canned distribution's i86 disk space requirements?

Kael Fischer kael.fischer at
Fri Jan 13 11:58:34 PST 2006

Hi all:

I am curious as to the disk space requirements of the various "canned
distribution sets" on i86 hardware.

While the following excerpt from the Handbook
was accurate back in the day (I've been using FreeBSD since 2.2.X), it
doesn't seem to have much relationship to the "Minimal" canned
distributions in 6.0-Release.  It certainly seems that X has grown
larger than the 100 MB suggested.

> A minimal installation of FreeBSD takes as little as 100 MB of disk
> space. However, that is a very minimal install, leaving almost no
> space for your own files. A more realistic minimum is 250 MB without
> a graphical environment, and 350 MB or more if you want a graphical
> user interface. If you intend to install a lot of third party software as
> well, then you will need more space.

Does anyone know how much space Minimal, User and X-User take to
install?  This would be excellent information to have available for
the user and sysinstall itself.

What would be almost too much to hope for, would be some error
checking where the diskspace requirements of the selected packages are
compared to the requested partitioning scheme before the commit.  It
was a dream I had once...  The current failure mode is inelegant.

[this is not a flame about sysinstall...  i find it easy to use, most
of the time, and it has improved over the years.]

If someone knows the answer, let's get it into the handbook.  Or
perhaps someone has hooks for sysinstall/dist.h and dist.c that can
pull out the tar file names (e.g.,...) for various sets?  I
imagine that a basic understanding of the install process would be all
that is really needed to figure out what files are used for what sets.

Kael Fischer, Ph.D
DeRisi Lab - Univ. Of California San Francisco

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