Installing recommends and the CD size

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at
Wed Aug 13 14:55:54 BST 2008

Michael Vogt [2008-08-08 21:40 +0200]:
> But it feels to me like we are also doing it now because of size
> constrains on the CD. 

That's actually not quite true. We didn't *drop* those extra
features/packages, we just didn't *add* them now.

That problem is not related at all to the semantics of Recommends,
it has been existing forever in Ubuntu.

> I would like to discsuss alternative solutions for this problem:
> * we could make the CD image scripts not install recommends by
> default and add a hook similar to the language pack downloads that
> offers to download and install the missing bits. I think if we are
> careful with what we allow in here the size that is going to be
> downloaded is in the range of ~20mb (and its fully optional).

That feels like a bad solution to me. Then the CD wouldn't provide a
complete desktop any more, but people would feel urged to download
lots of stuff afterwards and wonder why they just downloaded/installed
a CD. It would make the CD less useful for offline installations.

> * we could build the CD without recommends and have additional dvd or
> 1gb usb stick images that contain the missing recommends so that
> people with more BW can just get those

I'd rather provide a complete 1 GB install image than just an "addon"
image, since it's much easier to handle. (Provided that we can afford
the mirror space, etc.)

However, given that we get quite a lot of feedback on CDs, and have
trouble finding DVD testers, I'd like to keep the images as small as
possible. I guess it's similar to websites, every additional 100 MB
costs you so many (100K? million?) downloaders because it's too much
for their bandwidth/quota.

My feeling is that part of Ubuntu's success is that it is slick and
small, not overloaded with features, quick to download, and has one
tool for one purpose (our original design goal). I appreciate that we
can't always follow the latter, since upstream imposes a lot of weird
stuff on us (like forcing us to install three HTML rendering engines
on CDs, xulrunner, gtkhtml, and now webkit, or quite a lot of
programming languages (Mono, JRE, Python, etc), but our constant
struggle for space forces us to stay aware of these issues, sort them
out as soon as possible, and keeps us from building up too much cruft.
As such, the limited CD space has its advantages, too.


Martin Pitt                        |
Ubuntu Developer (  | Debian Developer  (
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 197 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
Url : 

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list