Linked by David Adams on Sun 11th Dec 2011 01:37 UTC, submitted by rhyder
Linux It's starting to look like the end of an era for Ubuntu users as Canonical mull the creation of an ISO that won't fit onto a CDR. The question is, does it matter? Canonical owes at least part of its success with Ubuntu Linux to the unique way that it has been distributed. From the start it has been available as a downloadable ISO image and a free CD, posted at no cost to the user. This was great news for people who wanted to install Linux but did not have the luxury of a decent Internet connection. In a sense, installing via a CDR image has always been like a kind of cache, in that you're moving part of the content that you need onto permanent storage rather than pulling it through the network connection
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Just a symptom
by izomiac on Sun 11th Dec 2011 02:54 UTC
izomiac
Member since:
2006-07-26

Personally, I'd worry if your install size keeps increasing without adding major new features. If anything, your code should be decreasing in size as it matures. You also have to be mindful to remove and refactor redundant code when you do add new features, lest you double your potential for bugs while reducing performance.

Of course, that's just me and my penchant for minimalism. Fewer parts generally means fewer bugs, more speed, and much easier to fix.

Reply Score: 14

RE: Just a symptom
by gnemmi on Sun 11th Dec 2011 04:04 UTC in reply to "Just a symptom"
gnemmi Member since:
2006-08-17

^ that

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just a symptom
by ilovebeer on Sun 11th Dec 2011 06:03 UTC in reply to "Just a symptom"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Personally, I'd worry if your install size keeps increasing without adding major new features. If anything, your code should be decreasing in size as it matures. You also have to be mindful to remove and refactor redundant code when you do add new features, lest you double your potential for bugs while reducing performance.

I generally agree with this.


Of course, that's just me and my penchant for minimalism. Fewer parts generally means fewer bugs, more speed, and much easier to fix.

I do not agree with that at all. It's possible to reduce things to the point where you actually wind up with more code and/or more potential bugs once you've addressed all the specific cases using conditional checks. Also, smaller code doesn't mean faster code.

I'm a bit of a minimalist myself but there are certainly times when it's a disadvantage.

As far as giving CDR sizes consideration... Who gives a damn? I sure don't. I can't remember the last time I installed anything from a CD. For that matter, I can't remember the last time I had a CD drive in a box, and I currently only have one box with a DVD drive in it. With cheap USB and SDHC options, why bother?

Edited 2011-12-11 06:05 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Just a symptom
by AdamW on Mon 12th Dec 2011 03:38 UTC in reply to "Just a symptom"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't have experience with Ubuntu directly, but it's likely this is nothing to do with things getting bigger over time. It's never been possible to fit all the things on a CD-sized image that people actually want in a distro; this was a problem for Mandrake/Mandriva and MEPIS and SUSE back before Ubuntu even *existed*. Fitting a distro into 700MB has always been a trade-off, and distros have been considering moving to larger sized images for many years.

I can speak to Fedora from knowledge, and we've *decreased* the size of a live image with a given set of software in it over time, not increased it. But 700MB is still not really enough to fit in everything that everyone wants.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Just a symptom
by Neolander on Mon 12th Dec 2011 11:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Just a symptom"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Even on a bluray it would be impossible to stick everything people might possibly want.

Let's say I'm a gamer. For perfect OOB experience, I'd like my OS to come with the latest games and video drivers, so that I don't have to buy or download them separately. Should Windows include unactivated copies of Skyrim, Battlefield 3, or whatever else is trendy at the moment ? Should a new release of Windows come out each time a new game or Nvidia driver is out ? If I'm into photo editing, should Windows come with Photoshop ?

CD or DVD, there is always a line to draw. In my opinion, OSs should ship with what is necessary to manage hardware and run most software. Everything else is a nice extra, which is here to demonstrate the capabilities of the OS and satisfy needs shared by more than 90% of users, but must not go in the way of the main purpose.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Just a symptom
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 12th Dec 2011 16:24 UTC in reply to "Just a symptom"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

These are distributions we are talking about. Their primary purpose is to package together various other programs and present them as a working Operating System.

I for one, prefer distros that do not radically rewrite programs without working with the upstream to get the changes changes included. As such, the main responsibility for re factoring/ reducing code size should be the individual projects themselves.

Reply Score: 2

Yes, it's a problem.
by tidux on Sun 11th Dec 2011 03:05 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

It's a problem because there's still a lot of people out there that can't burn DVDs, and writing an image to a USB stick is way more confusing than "download this file, burn to CD."

Reply Score: 4

RE: Yes, it's a problem.
by OSbunny on Sun 11th Dec 2011 07:07 UTC in reply to "Yes, it's a problem."
OSbunny Member since:
2009-05-23

Those people need to buy a DVD burner. It costs only $30.

No wait. $20 now.

