Friday, November 4, 2011

Ubuntu Says Good Bye to Compact Discs

At the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) for Precise 12.04, the developers have decided to set the target size for the default Precise ISO to 750 MB, thus ruling out the possibility to burn it on a usual 700 MB CD. There were also suggestions to go for a 1.5 GB image, but they agreed on a 750 MB image so that at least 1 GB USB drives can be used for installing Ubuntu. However, I can sense that the 1.5 GB milestone will be reached in the next 2-3 releases.

Keeping in mind that they had to drop many important applications lately, e.g. GIMP, Synaptic, Pitivi, etc., for squeezing it all in a 700 MB image, and also keeping in mind that they are now shipping Gnome 3 with Ubuntu and are forced to leave out many key features of it, e.g. Gnome Sushi, and also realizing that all the modern OS (Windows 7, Mac OSX) now come on DVDs and are sized greater than 3 GB, managing it all in 750 MB or even 1.5 GB isn't lavish at all.

With additional 50 MB of space being used, I am not hoping to see many or even any new applications being included in a default install of Ubuntu. Rather, there might be some under the hood additions, and also, the developers have possibly just ruled out one of their concerns for the Precise development cycle, as they were working on trimming the size of the image to 700 MB nearly all the time during the Oneiric cycle.

So, if you don't already have one, get your hands on a USB drive or DVD media essentials when you plan to install Precise. However, you could also opt for an oversized CD, if you don't have a DVD drive already.

Update 11/23/2012: For those of you who are still referring to the Ubuntu developers' original plan, reflected by this post, to allow ISO images greater than what would fit onto a usual 700 MB CD for Precise 12.04 already, yes, they have eventually managed to still keep those below that limit, not so for the following release though, Quantal 12.10, and we might presume for none of the releases following it either.

Source (original plan): Phoronix

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