RELEASE discs & ISO images (for future)

Oliver Fromme olli at
Tue Mar 11 06:36:55 PDT 2008

Vadim Goncharov wrote:
 > Oliver Fromme wrote:
 > [...]
 > >  - Disk 1 contains everything you need to install the base
 > >    FreeBSD system, as well as a few useful packages.
 > Yes. Which?

The most important ones, including the linux base package
for the linux ABI, perl, xorg and a few other things.
Just look at the /packages subdirectory for details.

 > >  - Disk 2 and 3 just contain more packages.
 > I remember working CD-changer while install, yeah. Several times while
 > handling dependencies on first disc and second disc. Annoying.

That's right, "someone" should improve sysinstall so it
loads the packages in an optimized order, so the number
of CD changes is reduced.  If you have implemented patches
to do that, I'm sure they will be very welcome.

Until then, there are some workarounds for the problem.
For example, you can copy all packages from the CDs to
your harddisk and install from there.

 > >  - The "docs" CD only contains documentation:  Handbook,
 > >    FAQ and articles in various languages.  These are also
 > >    available online, so there's rarely a need to download
 > >    this CD.
 > It's handy for novice users to have them in base system, though.

I don't know ...  I never used them.  I think it's more
convenient to read them online.

 > > By the way, you can combine disk1 and the livefs image into
 > > a single ISO image and write it onto a DVD-R.  It won't fit
 > > on a CD-R disk, though, and that's the reason why the
 > > lifefs went onto a separate ISO image.
 > If use DVD, then all 5 disks should be combined to it for convenience.

Of course you can do that, too.

 > > > I suspect this separation is due to sizes od docs etc. - but CD drives can now
 > > > handle even 700 MBs of data, and disc1 for i386 occupies only 509M, though
 > > > disc2 is 694M, yes.
 > > As you can see, disk1 + livefs is larger than 700 MB.
 > > The docs CD is separate anyway, which is a good thing
 > > because many people won't need it.
 > And what about removing packages from disc1 ?

The question is:  What does the majority of users want?
I think there are more users who install packages than
users who want "fixit" on disk1.  In other words, more
users benefit from the packages, and for most people it
seems to be OK to have "fixit" on a separate CD.

Those who want to have a combined install+fixit CD without
packages can easily make one themselves.  Or even a DVD
with everything.  Or buy one from one of the vendors who
sell FreeBSD DVDs.

 > > > May be it is desirable to compress docs and other base system parts with
 > > > bzip2 -9 instead of gzip?
 > > What exactly would you propose to compress?  Compressing
 > > the docs isn't a good idea, because then you wouldn't be
 > > able to read them directly from the CD.  Also, as mentioned
 > > above, the docs are already on a separate CD.
 > Ideally, I want one combined disc1 + livefs + docs on a single disc1 CD.
 > This can be achieved by: changing compression from gzip to bzip2 -9 for
 > base system parts, and moving packages from disc1 to disc2. The latter has
 > additional benefit of reducing CD-changing annoyance for user during install.

It depends.  A solution that is good for you might be worse
for others.  For example, I rarely install any packages
from CD on a new system, except for linux emulation and
maybe perl.  I do not have to change CDs at all; only disc1
is required.  With your proposed change, I would need to
download an additional 700 MB ISO.  That's annoying.

I'm also not sure that using bzip2 for the base install bits
would be a good idea.  Decompression is a lot slower with
bzip2, especially on older machines.  I remember someone
tried it and reported on the lists, it was like fife times
slower, but saved only a few percent space for the base
system (which is mostly binaries and already compressed
files, like manual pages).  Not worth it.

 > There is also another idea to above: compress parts of livefs and/or docs
 > on disc1 with geom_ugz, as it is read-only anyway. This is how done in Frenzy
 > LiveCD from as old as 5.2.1-R times, allowing to fit entire base system and
 > several packages on 200MB miniCD.

You can't compress the docs CD that way, because then you
wouldn't be able to read them from another system.  The
docs must not be compressed.

As far as the live FS is concerned, yes, it might be
possible to compress it.  The performance will be worse,
and I think it also requires more RAM, but it's certainly
something that could be done.  Whether it's really worth
it is a different question.

 > > > P.S. And may be it is good also to resurrect miniinst disk for
 > > > Depenguinator project? :)
 > > Do you mean the "bootonly" CD?  It's already there.
 > Nope, "miniinst" as it was in 5.3, a 300-meg image with base-system only,
 > allowing to install without network, as "bootonly", but ports should be
 > installed from network - handy if ports are not needed.

In today's world (7.0-RELEASE) it would be more like 400 MB
which isn't really "mini".  it's not much smaller than the
current disc1 (509 MB), so it doesn't justify creating a
separate ISO, in my opinion.

Best regards

Oliver Fromme, secnetix GmbH & Co. KG, Marktplatz 29, 85567 Grafing b. M.
Handelsregister: Registergericht Muenchen, HRA 74606,  Geschäftsfuehrung:
secnetix Verwaltungsgesellsch. mbH, Handelsregister: Registergericht Mün-
chen, HRB 125758,  Geschäftsführer: Maik Bachmann, Olaf Erb, Ralf Gebhart

FreeBSD-Dienstleistungen, -Produkte und mehr:

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