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i think providing Slackware64 as DVD-only, but keeping the CD set for Slackware(32) is a good compromise
I use the official DVD both for x86 and x86_64 installs. I use it too for x86_64 installs with 32 bits support. One of the facts I like about the official DVD is that I can have both architectures in just one disc, instead of having to move two of them around. Many people still recommends x86 even in modern machines, so I would say this is a compromise as good as the compromise you get when you set SSH daemon with the root account enabled and 1234 as the password :-)
Last time I checked, the estimated percentage of x86_64 linux users was of 32% or so...
I would rather have 2 DVD with the two architectures than a DVD and a CD set. I also think that data should be properly gathered in order to make a judgment. How many users are of each installation media, how many use each architecture and how?
Last edited by BlackRider; 05-01-2012 at 05:34 AM.
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It has not been long since I upgraded my motherboard and cpu and that was only due to me braking it other wise I would still be running it. The old bios could only boot from CD so I assume that there probably will be a few others still tied to CDs for that reason alone.
Also I am running Slackware64 but do not have a DVD burner £20 does not sound like a lot but its a day out with the kids so i would be left having to boot boot from USB and then installing, which would be a real pain as the only reason for reinstall would be something drastic.
Wow, tons of responses, even from the big man himself. Personally, I boot from USB and use a local mirror to install so the DVD thing isn't a huge issue for me. It does tempt me to buy a re-writable dual-layer DVD for the odd time that I can't use USB to install though. I'll have to comment more when I'm back in the office though, the phone isn't quite cutting it for me now.
I use the DVDs myself (or network install), but I imagine that there are a few people with old boxes that only have a CD drive. Maybe declare the upcoming version the last to be distributed with CD ISOs. That would give everyone at least another year to deal with their old hardware, e.g. swap in a combo cd/dvd drive, or upgrade etc.
I am glad that you have not had the experience, but 20 bucks can mean the difference in feeding the kids - or not - for some people at times (even the computer literate!). And being able to resurrect an old box with a CD drive to bootstrap yourself back to life could look like a pretty good option at times!
If that is the case then I doubt you would be spending 38 bucks on a sub or 50 bucks for a non sub, and since Patrick provides all of Slackware at no cost nobody gets left out regardless of your financial situation. We are talking about people that have to spare money to support Slackware.
We are talking about people that have to spare money to support Slackware.
No, we are talking about the different distribution media formats available to all users - paid and non-paid, and possible reasons for keeping or dropping the CD format in particular.
You offered the low cost of DVD drives as one justification for dropping the CD format, and I offered a counter-case to show that DVD drive cost is not the driving consideration for all users, or in all cases.
Pat does indeed make Slackware available at no cost, and he alone knows the importance he assigns to those free user's needs, and to other edge cases, when putting together a new release.
'B' is for benevolent, and 'D' is for dictator. As such, his decisions are probably driven by more than simple economics and technology - but the decision is his alone. Our's is to point out considerations important to us, and to make known our appreciation of his hard work, and his benevolence.
Even though I've never needed the CDs and the DVD is only a minor convenience that I'm willing to do without (it saves you having to mount a local/network source and point to it during an installation), I still think it would be a good idea to include a CD to boot the installer from at the very least. Maybe instead of a 6 CD set, the CD subscription could change to a boot disk (CD) and a flash drive that has a full local mirror of the most recent stable release (all assuming that the boot disk has the correct kernel modules included to support a full compliment of USB hardware and can mount whatever file system is chosen for the USB). It seems that the most common reasons for using the CDs are a combination of lack of DVD supporting hardware and a lack of capable internet, and my solution would solve both (and on the side the store could also sell the USB drives as Slackware-branded USB drives on their own, which would be pretty awesome). The only case this doesn't cover is if you don't have decent internet and you don't have USB ports. At some point, people had to adapt to the floppies being discontinued and we all know it'll eventually happen with CDs (and some point, DVDs) as well. I'd also like to point out that I like the idea of Slackware64 being DVD-only (even though I don't currently use it, but I started trying LUKS+LVM last night with Slackware64 and failed miserably, time to try again soon) because I think that the vast majority (if not all) people with 64-bit capable hardware have a DVD drive.
On another note, given that 32 and 64 bit could (and probably will at some point) be put on separate DVDs, do you think Pat will allow a large chunk of new packages fill some space or just let the space fill as the existing software grows in size? As someone mentioned earlier, one thing that I think makes Slackware awesome is that it comes with lots of stuff right off the installation media, and I'd rather not install stuff I don't need than be stuck without something that I do need because I'm lacking internet.
Someone also mentioned blu-ray... I think we should do it! I may be mistaken, but I think doing this would make Slackware the first distro (definitely the first 'major' distro) to have an official blu-ray installation media!
The way the official media is distributed affects users who have very limited or no network connection.
Back in the day, I had no reasonable way to get a Linux distribution other than buying a disk. I used to buy the install media and the whole repositories of other distributions (some firms will download them and record them to you at low-cost). I would have not been able to roll my own ISO easily by myself.
In my opinion, the best approach would be to keep Slackware small enough, so you can fit it in the DVD. Seems the obvious solution, but I guess it is not that simple.
If logistics don't allow to keep the CD distribution, maybe an extinction plan is called for, but again, some statistics are needed to make this decision. Of course, just coming a day and saying "Hey, guys, there are no more CD isos" is no good, as people needs time to know when are the CDs going to vanish.
Maybe instead of a 6 CD set, the CD subscription could change to a boot disk (CD) and a flash drive that has a full local mirror of the most recent stable release (all assuming that the boot disk has the correct kernel modules included to support a full compliment of USB hardware and can mount whatever file system is chosen for the USB). It seems that the most common reasons for using the CDs are a combination of lack of DVD supporting hardware and a lack of capable internet, and my solution would solve both (and on the side the store could also sell the USB drives as Slackware-branded USB drives on their own, which would be pretty awesome).
Fair enough, but surely more expensive (and risky) to manufacture. If the USB was bootable by itself it could be a welcome plus.
Last edited by BlackRider; 05-01-2012 at 04:20 PM.