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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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.

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