Edited 2011-12-11 07:09 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Yes, it's a problem.
by Neolander on Sun 11th Dec 2011 08:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Yes, it's a problem."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I have a DVD burner, and I still rarely use it to burn DVDs.

Last time I checked, blank DVDs were still ridiculously high-priced as compared to their CD counterpart. As such, CD-Rs remain much better than DVD-Rs as a polyvalent storage media that can both be expendable and used for reasonably long-term storage. When I really need to burn something on DVD, I have a few DVD-RWs around, but these are not for long-term storage and I keep erasing and rewriting them.

Edited 2011-12-11 08:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Yes, it's a problem.
by Ultimatebadass on Sun 11th Dec 2011 10:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yes, it's a problem."
Ultimatebadass Member since:
2006-01-08

Last time I checked, blank DVDs were still ridiculously high-priced as compared to their CD counterpart.


Must have been some time ago then. Where I live blank CDs and DVDs are almost if not the same price. A 100-pack of CD is about 65pln (~20 USD), a 100-pack of DVDs is 75pln. You get 6x more storage space.

Unless you have to burn something compatible with a cd-only reader (like a car stereo) burning cd's make no sense.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Yes, it's a problem.
by Neolander on Sun 11th Dec 2011 10:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Yes, it's a problem."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

About a year ago I'd say. Just checking, it seems that indeed they now cost about the same price here (22.5€ for 50 without looking for cheap ones), so I'll consider switching to DVDs when I'm done with my current CD-R pack.

I rarely use CD-Rs for anything but OSs these days, though, so it may take a while.

Edited 2011-12-11 10:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Yes, it's a problem.
by phoenix on Mon 12th Dec 2011 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yes, it's a problem."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

In Canada, it's the opposite, due to the "blank media tax" on recordable CDs. A 25-pack of CDs will be about double the price of a 50-pack of DVDs. It's crazy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Yes, it's a problem.
by unclefester on Sun 11th Dec 2011 14:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Yes, it's a problem."
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Those people need to buy a DVD burner. It costs only $30.

No wait. $20 now.


Ubuntu was originally developed for Africa where $20 may represent a weeks salary. In some African countries even a doctor is lucky to earn $100/week.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Yes, it's a problem.
by Kivada on Sun 11th Dec 2011 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yes, it's a problem."
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

And the 3rd hand comps they have nolonger have GPU support anyways so the point of them not having a $20 DVD burner is moot. Blame MESA not Ubuntu for that one.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Yes, it's a problem.
by Yoko_T on Mon 12th Dec 2011 00:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Yes, it's a problem."
Yoko_T Member since:
2011-08-18

Those people need to buy a DVD burner. It costs only $30.

No wait. $20 now.


That's assuming you can actually find one that will actually work with your machine.

Nowdays nearly all internal cd/dvd burners are SATA, not PATA/IDE.

So if you have a older machine that doesn't support SATA,you're pretty much screwed, unless you have an empty/unused usb port that you can get at.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Yes, it's a problem.
by Kivada on Mon 12th Dec 2011 01:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yes, it's a problem."
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

That's assuming you can actually find one that will actually work with your machine.

Nowdays nearly all internal cd/dvd burners are SATA, not PATA/IDE.

So if you have a older machine that doesn't support SATA,you're pretty much screwed, unless you have an empty/unused usb port that you can get at.


Newegg still lists 9 PATA/IDE DVD burners, 3 of them with lightscribe, all around $27 US.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Yes, it's a problem.
by Yoko_T on Wed 14th Dec 2011 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Yes, it's a problem."
Yoko_T Member since:
2011-08-18

"That's assuming you can actually find one that will actually work with your machine.

Nowdays nearly all internal cd/dvd burners are SATA, not PATA/IDE.

So if you have a older machine that doesn't support SATA,you're pretty much screwed, unless you have an empty/unused usb port that you can get at.


Newegg still lists 9 PATA/IDE DVD burners, 3 of them with lightscribe, all around $27 US.
"

Dude, Newegg and places like are a joke. They might *LIST* those drives, but that doesn't mean they actually have them in stock.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Yes, it's a problem.
by Kivada on Sun 11th Dec 2011 08:04 UTC in reply to "Yes, it's a problem."
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Dvd burners are dirt cheap, dvd players are even cheaper, both can be found at your local recycling center or on the side of the road if need be...

That and does Canonical not still ship free install CDs? Yeah I know that they take their sweet ass time shipping them, I know, I've ordered them before to leave around and to pop into machines at craptacular electronics stores and walk away...

Theres no shortage of places that will sell you damn near any distro on whatever media you like, just check http://www.debian.org/CD/vendors/ since it looks like you can get the complete everything 6 DVD version of Debian 6.0.3 for as little as $10 US.

Edited 2011-12-11 08:08 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Yes, it's a problem.
by unclefester on Sun 11th Dec 2011 22:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Yes, it's a problem."
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Dvd burners are dirt cheap, dvd players are even cheaper, both can be found at your local recycling center or on the side of the road if need be.


