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Which kernels to include on ISOs? (Was: Re: Netboot Xen images for amd64)

[adding debian-cd. The context is trying to figure out how to support
installation from CD/DVD into a Xen guest -- this requires a PAE
(==686-bigmem) kernel for 32 bit to run under Xen, both for the
installer itself and the final target kernel, hence the is a need to
either fit a 686-bigmem-di udeb + regular 686-bigmem deb onto an
existing CD/DVD or swap out the 686 kernel for 686-bigmem on the DVD or
create a new CD1 variant just for Xen or some other option I hasn't
occurred to be yet ]

On Sat, 2009-04-18 at 12:49 +0200, Frans Pop wrote: 
> Also note that adding the 686-bigmem kernel to CD images still has a 
> rather high impact (as you'd need to add both the kernel udeb _and_ the 
> regular kernel-image deb), which is rather undesirable for both the 
> netinst CD and the regular CD1. In the first case because of the size 
> increase it would cause [1], in the second case because it would push 
> packages important for the desktop task off CD1.
> Even the DVD1 image is getting tight as we currently support installation 
> of _all_ desktop environments from it. The margin for businesscard images 
> depends mainly on the capacity of actual businesscard sized media.

I've been thinking about this some more and I wonder if 486 + 686 is
still the best option for DVD1 -- as opposed to 486 + 686-bigmem.

IMHO the set of machines which benefit from a 686 kernel but are unable
to run a 686-bigmem kernel is already small and getting smaller. I
reckon those machine would be fine with a 486 kernel anyway, the 686
optimisations don't buy you that much and SMP-but-non-PAE machine are an
even smaller set (if such a thing even exists, I'm not sure).

New machines these days already have 1-2G as a pretty basic minimum and
I predict that when squeeze arrives getting on for 4G will be a common
default. A PAE kernel starts to become necessary around 3.5G anyway due
to the PCI hole and even for machines with <3.5G of RAM you get things
like NX support thrown in.

The 686 kernel is still just an aptitude run away.


Ian Campbell

In West Union, Ohio, No married man can go flying without his spouse
along at any time, unless he has been married for more than 12 months.

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