> Dear Sir or Madam, 
> I'm interested in using FreeBSD as part of rearrengement of my professional 
> skills. 
> I'm currently studing Linux but I'd like to feel a bit of a true UNIX system. 
> I noticed FreeBSD is presented in a 4 CD set case by FreeBSD Mall, for example. 
> However, the download options are different. 
> I supose the minimum I might download is: 
>    4.8-RELEASE-i386-disk1.iso (610.4MB) 
>    4.8-RELEASE-i386-disk2.iso (259.1MB) 
> What is in fact the other 2 files? I.e.: 
>   4.8-RELEASE-i386-mini.iso (199.6MB) and  
>   CHECKSUM.MD5 (203 bytes) 
> Do I need them too? 

You need either the mini-iso or disk1.iso at the minimum.
I normally just use the mini-iso, but then I have a fast and reliable
network connection.

The disk1 + disk2 set contain a whole system plus some of the most
popular ports.   You can build a whole system from those two without
downloading anything.  Disk1 contains the installation system which
you boot from plus the OS.  Disk2 contains some more utilities and
ports.   I believe the other two disks in the set from FreeBSD Mall 
and some other vendors contain additional ports.  If your network 
connection is slow or unreliable you will want to get these and 
install completely from CD.

But, if  you have a good network connection with reasonable speed - at
least ISDN or DSL or cable modem or better - then just use the mini-iso.
(Or you could do this from disk1 or the set)  It contains the installation 
system.  You boot from the mini-iso CD (or disk1) and the install program
collects all the info for configuration and builds your disk and then
asks about where to load the system.   You pick one of the ftp sites
and it goes out and downloads everything else it needs including the 
ports skeleton (providing you tell it you want the whole ports tree).

So, either way works.   The file named CHECKSUM.MD5 contains the
checksums for the mini.iso, disk1.iso and disk2.iso files.  You can
use it to add some assurance that the downloads are correct.

> What shall be the 5.x release? What is the "new technology" you will 
> include in it? 

You need to go to the FreeBSD web site and study up on what is new
for 5.x.    Unless you have some odd hardware or a need to do some
esoteric thing, you would not really need 5.x.   If your purpose is
to play around and learn stuff and you are not worrying about running
a production server right away, you might just choose 5.x anyway - but
be prepared for more things not quite ready for prime time.

If you are a little more nervous, or need something running reliable,
then stick to 4.8 or maybe 4.9 if it gets out soon enough to suit you.
Check Release Engineering on the FreeBSD site and look at the schedules.

> I might probably buy it (a combo promotion of 4 CD set + Handbook 2nd 
> edition). 
> However I'd like to know a bit more about it first. 

Well, you can find almost everything written by starting at the
website, reading there and following links and then going to a search
engine such as Google or Rambler and following links.   That should
get you all the 'more about it first' you can stand.   Then buy a cd 
set and any/all of the books that are out or download the appropriate 
iso and get started.


> Could you send me more information in order to clarify my doubts, please? 
> Thanks in advance for your assistance. 
> Kind regards, 
> Bernardo 
> +55 41 9911-2666 
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