone into FreeBSD-CURRENT for testing. FreeBSD-STABLE major releases are referred to as the production versions. Meaning that it is so stable that itís suitable to run your company or business using it and is intended for the general public.
This FreeBSD Install Guide is purposely written to be your step by step instructional guide to installing FreeBSD-RELEASE version from scratch. As each new version of FreeBSD works itís way through the development cycle in FreeBSD-CURRENT and finally becomes a production "Release" version from the FreeBSD-STABLE branch, this FreeBSD Install Guide will be updated to match the new X.X-RELEASE version.
That being said, a large percent, 95% or better, of the content of this Guide is valid for older X.X-RELEASE versions and to a somewhat lesser degree to the current development versions. If you are not using this FBSD Install Guide to install the 12.0-RELEASE production version then you may experience differences and deviations from what is documented here.
The author voices his opinions throughout this Install Guide. The deficiencies and poor design of some things are pointed out as well as the good points. This is done to give the reader a truthful and honest look into the real status of the FreeBSD operating system.
From this point on FreeBSD will be written as FBSD.
This FBSD Installer Guide is targeted at FBSD users who are inexperienced with FBSD or installing FBSD for the first time.
This FBSD Install Guide presents a step-by-step method of installing FBSD from a CDROM creating the basic configuration of a gateway server with a local LAN as diagramed below.
The diagramed system is a gateway to the public Internet allowing all the PCís on the LAN to share the bandwidth of the connection to the public Internet. The xl0 symbol represents the connectivity to the internal private LAN and the rl0 symbol represents the connectivity to a external dial out modem or an Ethernet cable between a NIC connected to a DSL or cable modem. The X symbol represents MS/Windows or FBSD workstation on the LAN.
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This FreeBSD Install Guide is an public domain HOW-TO. This content may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, and used by all without permission in writing from the author.