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Media Open Source Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Won't Fit On a CD 488

Posted by timothy
from the or-on-a-floppy-disk dept.
gbl08ma writes "According to various sources, the ISO image size for the upcoming Long-Term Support Ubuntu version 'Precise Pangolin' will not fit on a regular CD, since the image size is expected to weigh around 750MB instead of the usual ~700MB. The idea is that users should either flash the image to a USB flash drive or burn it to a DVD. The extra room on the disc image could allow for integration of more GNOME3 components and Canonical applications. There was also a proposal to use a 1.5GB DVD image as the default download for Ubuntu 12.04."
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Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Won't Fit On a CD

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  • BLOOAATT (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This is proof positive that Ubuntu is officially BLOATWARE.

    • by drwho (4190)

      I agree. To big, needs to diet. But it doesn't matter, I've switch back to Debian.

    • Bloatware (Score:4, Interesting)

      by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:22AM (#37956228) Journal

      The Linux kernel is only a few megabytes. The whole thing fits easily in the L2 or L3 cache of a modern server processor. That's Really Freaking Important for geeks like me who have to build stuff at scale.

      I want to ignore your troll, but I can't. You raise an important issue, even if your motivations are suspect.

      For 20 or 30 years we've had the meme "Intel giveth and Microsoft taketh away." That's shorthand for the fact that Microsoft operating systems grow less performant at the same rate Intel processors grow more performant, and net the progress is zero. It doesn't have to be that way any more.

  • by A12m0v (1315511)

    Ubuntu doesn't need to ship with everything including the kitchen sink. Then again I'm posting this from Lion which was a 3.53GB download.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Because Fuck You, thats why. But then, that was pretty much always been the attitude of Linux developers when it comes to listening to users.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by schnikies79 (788746)

        You only wish that was a troll.

      • by JamesP (688957)

        This

        And especially true regarding Ubuntu lately

        No one in their right mind would ship Pulseaudio (amongst other things)

        But of course, to hell with the user

  • CD? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arbiter1 (1204146) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @12:24AM (#37955276)
    what in the world is a CD? some old tech that is not pontless anymore like an 8track or VHS tape?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Belial6 (794905)
      No. CDs are an old tech that happen to work in DVD players.
    • My son was born after we stopped using our VHS tapes and he thinks they must have stored thousands of movies, given their size. And yeah, blank DVDs are now easier top buy and I usually netboot the ubuntu livecd anyway,

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Darinbob (1142669)

        I still have CD's not used, and they're still cheaper, and more likely to just work on older computers.

    • Re:CD? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Air-conditioned cowh (552882) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @03:19AM (#37956050)
      CDs are silver disky type things that don't take as long to burn as DVDs do. I'm impatient when I am installing an OS!
    • by tepples (727027)
      A CD is the older version of a DVD that holds only 700 MB and therefore uses much less of a 5 GB/mo cap to download and burn than a CD does.
  • The last time I burned a CD was years and years ago. With a USB key drive (4 GB) going for $5 now, who would?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05, 2011 @12:29AM (#37955310)

      Older hardware which (surprisingly!) still does well with Linux, but doesn't have the capability to boot from USB - that's why you would need a CD. A DVD is probably a good-enough alternative as well since DVD drives have been pretty standard for many, many years.

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Saturday November 05, 2011 @01:46AM (#37955694) Journal

        Yeah but the problem with that is this: what's the first thing to go out on a DVD/CDRW or a DVD burner? the ability to read DVDs. I don't know how many machines I'd had through the shop that would read and burn CDs just fine but the DVD would be crapped out.

        So what is wrong with giving folks choice, isn't that is what FOSS is supposed to be out, choice? Why not have a 2 CD set AND a DVD with everything but the kitchen sink, why not that?

