RELEASE discs & ISO images (for future)

Vadim Goncharov vadim_nuclight at
Wed Mar 12 01:50:40 PDT 2008

Hi Oliver Fromme! 

On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 14:36:50 +0100 (CET); Oliver Fromme wrote about 'Re: RELEASE discs & ISO images (for future)':

>>>  - 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.

I currently have no 7.0 ISOs to look at (and contains just
symlink to all available packages, not only disc1). But I remember perl,
linux and xorg on the disc1 from 6.2 times, yes. And actually the most needed
things are just perl and linux ABI, not heavy Xorg which can be moved to
disc2 - it 

>>>  - 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.

Really, but sysinstall is just one big bunch of hackish code. The simpler way
to do this is to move packages.

> 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.

Not suitable for novice users. And those will be disattracted by CD-changing
most of all, yes.

>>>  - 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.

Because it is not your first install :) But if you do not have Internet yet,
ability to look to Handbook directly from installer is VERY valuable.

>>> 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?

Attraction. Ability to say "Wow! Their CD is SO handy, many
features on just one disk". Don't forget about advocacy and
opinionating new users.

> 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.

Yes, but: livefs and disc1 have many things in common, so placing livefs on
disc1 is much more cheaper in size than plain sum of disc1+livefs as they are
so currently.

>>>> 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've suggested above - just Xorg can be moved, perl and linux ABI are not
so big.

> 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.

Really? Have benchmarks? If it is really hust a few percent, then it is not
worth, of course.

>> 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.

Is it needed? I think that ability to read docs directly from installer is much
more handy. But if it is really critical, then separate uncompressed docs CD
could be done. Just for those, and all others can install handbook or read them
from installer from disc1 - where docs are placed on geom_ugz to both fit (good
compressable) and be available to read and install them onto hard drive (not
needing now to have separate compressed docs tarballs just for installation).

> 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.

Performance will be not so worse. As someone said, 7.0 livefs can also do
install, so real livefs part to add to disc1 is even smaller. It is possible
to compress 

>>>> 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.

OK, let it be so.

WBR, Vadim Goncharov. ICQ#166852181       mailto:vadim_nuclight at
[Moderator of RU.ANTI-ECOLOGY][FreeBSD][][LJ:/nuclight]

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