Not in developing countries. In places like India, South Africa and Indonesia 10-15 year old CRT monitors are still being advertised for sale on the local equivalents to Craigslist. Nothing that can be sold (even for $1) gets thrown out.

In some parts of Africa a "highly paid" professional (eg a doctor) may earn as little as $100/week and drive a 40 year old car.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Yes, it's a problem.
by Kivada on Mon 12th Dec 2011 02:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yes, it's a problem."
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Not in developing countries. In places like India, South Africa and Indonesia 10-15 year old CRT monitors are still being advertised for sale on the local equivalents to Craigslist. Nothing that can be sold (even for $1) gets thrown out.

In some parts of Africa a "highly paid" professional (eg a doctor) may earn as little as $100/week and drive a 40 year old car.


They're still screwed even if they have a CD since their old IPG GPU will nolonger have support past Mesa 7.11 http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/mesa-dev/2011-August/010959.h...

Once again, choices in the "1st world" are trampling the "3rd world", though if they are in need of anything past VESA support they're welcome to patch as is always said in times like these in the OS community.

That and as I keep saying, have Canonical bring back ShipIt or at least do as Debian and link trusted shops that will send you the discs, Debian 6.0 Squeeze for $65 ZAR(About $8 USD) http://debian.goldencreations.co.za/

Or for Indonesia I found Kubuntu on DVD for 20Rp(apparently waaaay less then $0.01 USD) and the giant 8 DVD version of Debian 6.0.21 for 85Rp($0.01 USD) http://toko.baliwae.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=debian+...

Not that it matters as they will nolonger have GPU support on any newer releases as anything past MESA 7.11 has had the IGP drivers cut from it http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/mesa-dev/2011-August/010959.h...

You can advocate for keeping the .iso unnecessarily at 700Mb all you want but fact is they're once again out of the current tech world, this time by the actions of the OSS community because nobody was willing to update the old GPU drivers,many of which haven't been touched in years. I myself am looking at junking a bunch of Pentium4 and AthlonXP era hardware because there isn't going to be any GPU driver in upcoming distros for them and I can't justify the cost of the ATI/AMD HD2/3/4 series AGP or PCI GPUs, especially since theres no guarantee that they'll work as they're PCIe GPUs with either an AGP or PCI bridge chip that may not play well even with Catalyst on Linux as they are non standard and unofficially supported mods by the card makers.

Not that that all matters much though since the Trinity based version of the AMD A8 APU will easily be more powerful then all of those old machines combined and will be receiving full OSS driver support as well as OpenCL(eventually...) support for even more performance.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Yes, it's a problem.
by AdamW on Mon 12th Dec 2011 03:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Yes, it's a problem."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Mesa only affects 3D support. Accelerated 2D rendering is still significantly better than VESA.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Yes, it's a problem.
by AdamW on Mon 12th Dec 2011 03:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Yes, it's a problem."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

In fact you can take it further: the main reason the 3D support for those chips is being dropped is simply that it's pretty much useless; they're just not powerful enough to do much *practical* in the present day. You can't play modern games on them, and making them capable of running Shell or Unity is more work than anyone wants to take on.

So given that the 3D code for those chips isn't really of much practical use to anyone, dropping it makes sense. But the same rationale does not apply to the 2D drivers for those chips.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Yes, it's a problem.
by Kivada on Mon 12th Dec 2011 04:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Yes, it's a problem."
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Apparently you haven't tried anything with an i810 series GPU recently, you lose allot more then 3d, you lose support for Xv and XvMC as well as I at least can't get the resolution to go past 960x529 on anything other then the, albeit crash happy i810 driver.

I'd love to be able to use it as would many many others since it was the ubiquitous IGP of the P4 series machines that can be found EVERYWHERE and was for sale on new machines as late as 2006 if I remember. But nobody, least of all Intel is willing to maintain the driver. But then they've also opted to keep the graphics stack fractured by refusing to port to Gallium3D.

Reply Score: 1

Why not have two versions?
by WorknMan on Sun 11th Dec 2011 03:31 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Why not have two different versions of the product - a 'Lite' version for those still living out in the sticks with a dialup connection, and a 'humpty dumpty' deluxe version for everyone else. That's better than the 7+ different versions that Windows has ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Why not have two versions?
by AdamW on Mon 12th Dec 2011 03:39 UTC in reply to "Why not have two versions?"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

For most distros, it's not two versions, because most distros already ship multiple live images for different desktops. So it's not two images rather than one image, but, say, eight images rather than four. That's a significant difference in terms of release engineering, QA, documentation, and even site design.

