Differences between desktop/server/alternative CDs?

David M lists2006 at viewport.ukfsn.org
Thu Jun 1 19:29:23 UTC 2006

Congratulations to all Ubuntu developers in completing another release!

Excuse me for being thick, but could somebody please elaborate a little 
on the differences between the release CDs?

Desktop CD: this is the live'n'install CD with the new whizzy graphical
installer, presumably intended as the new default test/install option 
for modern computers that can handle it?

Server CD: is this literally *only* for server installs, or can a full X
user environment be installed from it as well? Is it a textual or 
graphical installer? Most importantly, how much memory does it require?

Alternative [1] CD: as well as more unusual boot options, this appears
to be the sole option for a lower-memory install (or is the Server CD 
applicable for this as well?). I'm presuming this has the 'traditional' 
textual installer?

(I ask, because I'd like to download just one CD 'in case of emergency'
which would be suitable for both my contemporary main machine and backup
older machine (128 MB RAM), just in case a reinstall is ever needed, 
although both are usually dist-upgraded via the internet)

Thanks for any clarification,


[1] Grammatical pedantry point: shouldn't this be "alternative" rather
than "alternate"? While *I* _am_ aware of the US usage of "alternate",
many English-speakers _worldwide_ (including non-native speakers) are
likely to be confused by this differing usage, reading this in the normal 
sense of "alternate" as in turn-by-turn, AC-current, etc, perhaps causing 
uncertainty as to what is really meant in this context?

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