New Programs for Hardy?

Conrad Knauer atheoi at
Thu Dec 13 08:36:50 UTC 2007

On Dec 13, 2007 1:41 AM, Mackenzie Morgan <macoafi at> wrote:

>  Until CD drives go the way of 5.25" floppy drives, I think we need to keep
> install CDs around.

A 'back of the envelope' calculation:

1. Ubuntu can still work (albeit a bit on the slow side) on a 500 MHz
machine with 256 MB RAM circa 2000 (my daughter uses such a system).
So Ubuntu still has real value for systems seven years old.

2. Windows XP, released in 2001, set the minimum baseline for computer
hardware for just over half a decade.  There is a lot of it floating
around; 32-bit single core processors, mostly 1 GB of RAM or less,
with CD-ROM drives on lower-end machines and DVD-ROMs on higher end
models.  This will be what Ubuntu will find itself installed on a lot
of over the next few years.

3. Dell (being used as an example of a major OEM) is still selling
CD-ROMs by default on their low-end *VISTA* machines.  Thus we should
expect that CD-ROMs will be around for quite a while.  However, I
think I have realized something important:

CD-ROMs will generally be associated with 32-bit processors.
DVD-ROMs will generally be associated with 64-bit processors and
newer/upgraded 32-bit systems.

So let's use that as a dividing line; let's keep the 32-bit x86 disks
as CDs, BUT... let's switch the 64-bit disks to DVDs.

> Making DVD isos with more stuff available is fine, but
> the main part of the distro should fit on a CD.

I have a suggestion that I brought up in Sounder: ubuntu-extras metapackage

For the 32-bit CDs, let's have a fully functional install on a single
CD.  We can freeze the apps at roughly the current set and any new
ones can be put in an 'ubuntu-extras' metapackage.  32-bit users can
install the package (by themselves or by prompt at installation if
they have a working network connection), but 64-bit users will have it
installed by default from the DVD.  This will allow a nice progression
from XP-era 32-bit processor computers to a new 64-bit era (which
hopefully will be software libre based :)  Ubuntu development won't be
constrained to 700 MB and we can have lots of 'WinFOSS' on the DVDs.

Does this sound like a good solution to the space issue?  I hope so :)


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