        Of course I'll probably get hate for daring to even say the user should have choice, I don't know what happened to the community but it just don't seem like a nice place anymore. Now it seems to be too many have this "You'll take this and do it our way and damned well LIKE it or STFU and go back to windblowz luser" attitude, like FOSS is an exclusive club and they're the gatekeepers or something.

        I used to love keeping up with what's new and thought back in 03 that by this time we'd see Linux boxes in every store, but somewhere along the ways the ground turned sour and the community seems to me to be more about being in a club than helping FOSS spread to the masses.

        • by kdemetter (965669) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @02:03AM (#37955750)

          You have a choice. You can implement it yourself ( or wait until someone does it for you )
          Really, i have been burning the Ubuntu iso's on DVD since a long time : they boot up faster than CD's .

          The problem with FOSS is that everyone wants the benefits, but no one wants to be part of it. And then you complain when they don't do it the way you like it.

          • The problem with FOSS is that everyone wants the benefits, but no one wants to be part of it. And then you complain when they don't do it the way you like it.

            That's not entirely true. I'm, for the most part, a FOSS user and I love the benefits it provides. Yet, while I want to be part of it and contribute (and i know i cant be the only one), I don't. why? I don't have neither the resources, nor the required skill set to do it. I'm definitely not rich, so hiring someone to make the mods for me is out of the question. And being a PhD student, having the time to make said implementations is out of the question, let alone learning the required languages and skills

        • Umm, you have a choice? You can use an old release, go to a different distro (that different distro could be better targeted at old hardware even), or package up your own release (or take the released image and remove some packages to trim it down for your own needs).

          In this case I don't see it making a lot of sense to make it not CD size just for 50 megabytes worth of data but I also don't think the user is entitled to ubuntu on a CD or that it's a project requirement for ubuntu.

          It's not like the project i

        • by peppepz (1311345) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:31AM (#37956258)
          You still have so many choices for installing Ubuntu, that you won't find in many non-FOSS products:
          - You can use the alternate text-mode Ubuntu installation CD.
          - You can boot Windows and then install Ubuntu from there, using the Windows installer.
          - You can install an older version of Ubuntu and dist-upgrade it in place.
          - You can boot the USB image using a GRUB floppy or CD image.
          - You can borrow an USB dvd reader for the first installation (hey, if you have defective hardware, you might expect to be required to have the proper tools to overcome your problems).
        • Gosh, someone sure likes to swap? I remember this kinda stuff from the days of floppies... a two floppy OS was NOT fun.

          The trick for a distro has always been about supporting the old and the new. At a given point it is time to give up your 386 with its 1 speed CD player and buy a new computer. At least if you want to use a distro that has made it VERY clear that it is no longer aimed at weirdos. After all, how you are you going to run Unity on that old PC of yours?

          Time to seek a new distro. One that doesn't

      • by afabbro (33948)

        Older hardware which (surprisingly!) still does well with Linux

        But with Ubuntu?

    • by RightwingNutjob (1302813) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @01:07AM (#37955504)
      People who need/want read-only media that can't have malware inserted into it by the CVS photo printer and other people's computers...
      • by sconeu (64226)

        You know, you *CAN* get a flash drive with a physical write-protect switch [pqi.com.tw].

        • by X0563511 (793323) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @02:08AM (#37955770) Homepage Journal

          I've yet to see any of those do anything but set a flag the OS can (and will, if infection is your concern) ignore.

          • by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @09:19AM (#37957254)

            Actually you're thinking of the SD card. The SD card is a simple flash memory with a toggle switch that relies on a controller a) recognises that the card has the switch flipped to read only and b) sends a signal to the OS.

            USB on the other hand is not a direct link to the storage medium, and has hardware flash controllers onboard. The more expensive ones implement this properly, the cheaper ones actually hard limit the R/W line going to the chip. The cheap solution is robust but also easily visible because the OS doesn't know it's read-only. When you try writing to the drive you end up with a weird failed message.

      • The Confederate Veterans Society hasn't been active in over a century.