Reply Score: 2

how about a base system CD
by unclefester on Sun 11th Dec 2011 03:40 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Ideally I would prefer a <200MB base system install. You could then add any components eg office suite afterwards.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by OSbunny
by OSbunny on Sun 11th Dec 2011 07:17 UTC
OSbunny
Member since:
2009-05-23

One of the reasons why I don't like Ubuntu is because it's default ISO does NOT come with everything that I'd like. I prefer distros that come on a big DVD sized ISO. That way I download most of what I need in one go. Keep in mind that it's a lot more convenient to run large downloads using your existing OS because you can do other stuff with your computer while it's downloading.

Downloading gigabytes from a net install program is a lot more boring because it's single tasking so you can't do anything else with your computer while that's going on. Net installs are for servers which have high speed internet connections and are usually accessed remotely by their admins. For a server admin a net install is just another window on his desktop so he can multitask. It doesn't work that way for a desktop user installing a desktop linux distro via netinstall on bare metal hardware.

Edited 2011-12-11 07:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by OSbunny
by fukudasan on Wed 14th Dec 2011 10:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by OSbunny"
fukudasan Member since:
2006-06-04

On the other hand, since I discovered that I could download "boot.iso" from public servers, burn it to a CD and install Mandriva over cable Internet connections, this has become my installation method of choice. I would previously have downloaded CD sets and DVDs, but being able to get a 30-odd Mb *.iso and let the Internet take the strain (while I am sleeping, for example) seems really convenient - at least, as long as they have already uploaded all of the files before you start downloading them!

Reply Score: 1

Boost it to 4Gb
by Kivada on Sun 11th Dec 2011 07:45 UTC
Kivada
Member since:
2010-07-07

And drop the subvariants, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu Studio and Lubuntu should all come in a single 4Gb .iso that allows you to pick what you want to install just as Studio asks you what sets of software you want I.E. Audio, Photo or Video editing software. There should be enough shared between these subdistros to make this fairly simple.

Why 4Gb? Because 4Gb USB sticks are quite common and cheap, but still allows burning or shipping 4.4Gb DVDs for installation since after all of the cuts to legacy GPU support as of late theres little reason to not expect the user to have at least a DVD player if the mobo doesn't support USB boot.

Reply Score: 1

750 MB is still CD-R rise
by Sodki on Sun 11th Dec 2011 08:07 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

People seem to forget that there are various CD-R sizes. 700 MB is one, but 750 MB is another. I've even got some 800 MB CDs!

Reply Score: 3

RE: 750 MB is still CD-R rise
by Kivada on Sun 11th Dec 2011 08:15 UTC in reply to "750 MB is still CD-R rise"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

People seem to forget that there are various CD-R sizes. 700 MB is one, but 750 MB is another. I've even got some 800 MB CDs!


700Mb is the only common size though, some devices, even current ones have issues with anything larger then 700Mb CDs. Like the factory CD player in my '09 Corolla, but then half the time it can't read track names of MP3s it's previously read fine and the disc is flawless and has never left the changer...

Reply Score: 2

RE: 750 MB is still CD-R rise
by KLU9 on Sun 11th Dec 2011 13:55 UTC in reply to "750 MB is still CD-R rise"
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

there are also mini CDs or pocket CDs, with 210mb capacity.

I bought a bunch for burning mini distros like Puppy and DSL, and keep one tucked into my laptop case pocket in case of emergencies.

There are even "business card" CDs, but I've never seen them at my local retailers.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: 750 MB is still CD-R rise
by Kivada on Sun 11th Dec 2011 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE: 750 MB is still CD-R rise"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

There are even "business card" CDs, but I've never seen them at my local retailers.


Theres a reason for that, they're only 50Mb and are squared off, they should only be used in drives where you lock the disc onto the spindle, I've seen a few get stuck in standard desktop drives and you can never use them in slot loaders.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: 750 MB is still CD-R rise
by KLU9 on Tue 13th Dec 2011 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 750 MB is still CD-R rise"
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

I think the slot loader problem also applies to miniCDs.

I don't doubt there are compatibility problems with biz card CDs, but still... the geek/chic factor! When someone in the meeting has a heart attack when their Windows system with 5 ad-serving toolbars in Internet Explorer 6 chokes and dies, and you just calmly say "Let me have a look", whip out your wallet, pull a Frickin Operating System out of it, and in 20 seconds have a complete (and completely new) system running on their supposedly "dead" system.

Damn, I need new fantasies...

Reply Score: 3

RE: 750 MB is still CD-R rise
by AdamW on Mon 12th Dec 2011 03:40 UTC in reply to "750 MB is still CD-R rise"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

700MB is the largest officially standardized size. Larger sizes are not in any way officially standardized and can't be relied on to work with all or even most drives.

Reply Score: 2

Not Quite About the Medium
by JeeperMate on Sun 11th Dec 2011 15:56 UTC
JeeperMate
Member since:
2010-06-12

Burners are cheap and even value laptops manufactured from 2006 onwards already have DVD burner built-in. Thus, the installation medium is the least of an issue here. Moreover, people have been accustomed to booting ISO images off HDD partition or USB flash drive -- there are already many utility applications that make this once painful procedure now a breeze.

