I’ve been chatting in the sounder and ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing lists and something most Ubuntu users might not realize is that the Ubuntu ‘Desktop’ disks are packed almost to their limits. There is talk of removing the last remaining ‘WinFOSS’ (Firefox, Thunderbird and Abiword for Windows), but even that will only free up about 15 MB. Other tricks will free up space here and there, but eventually the 700 MB limit for CDs will be reached. So how should Ubuntu proceed?
I have made a suggestion based on a simple observation regarding consumer computers:
CD-ROMs will generally be associated with 32-bit processors. DVD-ROMs will generally be associated with 64-bit processors and newer/upgraded 32-bit systems.
Thus I proposed that:
For the 32-bit CDs, let’s have a fully functional install on a single CD. We can freeze the apps at roughly the current set and any new ones can be put in an ‘ubuntu-extras’ metapackage. 32-bit users can install the package (by themselves or by prompt at installation if they have a working network connection), but 64-bit users will have it installed by default from the DVD. This will allow a nice progression from XP-era 32-bit processor computers to a new 64-bit era (which hopefully will be software libre based :) Ubuntu development won’t be constrained to 700 MB and we can have lots of ‘WinFOSS’ on the DVDs.
I am curious to hear feedback on this from Ubuntu users out there…