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feedback from first time Debian CD user

I previously posted that I found discrepancies in the MD5s with 3.0 r2
ISO contents:


I haven't seen any follow-up or any notes added to
http://www.debian.org/CD/  on this matter.

Having successfully completed a few installations using these CDs, I
can confirm that the discrepancies, as suspected, appear to be
harmless, and that the md5sum.txt file included on disk 1 is probably

I still think it would be a good idea (assuming my observations are
confirmed) to add a note to http://www.debian.org/CD/.

In my previous post I also wrote:

> It'd be handy to be able to check the MD5 of the ISO images, but 
> there doesn't appear to be an md5sum.txt distributed with the 
> mirrored images, or posted on http://www.debian.org/CD/.

I did eventually run across a link to a file containing this


It seems like it would be a good idea to distribute it in the same
directory as the ISO images, in addition to it being placed with the
jigdo files.


> Which of the numerous CD images should I download? Do I need all of 
> them?
> [...]
> ...in most cases it is not necessary to download all of the images 
> for your architecture. The packages on the CDs are sorted by 
> popularity...

In retrospect, I see this same information is mentioned in the main
installation manual:


> 4.1 Official Debian GNU/Linux CD-ROM Sets
> [...]
> Although a full set of binary packages comprises of seven or more 
> CDs, it is unlikely you will need packages on the third CD and 
> above.

but I seem to have missed this brief, but important note, and I didn't
look at the CD FAQ until I had already downloaded and burnt most of the
ISO images.

In my actual installation experience, I never ended up using anything
beyond the first CD (to bring up a base web/mail/file server).

I'd recommend giving this point higher visibility. Specifically, there
are numerous mentions of jigdo and attempts to steer people towards
that solution to minimize impact on the mirrors, but if most people
realized they only needed the first CD (unless they were installing on
a machine with no possible connection to the Internet) and only
downloaded the first ISO, that too would reduce impact (providing they
use a tool that can resume downloads).

I'd probably start by mentioning that you only need the first CD in
most cases, and then recommend jigdo as the preferred solution when
downloading multiple CDs.

In addition to the installation manual and the CD FAQ, good places to
reiterate this point include:


On http://www.debian.org/CD/faq/#why-jigdo  it says:
> Why should I use this "jigdo" program? I prefer a simple HTTP or FTP 
> download!
> [...]
> Do not be afraid to try out jigdo! The complex process of generating 
> the CD image is completely hidden from you...

This argument didn't win me over. I read a fair bit about jigdo (the
mini-HOWTO) before deciding not to use it. Primarily I was interested
in determining whether additional disk space would be required, as I
was planning to download the files on a machine that had just barely
enough space to hold one ISO. It didn't sound like jigdo was a good
choice in that case.

More importantly, the multi stage process described sounded more
complex than necessary, though not having tried it, I can't say whether
it is. If I hadn't have had the disk space limitations, I probably
still wouldn't have used it for this reason, especially not if I knew I
only needed to download one ISO. More recently I ran across jigdo-easy
(http://www.uk.debian.org/~costar/jigdo/), which seems to address this,
but it isn't as easy to find and isn't mentioned on


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