    • My Vaio Z doesn't boot from USB. That's incredibly weird, since it's a "premium" high-spec machine, but it makes using Linux a pain in the ass. (So does their disregard of TRIM in favor of a custom SSD garbage-collection system, and their proprietary switchable graphics, and their out-of-the-box RAID 0'd SSD's, and...) It's like Sony had a serious case of NIH syndrome.
      • by X0563511 (793323) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @02:10AM (#37955774) Homepage Journal

        It's Sony. Are you really surprised? They seem to have some kind of fetish for making their own proprietary "solutions" when better open solutions are already available. Hardly a new phenomena.

        • by Darinbob (1142669) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @03:26AM (#37956070)

          CD's just work. Newer stuff may be nice but PCs really are not standardized in any meaningful way. Booting via USB tends to be one of those things that is spotty. Some will boot on USB but only certain USB devices (ie, hard drives and removable disk drives, but not other mass storage like thumb drives). Some PCs may do this just as a security measure. PCs are not thrown away and replaced every year either, and we've gone from thumb drives being tiny and expensive to large and cheap in less than the typical life time of a PC.

          Also this is Linux. Linux is very often put on older computers that people would otherwise throw away because it won't run the latest Windows very well. Those older PCs are much more likely to not support booting from thumb drives.

  • by rsborg (111459) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @12:26AM (#37955294) Homepage

    This might get me downrated, but honestly, I don't think Ubuntu is for everyone. I do think that Canonical wants to stay relevant with those folks who have 5 year old or younger machines.

    If you need a Linux distro that fits on a CD drive, there are other options, but just about every machine in the past 5-6 years boots off a USB key or DVD drive. Some newer machines like netbooks and macbook airs don't (and have never) come optical drives (hell I have a toshiba portege from 2001 without optical media).

  • If the plan to use a 1.5GB default image goes through that will wreck havoc on the mirroring network. That's essentially doubling the size of the default ISO and will likely cause for some annoyed users waiting for the download. They're doing it wrong if they can't fit it on a CD.
    • by RulerOf (975607)
      Does that really matter that much? I can't recall the last time I didn't opt for the torrent download. It's always been the fastest way for me to get it, and I suspect the same is true in most situations.
  • Mint (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Squiddie (1942230) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @12:28AM (#37955304)
    This is one of the many reasons why Mint is now more popular than Ubuntu.
  • Practically speaking and forgetting every small petty argument. What would it take to make ubuntu (Or any other linux Distro) a mainstream desktop OS. (Highlight DESKTOP) If you were in charge of it or could give it direction what would you do to make it work, accepted and profitable. I am hoping this will be an interesting exercise.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm using ubuntu since version 6, now 10.04 - it took some time to get audio right on my machine (fujitsu siemens Xi2428, older laptop), but one of the things I like most about linux is that once it's configured properly, it will stay that way. It will not get slower over time, or suddenly change behavior, like windows (although the last version of windows I used is XP, and still do, in Virtualbox).

      I think Ubuntu 10.04 is a very nice looking desktop OS, it just works, everytime, no surprises. It's ideal for

      • Windows Vista was a hog, but Windows 7 will run on any system that Ubuntu does, and runs well on the same systems, although you may have to disable Aero. The Windows 8 developer preview is actually faster and uses less memory that Windows 7, but it does require a "DirectX 9" graphics card (most anything 2002+), as the graphics are 100% 3D-accelerated.

        Win7 also remarkably stable from what I've seen for the past 2 years or so. It's not subject to the junk XP was, like having to run ipconfig /flushdns (or rebo

    • by Myopic (18616)

      Mainstream? As in, used by a majority of worldwide users? It would take a couple decades being pushed by a leading technology company. It's a moot question, though, because the desktop is no longer the primary platform on which users use software. Today that platform is the web, and so far we have managed not to fork or otherwise divide the web, which is a real possibility.