What can still be considered a problem is the download size. Broadband cost in many developing countries aren't getting cheaper, and metered connection is starting to become the norm, at least in some countries. Here, for example, most Internet users are bound to 3GB - 5GB monthly allowance, making it hard to justify downloading of large ISO images unless it's really important.

Reply Score: 2

They should follow meneutos
by jefro on Sun 11th Dec 2011 17:00 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

They should have been working on getting it smaller and faster.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by zima
by zima on Sun 18th Dec 2011 23:20 UTC in reply to "They should follow meneutos"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

...and making their distros into a toy (not in a "bad" sense, but still) OS? That's what Menuet largely is, really; can't really be useful (except as a learning tool perhaps), can't really do much (most likely wouldn't be that fast when given actual heavy & diverse loads)

Reply Score: 2

Stick with CDR limitations ...
by MacTO on Sun 11th Dec 2011 17:04 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

Three reasons:

The CDR places a clear limit on the size of the OS. As soon as you start placing arbitrary limits on the size, it become far to easy to say, "but it's only a few megabytes over." That leads down a path of bloat.

Bandwidth download times are another good reason to limit the size. Not only does bandwidth cost them and their mirrors money, but bandwidth and download times cost the end user money and time.

Finally, since Ubuntu is a live CD where anything on the live CD gets installed to the hard disk. While having some of the initial decisions made for the user is nice, having all of the decisions made for them is a wee bit authoritarian.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Stick with CDR limitations ...
by ilovebeer on Sun 11th Dec 2011 17:48 UTC in reply to "Stick with CDR limitations ..."
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Three reasons:

The CDR places a clear limit on the size of the OS. As soon as you start placing arbitrary limits on the size, it become far to easy to say, "but it's only a few megabytes over." That leads down a path of bloat.


Linux bloat is nothing new. The most Linux distro maintainers steer towards a works-for-most-people concept, the more bloat you get. Ironically, they're doing the exact same thing they cry about Microsoft doing.

At any rate, end-user usability is most important -- not filesize.

Bandwidth download times are another good reason to limit the size. Not only does bandwidth cost them and their mirrors money, but bandwidth and download times cost the end user money and time.

That may be a problem some a small handful of users but certainly not for the majority. If the expensive of downloading for those people is too great, they should elect to have it mailed to them.

Finally, since Ubuntu is a live CD where anything on the live CD gets installed to the hard disk. While having some of the initial decisions made for the user is nice, having all of the decisions made for them is a wee bit authoritarian.

That's an over-exaggeration imo. Distros that install everything by default are simply trying to provide the best user experience by giving him a good amount of software/drivers/etc. to work with. That is not authoritarian.

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

most Linux distro maintainers steer towards a works-for-most-people concept, the more bloat you get. Ironically, they're doing the exact same thing they cry about Microsoft doing

Not at all the same thing, software on Linux distros is virtually exclusively from 3rd parties (quite unlike what MS does)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Stick with CDR limitations ...
by Kivada on Sun 11th Dec 2011 18:20 UTC in reply to "Stick with CDR limitations ..."
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

The decision has already been made by the MESA driver devs to drop pretty much all legacy GPU support for anything from before the era of DVD player drives being standard equipment on bargain basement machines, anything past 7.11 is losing support for at least:

i810: Early Intel 8xx series IGPs
Mach64: ATI Mach GPUs
r128: ATI Rage 128 GPUs like the Rage Fury, XPERT 99, and XPERT 128
MGA: Matrox GPUs
Savage: S3 Savage GPUs
SiS: Crusty SiS GPUs
Tdfx: 3dfx Voodoo graphics cards
Unichrome: VIA IGPs

Yes, there'd be some overlap here with machines with DVD players that had Pentium4's with the i8 series IGPs but pretty much everything else was older then that.

As for obtaining the discs, tell Canonical to restart ShipIt http://www.ubuntu.com/shipit or at least link up to all the shops where you can order the discs like the Debian project does http://www.debian.org/CD/vendors/ take a look, you can get the full 6 DVD version of Debian 6.0.3 for $10 US mailed to you.

So no, I say bring the .iso size up to 4Gb, merge the subversions into the one disc that can either be burned onto a 4.4Gb DVD or loaded off a 4Gb USB flash.

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

That's not an issue at all, MESA just does 3D you know... and NVM 3D being slow on those GFX chips - too slow for desktop compositing and such (yes, I did try, experienced it on some) - it was also unmaintained for a long time and very buggy even in such basic stuff like ...desktop compositing (likewise)

Similar with "beyond overlay / xvideo" acceleration (it was often more trouble than it's worth; most of those cards didn't support any serious levels of video decoding in the first place). Plus, anything in standard definition will be nice with software decoder on any reasonable CPU, P2 & up (PII 266 - dual, but that doesn't matter too much with video playback - software decoders greatly improved over the last decade); HD anything would be too slow anyway.

