separate nic-*modules-udeb, remnants of the past?

Clint Byrum clint at
Thu Apr 28 16:19:09 UTC 2011

Excerpts from Timo Aaltonen's message of Thu Apr 28 03:36:17 -0700 2011:
> On 27.04.2011 18:30, Tim Gardner wrote:
> > On 04/27/2011 08:56 AM, Timo Aaltonen wrote:
> >>
> >>     Hi!
> >>
> >>    A friend of mine was pretty upset when he (and some friends of his)
> >> were unable to install Ubuntu with networking when using the netboot-
> >> and server-images. The reason for that was that jme.ko is not included
> >> in nic-modules-udeb (*). The module lists are maintained by hand,
> >> because they are split in nic-{,pcmcia,usb,shared}-modules-udeb.
> >>
> >> Colin mentioned that this was due to some images not needing all the
> >> modules, so to save space they are split this way. I checked the
> >> extracted sizes of those (i386, generic):
> >>
> >> nic-modules:        6096 kB
> >> nic-shared-modules:    719 kB
> >> nic-pcmcia-modules:    424 kB
> >> nic-usb-modules:    776 kB
> >>
> >> So, is it really worth all the trouble to save ~1.2MB (+the missing
> >> modules) on the installation media? Wouldn't it make more sense to
> >> automatically include all the drivers (and blacklist some, if necessary)
> >> so networking works regardless of the installation medium used. Working
> >> NICs are a rather critical piece of the puzzle these days :)
> >>
> >>
> >> *
> >>
> > 
> > Well, how much space _do_ we have on the server and alternate CDs ?
> > Without wireless the drivers/net directory sums to about 11Mb. The
> > minimum available space on the server and alternate CDs dictate what I
> > can do with udebs since the same kernel image is packaged on both.
> > 
> > rtg at zinc:2.6.38-9-generic$ du -sh kernel/drivers/net/
> > 16M    kernel/drivers/net/
> > rtg at zinc:2.6.38-9-generic$ du -sh kernel/drivers/net/wireless/
> > 5.2M    kernel/drivers/net/wireless/
> I've no idea, but the server folks should know, so I've added
> ubuntu-server to the recipients.
> I'd trade some server software to drivers any day, but the list might
> disagree..

Agreed 100%. The first and most important job of the server CD is to get
Ubuntu on your server and enable the hardware. After that the tasks and
such included are just mildly helpful.

I personally have always preferred minimal ISO's and installing over
the network with a primed cache or a local mirror to downloading some
ISO for hours and burning it only to not use half of the software on
it. Its not like the desktop where the thing is useless without 100MB
of office suite and 200MB of libraries.

Further, we've seen some corporate users of Ubuntu Server specifically
ask how to build their own custom repositories so they can have a static
build of the server.

With the Ubuntu Orchestra plan to integrate provisioning/network installs,
whats on the CD becomes, IMO, even less important.

I think we're going to do a seed review again in the O cycle. In addition
to deciding if things should be removed from main, maybe we should decide
on a few things to remove from the CD so we can include *all* drivers.

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