Talking Point: Should Distros Stick to CDR Size?

It's starting to look like the end of an era for Ubuntu users as Canonical mull the creation of an ISO that won't fit onto a CDR. The question is, does it matter?

Canonical owes at least part of its success with Ubuntu Linux to the unique way that it has been distributed. From the start it has been available as a downloadable ISO image and a free CD, posted at no cost to the user. This was great news for people who wanted to install Linux but did not have the luxury of a decent Internet connection. In a sense, installing via a CDR image has always been like a kind of cache, in that you're moving part of the content that you need onto permanent storage rather than pulling it through the network connection.

Things have changed since Ubuntu made its debut in 2004, and far more people now have a decent Internet connection. In addition, the CDR format itself is beginning to fall out of favor. The majority of computers that are suitable for use as an Ubuntu-powered desktop are capable of booting from a flashdrive, a more flexible and higher capacity medium.

So, should Canonical (and other creators of Linux distros) make an extra effort to squeeze Ubuntu 12.04 onto a CDR?

Some have argued that attempting to adhere to the size limit for a CDR forces the developers into a disciplined approach to resisting bloat. Once the 700MB limit for the basic install is breached, what should the limit be, and does it matter? Within reason, a large percentage of the potential install base for distros like Ubuntu can fetch a boot medium of almost any size. The next convenient milestone would be around 4GB as it's a common size for smaller flashdrives and close to the limit for a single layer DVD-R.

As for the people who still have a slow connection, there are solutions that are better than the traditional one of downloading an ISO and then burning it to a CD, such as arranging to have the installation medium sent through the mail or arranging an organization-wide cache for a network-based installation.

As Shawn pointed out recently, a smaller, but incomplete, installation medium such as an Ubuntu or Debian Netinstall carries with it a few advantages such as allowing you to begin with an up to date set of packages. It’s possible that such a way of working may involve a lower amount of network traffic than booting from a full CD and then updating to replace some of the packages.

Another option would be for Canonical to offer an Ubuntu Lite version with a minimal desktop and few major applications. Although, this approach probably clashes with the overall Ubuntu ethos to ship with a complete, standardized desktop.

In conclusion, I wonder if a few of the major distros will soon drop the familiar 700MB ISO entirely. The number of people who want to install standard Ubuntu but can't manage a download any bigger than the normal ISO, or who can't boot of any medium other than CDR is going to be pretty small these days.


UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.


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I think that Ubuntu it is

Jeremiah's picture

I think that Ubuntu it is already overrated and Linux certainly works better than it.
Asigurare Obligatorie

Go with the flow because times are changing.

Intelliginix's picture

I believe that it is necessary to keep the CDR standard for at least a little while longer because in my case, I work for a lot of non-profit companies that are still using machines that don't have DVD players and do not support booting from USB devices. HOWEVER, I do believe that if you can cram as many options for installing the packages that you need on a DVD or flash driver that always saves time and money.

Who uses CDs?

Michael J. Weed's picture

I honestly did not notice whether SuSE 12.1 was 700mb or more. I have not personally purchased a blank CD in years. Would it really cost any extra to post DVDs as the default and then post a CD should someone request it? My guess is it can't be very many people who do not have at least a DVD reader.

why does every1 always focus on ubuntu when mint no1 distro?

TIMMY2000's picture

why does everyone always focus on ubuntu when mint is the no1 distro?

Will consider this

paulparker's picture

Will consider this provocative claim after read:

Article: Linux Mint 12 Offers a Traditional Gnome Feel

Admit being NON-technical am happy with openSUSE 11.4

These distributions that are easy to use are the most popular.

Brent Emery Pieczynski's picture

That Ubuntu Linux is small enough to run on my Commodore 64 and other people that want an easily usable version of Linux that isn't excessively heavy on resources find Ubuntu or Mint with its add nice polish. An artificial limit will make everything act like Damn-Small-Linux or its competitor called Slax Linux, with a steadily amount of resources going to any attempt to keep a small size.

All artificial size limits will eventually cause Ubuntu Linux to become overlooked by the marketplace the same way Puppy Linux is presently overlooked. The reason why Debian Linux is-not of prime communication is because the age of that structure is causing regular intervals of large restructuring efforts, with each release also hindering a unified look to the Desktop. Debian Linux had to adjust by creating derivatives then losing attention and next Ubuntu will lose attention because of derived works such as Linux Mint. That Linux Mint is also showing its age because of Peppermint Linux integration with the Cloud Computing model.