2D works fine, Xubuntu or Lubuntu (recommended anyway, with machines which would have one of those cards) works.

If some (say, i8xx) have driver maintainance problems beyond MESA, that's a separate problem of theirs.

(also, there are probably much less of those machines than you think... for one, those are the times of "really bad caps" & something a decade old; the two machines with Matrox G400 and Voodoo3, that I keep around for some reason, are zombies / Frankensteins / display a "ship of Theseus" problem - they're scavenged from few PCs and it's hard to tell their age really)

Edited 2011-12-18 23:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sun 11th Dec 2011 18:59 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

People are steering away for big bulky DVD drives in favor of small usb sticks that easily fit on a keychain or in your pocket while providing large storage.

Good 8GB usb sticks can be had for under $10 and that's certainly a better deal than a $20 dvd drive + the (recurring) cost of media. Not to mention usb flash drives use a sliver of the power consumption of a DVD drive.

If cost & convenience are your considerations, it's very clear CD/DVD is not the best choice.

Reply Score: 3

v RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by avgalen on Mon 12th Dec 2011 09:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Neolander on Mon 12th Dec 2011 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Actually, the Fedora guys provide a Python tool to write an ISO to a USB media without data loss.

However, it keeps the core issues of everything related to USB boot : requires specially crafted ISOs, writing to some pen drives' MBR bricks them without any warning...

Edited 2011-12-12 11:16 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by rklrkl on Mon 12th Dec 2011 11:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
rklrkl Member since:
2005-07-06

One word: unetbootin
See: http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

Install that on your current distro, download the ISO you want to burn, insert a USB stick with already formatted (hint: use VFAT, not ext2/3/4, since very few BIOSes can boot off ext FS'es) and populated with data you want to keep and run unetbootin as root. Select your ISO (it should pick up your USB stick device automatically), start it off and after 10-15 mins you should have a bootable install USB stick with your original data left intact. I use this to install Linux distros on my Dell Mini 9 netbook that has no optical drive of course.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Mon 12th Dec 2011 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

The problems with "distro on USB" instead of "distro on CD/DVD" are:

- Download iso, burn iso to CD/DVD is a lot easier than the same process on USB

Five years ago I would agree with you but this is simply not true anymore. As a matter of fact there are tools that completely automate the process, all you have to do is plug a usb stick in and select which OS you want to install on it -- done.

- the CD/DVD OR the USB will have to be empty in order to make the distro bootable. An empty CD(RW) is always available, an empty USB often means moving data to local storage, claiming the entire USB for the distro at first, then moving data from local storage back to the USB

If you're like me, you'll have usb sticks dedicated to OS installs so this is a non-issue. But, if you insist on using a usb stick with data already on it, you can do that too. Again, tools make this process painless these days.

If there is a method for making keeping data on the USB while adding the distro and making the USB bootable, that would solve the above problems

The above problems have been solved for a while, I guess you never got the memo.

As I pointed out, quality 8GB usb sticks can be had for under $10 now. They hold far more data, are more reusable, extremely low power consumption, easily fit in your pocket/very small footprint, are faster, ...need I go on?

I've been installing OSes from usb sticks, and onto usb/sdhc/cf for years now. To see people debating cdr vs. dvd sized isos, posts about dvd drives being $20-$30 plus the cost of media... it's almost as if I've went back in time, when those were good/the only real options available. Hell, some of my boxes aren't much larger than a cd/dvd drive.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by tuma324 on Tue 13th Dec 2011 01:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
tuma324 Member since:
2010-04-09

People are steering away for big bulky DVD drives in favor of small usb sticks that easily fit on a keychain or in your pocket while providing large storage.

Good 8GB usb sticks can be had for under $10 and that's certainly a better deal than a $20 dvd drive + the (recurring) cost of media. Not to mention usb flash drives use a sliver of the power consumption of a DVD drive.

If cost & convenience are your considerations, it's very clear CD/DVD is not the best choice.


Agreed. I can't recall when was the last time I used my CD/DVD drive.

My 8GB USB stick works amazingly well.

Reply Score: 2

Hollerith whut?
by earksiinni on Sun 11th Dec 2011 23:14 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

Real distros limit fit within 80 columns.

Weaklings.

Reply Score: 4

It seems
by historyb on Mon 12th Dec 2011 05:59 UTC
historyb
Member since:
2005-07-06

that putting things on a DVD like an ISO is an inevitability like GNOME 3 and KDE 4.

I like CD's better and they could always put meta installers on the Desktop like other distro's do (like PCLOS does) but what do I know I'm just a user

Reply Score: 2

rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

If anyone is still using CDs to burn anything other than music to play in their old hi-fi or car CD player, then they need to have a serious rethink.

