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Re: What CDs and DVDs should we produce for lenny?



On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 01:39:40PM +0000, Steve McIntyre wrote:
> [ /me sets the Reply-To: to debian-cd again... ]

But not Mail-Followup-To:...

> >At a bare minimum:
	- installer - downloadable      (business card)
	- installer+base - downloadable (netinst)
> >	- CD - disk 1 downloadable, disk 2+ jigdo-only
> >	- DVD - disk 1 downloadable, disk 2+ jigdo-only
> >	- BD - one image jigdo-only
> >That's 25MB + 650MB + 4GB of images per-arch, for about 61GB in total,
> >plus a whole bunch of jigdo images (about 500?).

So more like 25 + 150 + 650 + 4000 = 4825 per arch, for about 63GB in
total. Either way.

> >Is it possible to create a jigdo image without creating the full
> >ISO? ie, to go from a list of files you want on the ISO straight to a
> >jigdo template without the intervening step of actually copying all the
> >files around?
> Oh, absolutely. That's one of the biggest changes I made in
> debian-cd/mkisofs to improve performance. However... if we want to
> continue providing torrent downloads (which are very popular, I
> understand) then we do still need to make the full images too.

So, there's three user scenarios, I guess:

	- great network access, download everything directly (netinst
	  gets the process started quickest, and downloading everything
	  is fine)

	- good network access but don't want to download debs multiple
	  times, or want to download in bulk in advance (run a proxy or
	  mirror; or download DVD/CD images, and use them)

	- bad network access (buy/download everything on DVD/CD/BD and use
	  it to install, or populate a local mirror)

And there's four ways we can get debs to people:

	- regular archive (apt, netinst, jigdo)
	- raw images (download via cd mirrors)
	- torrented images (download via cd torrents)
	- vendors burn images and mail them to people

If you're buying/mailing images, it's out of our hands, provided vendors
can get images in the first place, so ignore that. Our regular archive
is already mostly optimised, so the more people using it, the better;
that's just a matter of more jigdo use, afaics.

That leaves us with torrent and http iso downloaders -- possible lots or
possibly not too many depending on whether we can make jigdo any easier.
But I don't think there's any way to avoid that, it's just a question
of how many, isn't it?

I guess there's an inequality like:

	images on mirrors <= images on torrents <= images via jigdo

And images on torrents = images you have to generate. And the inequalities
go the other way too:

	ease of downloading >= ease of torrenting >= ease of jigdoing

and the real question is where you say "if you really want the 23rd CD
for mipsel, you're probably smart/dedicated enough to use jigdo".

The other thing we /could/ do is encourage people who've done successful
Debian installs to help contribute by participating in a torrent after
the fact -- you could do all sorts of things like have a FUSE filesystem
that takes a (partial) mirror and a jigdo file and lets you see fake iso
files, which you then seed via bittorrent, eg. You could automate that,
so it's just a question like the popcon one: "Do you wish to participate
as a torrent seed for other people installing Debian? Yes [No]"

Another option would be a jigdo firefox plugin -- even if a pure
javascript jigdo turns out too hard, a plugin ought to be pretty
easy. Otherwise there's Java potentially, but at that point you start
getting into OS-specific scenarios, and worrying about ActiveX or .NET
and installers or whatever, at which point things get too hard. :-/

I guess another option would be to have a virtual appliance that will
do all the jigdo stuff for you by running a cut down Debian in a virtual
machine (vmplayer, qemu, etc) and generating the isos for you.

Hrm. In the real world, does jigdo actually saturate broadband bandwidth?
It's been a long time since I've tried it, but I vaguely remember it
not actually being very speedy. Ah, it was the "stop downloading, add
files to image" that used to slow things down, but seem less of an issue
now. The repeated wgets probably still aren't great for that matter,
since it serialises downloading and establishing connections.

Cheers,
aj

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