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    Monday, 13 September 2004

    Do we want sarge to fit on a single DVD?

    I've been talking to one of the UK Debian CD/DVD sellers about the sarge release. Woody sold well as a DVD set - binaries on one CD and source on another. Sarge, of course, is a lot bigger. I've been looking into the issues in creating DVDs. What would be really nice would be selling sarge on dual-layer DVDs in the same way. It would be slightly more expensive to produce, but end users installing sarge would have an easy time - boot a single disc and just hit go.

    However, we have a problem. DVD sizes are complex:

    • DVD5 is a single-sided, single-layer disc that holds 4.7 billion bytes (NOT 4.7GB)
    • DVD10 is a double-sided, single-layer disc that holds 9.4 billion bytes (i.e. just two DVD5 discs glued back-to-back)
    • DVD9 is a single-sided, double-layer disc that holds 8.5 billion bytes, 4.25 billion bytes per layer
    • DVD18 is a double-sided, double-layer disc that holds 17 billion bytes (again, two DVD9s back-to-back)

    (DVD18 is apparently very much a deprecated format. While there are no problems with drives reading them, manufacturing is a pig and there are reliability problems with the discs.)

    With the above in mind, I'm hoping that we can fit sarge on a single DVD9 for binaries. Double-sided DVD10 discs are not ideal for installation; users will have to flip discs while installing. BUT: we have a problem. Fitting sarge onto a DVD9 is going to be awkward. The latest test images I've created don't fit for several of the architectures:

    alpha/alpha-1 8471242752 bytes
    arm/arm-1 7612305408 bytes
    hppa/hppa-1 8148635648 bytes
    i386/i386-1 8735232000 bytes
    ia64/ia64-1 9016291328 bytes
    m68k/m68k-1 8810422272 bytes
    mips/mips-1 7869827072 bytes
    mipsel/mipsel-1 7720431616 bytes
    powerpc/powerpc-1 10134548480 bytes
    powerpc/powerpc-2 355729408 bytes
    s390/s390-1 8079792128 bytes
    sparc/sparc-1 8143155200 bytes
    src/src-1 9058893824 bytes

    I'm not sure where to go from here. Powerpc is HUGE!; i386 doesn't fit either. Those are the 2 architectures I'm really targeting with this to start with. Maybe it's time to start excluding things from the DVD build. We've done that before when doing CD releases, but it's not something to do lightly.

    23:14 :: # :: /debian/issues :: 4 comments