>> why they group four ISOs plus a mini-ISO together as a release
Because FreeBSD is more newbie-friendly. You actually don't need to do a fresh install via CD because you only need to use that CD once
, FTP-install is more appropriate.
>> accomplish the same thing installing 4.5 RELEASE then tracking/updating to 4.x STABLE *after* installation?
The snapshot binary release is equivalent to tracking -STABLE. If you do a fresh install via the latest snapshot release you can:
1) cvsup your ports tree (-RELEASE branch can't)
2) cvsup your src with minimal changes of the src to make your life easier when you are ready to buildworld (upgrading or buildworld on the latest snapshot binary release is much easier than on a 4.5-RELEASE branch)
3) do a clean cvsup with nothing in your /usr/src and /usr/sup.
>> but could find no list from you except your top 10
That top 10
is somewhat expandable. Like 5) Recompile a kernel
, that alone can take hours to get it right. For (7) configure /etc/make.conf, you just need to make sure to add XFREE86_VERSION=4
. For (11), you should install some of the commonly used software from ports, just to name a few: autoconf, automake, gettext, gmake and libtool