On PCBSD 7.x, the server installation installs PCBSD without KDE and some of the other overhead that is usually considered to be non-essential. The server install boots PCBSD as a server and not as a client. But it can be configured as a client, since PCBSD/FreeBSD can be both a server to others and a client to connect to other servers.
While many servers are configured as a text-based console, the PCBSD edition boots to X and your major interface is one or more xterm (terminals). However, the surprise is that other windows managers are available from the menu section of the PCBSD log-in screen. It is not necessary to install PCBSD in the "server" edition to have the benefit of using PCBSD as a server if you have decent hardware (PIII, 512 MB Ram) because that is enough horsepower to run a GUI.
There are many different kinds of servers (file servers, web servers, ftp servers, mail servers, etc.) File servers usually run NFS and provide file services to Windows clients via Samba, Web Servers run Apache, etc., so what is on the server is a function of what you intend to do with it. You must also configure the server to let others in. The server is configured through a series of commands that are stored in files in the /etc directory. For example, rc.conf, pf.conf, exports, are some of the files that must be changed to accomplish the mission.
There is an excellent, easy-to-read, and inexpensive book on setting up FreeBSD (therefore PCBSD) as almost any kind of server (except it has nothing on NFS file servers) -- "Building a Server with FreeBSD 7" at http://nostarch.com/freebsdserver.htm
You can also check out the completely free resources found in the FreeBSD Handbook, and these other places (just to name a few) The Complete FreeBSD (free on the web at http://www.lemis.com
, and the O'Reilly On-Lamp series.
The usefulness of web servers are known to all of us. In the business world, an office network is essential and convenient, if not critical. If you want some explicit instructions on configuring PCBSD as a business/home network file server using NFS, post a request here and I will help you with the:
# five or six command lines in rc.conf to set up PCBSD as the server,
# two or three commands in rc.conf to set up PCBSD as a client,
# two or three lines needed in pf.conf to let the network users through the firewall,
# two or three lines needed in exports
# setting up a simple smb.conf (SAMBA) to let windoze see the NFS drive.
# setting up a network printer
# easy backup
PCBSD has a built in network folder attachment tool on the menu. It is called "KNetAttach - Network Folder Wizard." Elsewhere it is also known as "Fish." To use it, from the menu execute: Start -> Internet -> KNetAttach). A small window appears. Select "Secure Shell" SSH, you (1) make up a name for the connection, (2) enter the target user name, (3) enter the target IP address, (4) leave "port 22" in the window, and (5) identify the destination folder on the target. Click save & connect and enter the target user's password (sometimes you have to enter it twice). You are connected -- and you will have a Konquerer file manager window opened for you. Locate where the connection is in the directory tree so you can come back to it when you want. The connection remains until you close the connection. KNetAttach also remembers your last connection session making it easy to repeat the connection.
If you search the forum there are several articles in the PCBSD Forum about using PCBSD as a web server (search "apache") or as an ftp or nfs file server. Here is one link about basic networking: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12021