DVD images for LTS point releases

Steve Langasek steve.langasek at ubuntu.com
Tue Aug 24 07:29:22 BST 2010

On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 03:08:05AM -0400, Jorge O. Castro wrote:
> > I know creating DVDs for each point release is a huge task, as it
> > doubles our workload, and given they aren't downloaded nearly as much, I
> > don't think we would do that.

> As someone not familiar with what it takes to push out images I think
> it would be nice to know what it takes to to push out an image, and I
> don't mean from a "link me to docs" perspective as much from a "what
> kind of work does it take for people and how long?" perspective.

> I personally had no idea that a DVD image doubled the workload, from
> my simplistic perspective it's just a CD image with a few more
> language packs added on. Also, I have zero clue how derivatives and
> other non-default images affect teams around the project.

> (I am not trying to be facetious or a smart ass, but wow when you said
> each DVD point release doubles your workload, OUCH.)

Only a limited number of images are included in the point release;
specifically we only prepare point release images for those flavors which
are LTS, plus community-supported images on request of the owning teams if
there's a committment from the community to validate them for release.  In
the case of 10.04.1, this is a total of 11 CDs.

So if we added another CD flavor to the point release on two architectures
(i386 and amd64), the work involved (ISO mastering, testing, publishing)
would be increased by about 18%.

But DVDs are not just "another CD flavor"; they're over 5x the size (meaning
~5x the download time and ~5x the build time), they take longer to install,
we have a smaller pool of people who are even *able* to test them for us
with a quick turnaround, and they include many more packages that then have
to be kept in sync in the archive for point release preparation - which
means more handholding and more risk of having to respin the images.

All this adds up to make DVDs much more time-consuming to prepare than the
equivalent CDs, particularly for a point release when the -updates queue is
never completely frozen.

So yeah, 2x the workload is about right IME.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek at ubuntu.com                                     vorlon at debian.org
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