GRUB : couple quick newbie questions...

James Wilkinson ubuntu at
Wed May 4 12:15:27 UTC 2005

kamstrup wrote:
> Slax is < 250 MB, and has a full featured desktop... How can it not be
> possible to squeeze a live-installer Ubuntu onto a cd then? An
> installer would be nothing but a bunch of Python scripts and
> .glade-files. Should be doable in under 1 MB, provided that the system
> has a layout that allows for running from cd and hd. 

Problem is that Ubuntu uses .deb packages.

Live CDs don't need packages: you upgrade them by replacing the CD. A
full install really needs some sort of packaging for managing upgrades.
And deb packages (and RPMs too, come to that) are not merely archive
formats where you can run the program from within the package: you need
to run the install scripts (and have writable filesystems so the install
scripts can do their job).

There probably are ways around this. But it involves making the job of
the packagers much more difficult, or a very smart program to be able to
take a .deb and its installed files on disk, and create a "diff" that
can recreate the original .deb from the installed package plus the

(Signed packages aren't actually a problem: you can store the signatures
separately, and if the "package recombiner" does its job well, the
signatures will match).

As I say, such a program would have to be pretty smart. And to my
knowledge, it doesn't exist. So someone would have to write it. And it
would make an install from such a CD much slower.

So it's possible. But definitely not worth it.


E-mail address: james | "This thing is bigger than the both of us!"  | "Oh Tom! It's ... it's an elephant!"

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