DVD burners are the same price as CD burners (in fact, it's now actually quite hard to find CD burners!) and ditto for the price of blank DVD vs. CD disks.

Let me see - same price for burner+media, holds 6-7 times more on DVD, burns much much faster than CD, reads much much faster than CD. Why is *anyone* putting computer data on CDs any more?

The only reason left to use CDs instead of DVDs is because some people don't have decent broadband connections to download more than a CD's worth quickly. Even then, a 700MB image should *still* be burned to DVD instead of CD for the reasons outlined above.

BTW, people are complaining about Ubuntu just going over 1 CD's worth, but has anyone looked at CentOS recently? It's crept onto a second (single-layer) *DVD*! Luckily, you can still do a basic install from DVD 1, but that's a far more worrying trend than Ubuntu's, IMHO.

Reply Score: 2

r_a_trip
Member since:
2005-07-06

We can keep hammering on the optical disk as the way older computers get their OSes installed, but that problem will vanish in 2 to 3 years time. What is hot now and comes without an optical drive, will be tommorows donated hardware.

Distro's should aim for USB Thumbdrives these days. Preferably the 2GB's ones for now as that is the low end of those drives and relatively cheap. The machines that can't boot from USB are getting scarse these days.

USB thumbdrives are reusable with newer software and a lot faster than a CDR. It could potentially save on e-waste. Practically nobody installs Warty Warthog from CD anymore as a means to fit a computer with a main operating system. A thumbdrive is more readily "upgraded" with the latest software.

It would be nice though if the USB booting could be made more standardized and maybe a bit simpler. El Torito was a godsend on the CD. Maybe by letting the firmware search for a USB bootable image file on the drive. Than it would be as easy as just copying the image on the drive and boot from it. Although unetbootin is pretty easy already.

Reply Score: 2

Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

Perfect... Except old computers often can't boot from USB drives.

(Which wouldn't be an issue, except that throwing out computers is dirty; and recycling them is even dirtier, and usually involves poorly paid workers toiling over open vats of hydrofluoric acid.)

Reply Score: 2

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Maybe someone could make an adapter that presents flash drives as optical drives to the computer, or maybe a hybrid floppy/optical drive.

There would be limitations, like drive formatting and maybe size, but that would be a handly little tool.

Reply Score: 1

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Perfect... Except old computers often can't boot from USB drives.

That's a non-issue. You can get a USB-to-IDE adapter for about the cost of a 50pack of blank CDR's.

Reply Score: 1

Yoko_T Member since:
2011-08-18

"Perfect... Except old computers often can't boot from USB drives.

That's a non-issue. You can get a USB-to-IDE adapter for about the cost of a 50pack of blank CDR's.
"

That's *EXACTLY* the kind of thinking that bought us the Pile-Of-Shit called Gnome 3.

Reply Score: 1

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Valid points, but adhering to that premise entails accepting as the lowest common denominator anything that can still boot if turned on. So any new developments need to take into account machines with 8086 processors. Anything else is not considering the implications.

Computer recycling today may be dirty, but I don't see that as an inherently technical problem. This is one group of people exploiting another group for some extra profit. That needs to be adressed internationally through politics. We need to learn as the "First World" not to export agony to other countries, in pursuit of another buck to add to overflowing bank accounts.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Anonymous Penguin
by Anonymous Penguin on Tue 13th Dec 2011 00:49 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

At the moment Debian Testing consists of 60 (sixty) CDs. While it is obvious that nobody will ever need the content of 60 CDs, 1 CD distributions are a thing of the past, except for niche distributions or Live CDs whose purpose is to give you a taste of the release.
Even the once minimalistic Slackware offers now 4.4GB ISOs.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Wed 14th Dec 2011 03:18 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

I've used SDHC-to-USB adapters - worked great.
I've used IDE-to-SATA adapters - worked great.
I've used SATA-to-IDE adapters - worked great.
I've used CF-to-IDE adapters - worked great.
I've used CF-to-SATA adapters - worked great except for one of the extremely cheap chinese ebay ones (but for $.99 w/free shipping it was worth the risk).

All cheap, nearly all worked great. The only settings that needed to be done were primary/secondary for the IDE adapter, and 3v/5v for the CF. I fail to see how any of these options are a bad idea.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Yoko_T on Thu 15th Dec 2011 10:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Yoko_T Member since:
2011-08-18

I've used SDHC-to-USB adapters - worked great.
I've used IDE-to-SATA adapters - worked great.
I've used SATA-to-IDE adapters - worked great.
I've used CF-to-IDE adapters - worked great.
I've used CF-to-SATA adapters - worked great except for one of the extremely cheap chinese ebay ones (but for $.99 w/free shipping it was worth the risk).

All cheap, nearly all worked great. The only settings that needed to be done were primary/secondary for the IDE adapter, and 3v/5v for the CF. I fail to see how any of these options are a bad idea.


