RELEASE discs & ISO images (for future)

Oliver Fromme olli at
Wed Mar 12 10:49:58 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.
 > 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 

The xorg packages on disc1 occupy 54 MB.  Not really all
that much, I think.  The linux base, perl and python occupy
another 50 MB together.  The rest are small utility things
and dependencies (only a few MB).

 > > 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.

I agree.

 > The simpler way to do this is to move packages.

Moving packages would be a big hack, too.  Teaching
sysinstall to handle packages better would be a more
flexible solution.

Also keep in mind that a new installer is in the works
and will be usable "really soon", as far as I know.
I'm sure the authors are aware of the problem of
installing packages from changeable media, and that
there will be a better solution.

 > > 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.

No, it's not difficult to do that.  It's only a matter
of documentation, I think.  Users need to be made aware
of the possibilities, they need to be made aware that
they don't _have_ to install all the packages during
system installation and play CD changer monkey.

 > And those will be disattracted by CD-changing
 > most of all, yes.

That's true, unfortunately.  I hope (and I'm sure) that
the new installer will handle all of that much better.

 > > > >  - 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 :)

Right, but I didn't read them either upon my first install
15 years ago.  :-)  The first thing I did when I received
the Walnut Creek CDs was to go to and look
for docs.

 > But if you do not have Internet yet,
 > ability to look to Handbook directly from installer is VERY valuable.

I guess almost everyone has internet access somehow (at
home, at the office, at a friend, or elsewhere).

I'm not saying there should be no docs CD.  In fact the
docs CD is a very good thing.  What I'm saying is that
it doesn't have to be on the installation CD (disc1).
And you _can_ view the docs from the installer.
So I don't think there's a problem.

 > > > > 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.

That's what the DVD is good for that you can buy (or you
can easily make one yourself).  On the DVD there is enough
space for everything.

It doesn't make sense to try to cram many things on a small
CD and sacrificing usability and convenience for some or
even many users.  I think the current CD images are very
usable and convenient, especially in the way they save
download time and bandwidth.

Typically, many users only need to download disc1 and then
install software from the ports collection, or install
packages from the network.  I think only very few users
really need disk2 or disc3, or even the docs cd.
Unfortunately the download numbers from the FTP servers
don't say much, because many people blindly dowanload

 > > 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,

No, they dont.  The only thing they have in common is the
/boot directory, which is relatively small (about 30 MB).

 > > 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.

They are about the same size, see above.

 > > 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.

I can't find the article right now, I'm afraid.  :-(
When I have some time at the weekend, I might make a
little benchmark myself.

(It's a well-known fact, though, that bzip2 is _much_
slower than gzip, even in decompression.)

 > > 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?

Yes!  People need to be able to pop the docs CD into a
Windows machine, a Mac or anything else and read the docs.
The docs CD _must_ work without having to boot FreeBSD
in the first place.

 > I think that ability to read docs directly from installer is much
 > more handy.

You can already do that.

 > > 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,

Uhm, no.  There's no such thing as an installer that
installs from the live FS (the DragonFly people have
something like that).

Of course, you can manually do the whole dance from the
live FS (fdisk, bsdlabel, newfs, cpio ...), but that's
definitely not for novice users.

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:

(On the statement print "42 monkeys" + "1 snake":)  By the way,
both perl and Python get this wrong.  Perl gives 43 and Python
gives "42 monkeys1 snake", when the answer is clearly "41 monkeys
and 1 fat snake".        -- Jim Fulton

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