RELEASE discs & ISO images (for future)

Vadim Goncharov vadim_nuclight at
Fri Mar 14 03:38:46 PDT 2008

Hi Oliver Fromme! 

On Wed, 12 Mar 2008 18:49:53 +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 
> 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).

But that is still valuable if geom_ugz is in use.

> 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.

This will surely not be finished before 8.0, and having improvements
(even slight) in 7.1 and 6.4 is needed too.

>>> 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.

No. Novice user should be provided with less painful way. Making them to read
docs before _and_ preparing space on hard drive is too disappointing.

>>>>>  - 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.

Tempora mutantur. Users nowadays rarely go for docs in first place. They
need understandable guide exactly in process.

>> 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).

No, that doesn't matter. If user have only one computer online with
Internet, and during install previous operating system is of course
unavailable, then Internet (and docs on www!) is also unavailable.
So where would you browse the docs in the process except the installer
itself and first disk?

> 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.

Oh, HOW ? Is there something more than a little help provided by F1 in

>>>>> 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.

Agreed, but CDs still will be an option for a long time. And care must be taken
for those users who don't need packages and don't want to download DVD.

> 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.

Not SO very :)

> 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
> everything.

You again forget about advocacy, new users coming from other OSes and
possibly comparing with some Linux distros. Imagine a review like this:
"That SuSe or Debian are wonderful with great number of software instantly
available and with this FreeBSD I must wait for download and then compile?!
Such shit! Don't use it, if they can't do this, they can't do other usable

>>> 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).

And what about at least shell and some other tools? This _can_ be 
combined, as previous releases have proven.

>>> 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.

Would be godd, I'll wait :)

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

Ive already agreed with this :)

>>> 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.

So, let it be available alone. But that's not sounts for duplicating docs on

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

How? How many?..

>>> 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.

So, livefs still contains base system available for install, just as disc1 ? :)

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

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