Can you walk into *ANY* major retailer like Best Buy and actually *BUY* these things?

What's that you say? *NO*?

You have to pretty much order/buy them via the internet?

Then they are pretty much worthless aren't they?















/

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Thu 15th Dec 2011 17:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

I've used SDHC-to-USB adapters - worked great.
I've used IDE-to-SATA adapters - worked great.
I've used SATA-to-IDE adapters - worked great.
I've used CF-to-IDE adapters - worked great.
I've used CF-to-SATA adapters - worked great except for one of the extremely cheap chinese ebay ones (but for $.99 w/free shipping it was worth the risk).

All cheap, nearly all worked great. The only settings that needed to be done were primary/secondary for the IDE adapter, and 3v/5v for the CF. I fail to see how any of these options are a bad idea.


Can you walk into *ANY* major retailer like Best Buy and actually *BUY* these things?

Most of them, yes.

What's that you say? *NO*?

No....I said yes.

You have to pretty much order/buy them via the internet?

No, with the exception of CF-to-*. And are you actually suggesting internet ordering is a bad thing? You do realize it's the preferred choice for most people these days, right? It would be pretty silly of you to claim internet ordering is somehow bad.

Then they are pretty much worthless aren't they?

You must live in an alternate universe because I don't know a single person who would describe cheap, reliable, hassle-free, problem solving hardware that takes practically zero effort to use, as worthless. By all means, please explain that to us. I for one have had a good laugh yet today.

Edited 2011-12-15 17:30 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by yoshi314@gmail.com
by yoshi314@gmail.com on Wed 14th Dec 2011 11:29 UTC
yoshi314@gmail.com
Member since:
2009-12-14

i think distros should provide a cd-sized install media, is a good size to go for, as it offers a relatively reasonable download, even for people with slower connection.

usb boot is not really reliable - many computers have quirky usb booting and a lot of workarounds need to be applied.

dvd images are fine too, but i often feel they pack way too much things than necessary.

Edited 2011-12-14 11:43 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by yoshi314@gmail.com
by ilovebeer on Thu 15th Dec 2011 17:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by yoshi314@gmail.com"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

usb boot is not really reliable - many computers have quirky usb booting and a lot of workarounds need to be applied.

You've got to be kidding. This simply isn't true. There may be some handful of old mainboards that don't handle usb boot well but even those probably have bios updates that fix the problem. We've been installing from usb for years and I can count on one hand how many times it was a problem.

Reply Score: 1

Yoko_T Member since:
2011-08-18

"usb boot is not really reliable - many computers have quirky usb booting and a lot of workarounds need to be applied.

You've got to be kidding. This simply isn't true. There may be some handful of old mainboards that don't handle usb boot well but even those probably have bios updates that fix the problem. We've been installing from usb for years and I can count on one hand how many times it was a problem.
"

This is one hell of a lot more common than people like you think it is.

I've got one of these computers with one of these Intel-made motherboards made around 2005-2006. The Intel Bios does seem to really support booting from a usb drive, but it seems to be really picky about you format the drive. Syslinux in particular gives me nothing but grief on this machine,which is ironic, since the main developer as I understand it either worked for Intel or still does.

People have complained on the Syslinux mailing list for years about how syslinux doesn't seem to be able to boot from some computers like mine and all we've gotten a load of BS about BIOS problems when the problems really seem to lie within Syslinux itself and how it handles booting from usb drives.

Reply Score: 1

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

You've got to be kidding. This simply isn't true. There may be some handful of old mainboards that don't handle usb boot well but even those probably have bios updates that fix the problem. We've been installing from usb for years and I can count on one hand how many times it was a problem.

This is one hell of a lot more common than people like you think it is.

People like me have been doing this on hundreds and hundreds of computers over years. I would say that puts "us" in a good position to determine what's common and what isn't in this regard.

I've got one of these computers with one of these Intel-made motherboards made around 2005-2006. The Intel Bios does seem to really support booting from a usb drive, but it seems to be really picky about you format the drive. Syslinux in particular gives me nothing but grief on this machine,which is ironic, since the main developer as I understand it either worked for Intel or still does.

I'm not denying some boxes may have problems. But, I am saying most don't.

People have complained on the Syslinux mailing list for years about how syslinux doesn't seem to be able to boot from some computers like mine and all we've gotten a load of BS about BIOS problems when the problems really seem to lie within Syslinux itself and how it handles booting from usb drives.

That doesn't really surprise me. Keep in mind, people usually post on mailing lists when they have problems. Those who are chugging along just fine tend to not bother posting about it so mailing list posts are often not very telling of the overall picture.

Nothing beats first-hand experience. The more of it you have, the less you need to rely on what others have to say. Another thing to consider is the fact you can have a problem in one area, but it manifests elsewhere in your system. Example: fluctuating power rails & (incompatible) hardware that can't tolerate it.

Reply Score: 1