    • API. Successfull modern platforms (Android, iPhone) have nice clean API. Ubuntu doesn't have any, it is chaotic mess of hundreds of APIs for various tools. It was OK back in '90, but not today. If Ubuntu want to win developers over Android / iPhone, it should provide single, unified and simple API (with Eclipse-based IDE) with full ecosystem of applications developed with it. If I was in charge, I would go with Java with additional ubuntu/Linux jars for lower level and system tasks.
    • Install Xubuntu instead. Seriously, it's awesome.

    • I was going to respond "get for-pay apps in the Software Center" but then I looked and that's in there now. I just came back from Debian so I didn't know. There needs to be a lot more of these for-pay apps, and they need to not suck. Ubuntu needs commercial apps that make money, and not just a little. They need an "Angry Birds" breakout success story to bait the masses of developers needed to make a successful ecosystem. That's probably the only thing Old Sweaty was ever right about. This isn't going t

  • ...I actually used a CD to burn a Linux image... it's been DVD for at least six years...

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I've found that to be rather hit or miss. The utilities don't work reliably and often times I end up having to redo it several times before it works. At least for the utility that they used to use for booting Ubuntu off a USB stick.

  • From cdrecord man page:

    -overburn
    Allow wodim to write more than the official size of a medium. This feature is usually
    called overburning and depends on the fact that most blank media may hold more space than
    the official size. As the official size of the lead-out area on the disk is 90 seconds
    (6750 sectors) and a disk usually works if there are at least 150 sectors of lead out,
    all media may be overburned by at least 88 seconds (6600 sectors). Most CD recorders
    only do overburning in SAO or RAW mode. Known exceptions are TEAC CD-R50S, TEAC CD-R55S
    and the Panasonic CW-7502. Some drives do not allow to overburn as much as you might
    like and limit the size of a CD to e.g. 76 minutes. This problem may be circumvented by
    writing the CD in RAW mode because this way the drive has no chance to find the size
    before starting to burn. There is no guarantee that your drive supports overburning at
    all. Make a test to check if your drive implements the feature.

    • Re:overburn! (Score:4, Informative)

      by dotancohen (1015143) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:31AM (#37956420) Homepage

      Overburn is a great option, but it does _not_ work with name-brand media. Cheap CD media has a lot of overburn space because the manufacturing process is, well, cheap and the tolerances are not strict. Therefore the manufactures leave a lot of overburn space that may or may not be useful. With these you can get anywhere from 750-780 MB on a disk. The name-brand CDs are manufactured to ISO 900x specs, so they can bring the tolerances way down. You might not be able to go above 720 MB on some of these.

      Note that no matter which type of disc you overburn, the end might not be readable! I hope that something nonessential is way out there on the end, and that the installer knows how to handle a non-read potion of the end of the disc.

  • by DiegoBravo (324012)

    Ok, use a DVD, now you have space for whatever Unity/Gnome3... AND Gnome 2.

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @12:59AM (#37955464) Homepage

    This is ridiculous, CDs cost the same as DVDs and if your computer has a optical drive and is new enough that you should be using normal Ubuntu instead of one of its builds designed for low spec systems then you have a DVD drive (and a few gigs is nothing for a USB stick).
    I have been burning CD images to DVDs for like 5+ years now, because unless you want compatibility with really old systems there is no reason not to and lets face it Ubuntu is not really even compatible with these systems in the first place.

    So I cannot even imagine one person being inconvenience by this.

    Now significantly increasing the size will effect download time, but once it is on a HD 700MB or 1.5G are both so insignificant that it does not really matter.

    • by epyT-R (613989)

      it's not whether it fits on a cd or not it's about size creep.

      • I remember back when DOS 3.3 came on three (3) high density 3.5" floppy disks...and all computers did back then was compute and all they do now is compute...
        • by epyT-R (613989)

          I don't mind if software grows in size, but these days it just seems to grow out of control while keeping roughly the same feature sets.

