switching discs during install

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at msu.edu
Mon Sep 8 14:27:52 UTC 2008

On Sun, Sep 07, 2008 at 07:06:03AM -0400, Randy Pratt wrote:

> On Sun, 7 Sep 2008 10:22:37 +0100
> Mike Clarke <jmc-freebsd2 at milibyte.co.uk> wrote:
> > On Sunday 07 September 2008, James Strother wrote:
> > 
> > > That said, I still think that as long as the freebsd foundation
> > > distributes CD images it would be worthwhile to make them as
> > > effective as possible. Actually, even if the install were moved to a
> > > DVD, the ordered install I proposed would still improve the
> > > situation.  When the packages are haphazardly ordered on the disc,
> > > the CD/DVD reader is forced to perform a large number of seeks that
> > > dramatically reduces data throughput.  When they are read in order,
> > > read rates should be much better.
> > 
> > They might not be as haphazard as you suggest. ISTR once reading that 
> > the CDs were arranged with the most popular packages on the first CD so 
> > that you would only need to download disk 2 (and 3) if you wanted some 
> > of the less common packages. With your suggested layout it's quite 
> > likely that a package which most of the others depend on would be right 
> > down at the bottom of the list with the result that you'd invariably 
> > need to download all 3 CD images.
> > 
> > I think the best way to avoid the need for frequent CD switching would 
> > be for sysinstall to sort the list of selected packages into CD order 
> > before installing them. I imagine this would require some changes to 
> > pkg_add to prevent it from installing dependencies and I expect the 
> > possible benefits would not be considered to be sufficient to justify 
> > the effort.
> Another way to avoid switching CDs is to select an FTP server for
> installing packages.  This also avoids downloading bits you don't
> need or want.

I think the OP mentioned having a difficult or slow internet
connection as being part of the reason for the question/comment.
Although I enjoy having a 100MB line to my office into a 10GB
backbone, still not all people are that fortunate and I don't even
have a good line at home where I am still stuck with dialup (so I 
drag my machine in to the office for installs).


> There is another discussion:
>   http://docs.freebsd.org/cgi/mid.cgi?1220762797.29265.43.camel
> which would address the disk swapping by removing all the packages
> from disc1 and providing a DVD of packages that could be used
> after installation.
> HTH,
> Randy
> -- 
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