Thursday, June 07, 2012

Rethinking Ubuntu's ISO image size

With Ubuntu 12.04, we've officially broken the 700MB CD size limit. Ubuntu used to be guaranteed to come in a single CD. Now, we're required to use a USB key or burn onto a DVD instead.

It's inevitable seeing how things tend to grow in size over time. We can't expect to stay with a 700MB limit forever. It was fun while it lasted.

But it does make life a tad less convenient. USB keys can have their contents corrupted. DVDs seem like such a waste of 4GB of space.

And here we have a blueprint to reduce the number of desktop images (to just 1, if possible). Yet, the proposed limit is a strange 800MB. And to drop the DVD image. Why not just make 4GB the new limit while we're at it?

4GB is FAT32's filesize limit and it fits a DVD with still plenty of room to spare. USB keys larger than 4GB are plenty and inexpensive nowadays, too. It seems the next reasonable size limit after 700MB.

If the point is to reduce the total number of images then 4GB should give more room for fitting packages for various architectures together (amd64, i386, maybe ARM?).

Well, we'll see when October comes and Ubuntu 12.10 is finally available for the masses.