          • by geekmux (1040042)

            I don't mind if software grows in size, but these days it just seems to grow out of control while keeping roughly the same feature sets.

            The fact that Ubuntu is on revision 12.x and has just now BARELY escaped the media size it originally came out on, they're doing a hell of a lot better than most. Some growth is expected, and not really the fault of the Ubuntu team(they're at the mercy of package developers too).

            By comparison, Adobe Reader used to be a 5MB installer. Now the damn thing is well over 50MB, and it still does the exact same thing; Read PDFs. Talk about bloatware...

      • Size creep in inevitable. The current 700MB image has already undergone about a 700 times size creep from early operating systems and it will continue.
        Ubuntu is designed for running on the common everyday computer and as time goes on that gets more powerful. And not to mention there are still tons of hardware specs it does not function perfectly on and more being created every day so if nothing else adding more drivers to the image will creep the size.

        Or do you actually think that "Nobody will ever need mor

  • by antdude (79039) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @01:15AM (#37955540) Homepage Journal

    I like Debian's net-install to get the latest packages since stable ISOs are usually outdated. :( Obviously, if you have fast Internet connection.

    • by cnvogel (3905)

      I recently reinstalled Oneric/ia64 on a few machines because of the recently included gcc-arm packages which always were a pain to self-compile.

      I added a http-proxy (squid) on my local fileserver/NAS and used the netinstall through that proxy: No duplicate downloads, up to date packages for everything and I could start installing without waiting for the .ISO to finish downloading.

      I highly recommend that method, and it should work for most distributions out there, possibly even for WindowsUpdate ;-)

  • I always burned the CD ISO to DVD because it would install faster and with less noise.
  • It is time to finally move away from Ubuntu. Thank you, Canonical, for all the fish.
  • by Trogre (513942) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @03:10AM (#37956022) Homepage

    It's about time distro makers stopped restricting their content to what they can cram within the artificial limitations of 700MB. Pretty much every desktop and laptop computer since, what, 2004 has had a DVD reader.

    I've always felt that the Ubuntu DVD ISOs were a bit of an afterthought. Hopefully this will now change.

  • Dump Unity off the image. Everyone wins.

  • Bloat (Score:3, Interesting)

    by apharmdq (219181) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:02AM (#37956166)

    Slackware ships on a DVD, and a full install is about 5-6 GB. But it certainly isn't bloated. It's one of the quickest and most stable distributions I've used, so I hesitate to say that adding more stuff to the Ubuntu install justifies people calling it bloated. Ubuntu's selection of software is still conservative in quantity. If anything would be blamed on bloat, it would be implementing it in such a way that it negatively affects your system's performance. So if they're adding unnecessary things to the system startup, or a lot of background processes that you don't use, then that would be bloat. (In Ubuntu's case, this has been happening, but it started long before they ever decided to ship a release that was too large for a cd.)

  • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @04:36AM (#37956268)
    How hard is it to put the optional stuff on a second CD? Make sure you can run a low spec PC off the first CD and put all the higher spec stuff on the second one. People will have the choice to use either the DVD, only the first CD, or the two (or more) CDs. RedHat has been doing multiple CDs for years and years....
  • by Aranadur (2500196) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:36AM (#37956442)
    If they don't include Gnome 2 in the new Ubuntu version with LTS, we will see mass migration to Linux Mint. Already Linux Mint gained 40% in a single month, 'cause of the Unity & Gnome 3 debacle. I wonder when the Ubuntu decision makers are going to realise, how bad their new Desktop Environment is.
  • by tholme (1385629) on Saturday November 05, 2011 @05:51AM (#37956482)
    Why won't ubuntu just do as fedora has done? use xz compression on the squashfs image. The live image for fedora is now 565 MB, but would have been more than 700MB if using gzip compression as ubuntu does. Reading from cd/dvd or even flash drives and harddrives (except ssds) are so slow compared to the cpu today anyway, so it would probably be faster in most cases.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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