Size limits for images in xenial and beyond?

Steve Langasek steve.langasek at
Mon May 2 00:35:08 UTC 2016

Hi folks,

It's been several years now since the last time the Ubuntu desktop fit on a
CD and we raised the limit for oversized images.  However, while we had a
roadmap for a few cycles for how to raise the limit gradually to keep
healthy pressure in place, we've gone past the end of that and daily images
have been reporting as "oversized" for quite a while now.

This generates daily emails to members of the release team and cdimage team,
which then basically are seeing no follow-up because we know nobody cares
about these limits but no one has set new ones.

I've finally gone ahead and bumped the limit on Ubuntu desktop images,
shortly before xenial release, to 2GB for a minimally-sized USB stick; this
gives us a new limit that I think we will care about, while also leaving us
headroom so we're not constantly fighting it back down to the line (current
images are ~1.4GB).

But Ubuntu Desktop is not the only image that's oversized according to the
stated limits - there are lots of others (see attached mail).  As all of
these images have been released with 16.04, it's clear that these limits
aren't important to the owners of those products either.

Can I ask flavor leads to please reply to this email and answer two

  - What should the size limit be for your images, for 16.04 and later?
  - Do you want to be subscribed to the email notifications of oversized
    images - and if so, what address?

For maintainability purposes, it would be helpful if we didn't have too many
different per-flavor image limits.  I'd recommend using one of the limits
already present in our checks:

  1GiB (not GB - technically this means it doesn't fit on a 1GB USB stick,
    but who has 1GB USB sticks anymore?)
  1224MiB (? should probably be made 1.2GiB...)
  1.46GB (mini DVD)
  2GB (== 2GB USB stick)
  DVD (4590208KiB)

OTOH those are some pretty big jumps in between, so if a flavor wanted to
scale in, say, 100MB or 200MB increments, that would probably be ok... but
please, let's not keep mixing MiB and MB everywhere :)

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                          
slangasek at                                     vorlon at
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