The person installing FBSD has to have some very basic understanding of what they are getting themselves into. The installer must know how to access the PC's BIOS setup utility and how to make changes to the BIOS setting for the particular manufacture / model of PC. The FBSD installer should have the motherboard manual for the PC that is going to receive the FBSD system. If you know what the different items on the motherboard are and what all the BIOS setup options mean then you do not need the motherboard manual.
It is possible to install FBSD on a PC that already has MS/Windows or some other operating system installed so one or the other operating system can be selected at boot time. I have read about cases where experienced users have multiple versions of FBSD installed on the same hard drive and can select which version to boot from. Also there are reports of users with FBSD, Linux, OpenBSD, MS/Windows all bootable on the same PC.
This Guide's stated goal is to configure a fresh, new install of FBSD as a gateway server. As such, a gateway server is in use 7/24 so there is no other dual-bootable operating system needed or wanted on the system's hard drive.
Installing FBSD to share multiple hard drives with other operating systems is an advanced configuration which is beyond the scope of this Install Guide.
This Install Guide is based on using a hard drive that is empty or one you do not care about the data on it, because you will be re-formatting the hard drive and all the contents of the hard drive will be wiped clean.
This Install Guide is not building a FBSD workstation, but a FBSD server gateway, so you will not have a GUI (graphical user interface) like MS/Windows. You will be working totally at the FBSD command line which is equivalent to the MS/DOS prompt command line.
The learning of FBSD basics as presented in this Install Guide is going to take the first time user some time to complete (more that 5 hours). If the PC you are installing FBSD to is used as your main PC for everyday connection to the Internet, then you had better rethink what you are doing and how you are doing it, because once you start and commit the hard drive to FBSD you may find yourself offline for some time. My recommendation is to use two separate hard drives: one hard drive for the original operating system that you disconnect from the data ribbon and power supply, and a second hard drive for FBSD that you substitute for the original hard drive on the data ribbon. This way you can swap between the two operating systems while you learn FBSD.
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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.