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Re: Wheezy release: CDs are not big enough any more...

+++ Steve McIntyre [2012-05-15 13:38 +0100]:
> [ re-adding CC to debian-cd and debian-boot ]
> 2. USB-targeted images
> I've also tweaked DVD#1 of each set to fit in 4GB instead of the
> normal 4.7GB, so that it fits on a 4GB USB stick to make it more
> useful. We could quite readily produce (say) 2GB images specifically
> designed for smaller USB sticks if enough people consider that to be
> useful. I'm thinking that would be a specific single extra
> image. Thoughts?

I have always installed from USB stick (or SD card) on everything for
the last several years. It must be 4 years since I used a CD or DVD.
Especially on dev boards (x86 or arm) that is usually the only medium
slot you have. I assume this is common.

And the USB-stick process is not as simple as it might be because you
have to find the HD-media files and then _also_ find an iso image to
put on. It's no wonder newbs are still downloading CD/DVD images. 

Only last night I tried to install current testing to an intel dev
board. I tried using unetbootin which is a great way of making the
USB-key install process less cryptic, but for some reason it failed to
get unstable images, and could only manage testing ones. (I'll check
that and file a bug tonight).

I think we could usefully focus on making the USB-stick/MMC card
experience simple as that covers an awful lot of modern use-cases. It
currently feels like a bit of a 'poor relation'.

That might mean recommending the use of Unetbootin (and making sure it
works), or providing complete say 2G and 4G images and some simple way
of burning them. Maybe a 'debianised' version of unetbootin that just
provides debian images and hides most of the gory details, but will
help stop you shooting yourself in the foot?

It looks to me like we have all the parts for that, it's just the
emphasis needs changing, or maybe even just the docs updating (I may
not be doing this the easiest way - it's not totally obvious from the
debian download page what to do - AIUI you have to read the install docs,
and understand to download the hd-media files (either the image gzip
or the files) and an iso from somewhere else and put it all on the

> 3. Which installer image(s) should we link to as preferred?
> We're currently linking to the multi-arch amd64/i386 netinst CD from
> the front of www.debian.org. I think that's still a good choice, but
> I'm open to being convinced otherwise.

add a netinst USB image would be a good thing IMHO. Along with the
equivalent tool to a CDburner to make it painless. Maybe even make
netinst USB sticks the default over CDs? And try to hide the
'hd-media' name at least in initial download selection, because it is
geek-accurate, but rather confusing to a newcomer. 


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