Eventually as the primary model of computing changes the primary example of Linux will keep changing. Eventually using computers will cost more than the computers themselves and that will create ubiquitous computing oriented Linux versions.


EGGyBOB's picture

? "Eventually using computers will cost more than the computers themselves and that will create ubiquitous computing oriented Linux versions".? Why? because the cost of electric is going up that much it will cost more to run one then buy one ? you might be right ! :) but how will that spawn new distros , i don't see the logic in why those events would spawn the evolution of linux maybe i missed something or im tired maybe English is not your 1st lingo maybe i should smoke a doobie like spock an everything will become logical ? it normally helps

why not 3 install versions ?

TIMMY2000's picture

i don't see why you cant u have the option of a cd an dvd iso an a pen install get rid of the office suite an even gimp its easy to get them later , if some can install a copy of linux then surely they can dl software for it ? what if the device has usb an no rom or has a rom but no usbs for what ever reason i mean part of linuxs greatness is it will install on lots of devices not limited to optical or usb only 4.7 is a whooper of a dload!!!

Two GB

Danny88's picture

2GB flash media is a good size. I also agree 700MB is beneficial for the discipline of keeping it simple. Office suites do not need to be included.

If you're going to exceed the 700MB threshold, 2GB is a good step point. This is the upper limit of original-format SD flash memory cards.

I would not recommend going all the way to 4.7GB. Too large.

Vanna Says

Joey Wallaby's picture

Buy a $30US DVD drive

lol ha should not need one

TIMMY2000's picture

lol ha should not need one thats missing the point of linux its supposed to be flexible , all your eggs in one basket ?

things might be better if we think about this differently ...

Saint DanBert's picture

Isn't the question actually some form of: "What parts does one require and how do we package those parts?"

At the most basic level we need the "boot parts" and kernel followed by a suite of system services and system-level libraries that enable all of the hardware to activate. Eventually we get to an initialization suite like 'upstart' or 'systemd' or 'sysVinit'. Somewhere in this mix we find network stacks and interface management utilities and services.

When we get this far, we have a box that runs and can do things, but there are precious few things that it can do. In my mind, this is the core of what we call "linux." I don't see much of this as distribution specific. (The distros do have various takes on startup utilities, system admin tools and folder tree layout.) All of the above might be one ISO available for download.

There are a plethora of choices for "desktop environment" -- including NONE.
Each D/E has its own suite of preferred or recommended applications.
Here we start to acquire distribution specific attributes. There might be one ISO for each such D/E and a pile of applications. There might be other ISO for "everything Gnome XXX" or "everything KDE YYY" and so on. There might be other ISO that are problem-oriented silos of applications like "everything audio" or "everything digital graphics" or "everything kernel developer" or "everything games".

I have long thought that we need to alter our approach to packaging and installation to follow the operating system "onion" rather the glob-order of package files in current use.

~~~ 0;-Dan

Thou shalt not disciminate

Barista Uno's picture

Believe it or not, there are many people who run Linux on low-end machines which are incapable of reading/writing DVDs. Why discriminate against them?

Need DVDs

Joey Wallaby's picture

Them peoples in them far flunged, remote locations need DVDs with everything on them. Do you know how much stuff is needed to be downloaded on top of the CD content. There are numerous distros made specifically for last century PCs.

Or take your computer to the city and install the OS while there.

Personally, I like using miniDVD's when possible.

Distros adn CDRs

Clive Smith's picture

PLEASE, will someone listen. Many of us have slow broadband (between 256k and 500k) - we are unlikely to get faster speeds in rural areas because we are in the minority. Some people cannot even get broadband!!!

It would seem sense to keep the basic operating system to a CDR size with any freebies etc on a separate disc. I like Ubuntu and trying to convert the family from using (dare I say it) Windows!! I am sure others are in this same boat - don't kill it!

Rural & Remote areas, many even slower connections

paulparker's picture

Agree with Clive Smith (not verified) on Sun, 12/18/2011 - 02:34

Know as have family,relations, and others living in rural and remote areas around Australia where despite all the talk of the NBN they remain on 50kps dial-up speeds !

BTW see plans to upgrade services for these areas, often for sound commercial reasons they take long time to be completed. NBN satellite plans starting to help, shall see how these play out over next couple of months.

Linux on cdr

Alex Borrell's picture

Although cdr have many advantages, it usually means that some packages are left out. Among them is the language packages. A dvd that could install linux with all the support for your language (whatever it is) will be a great advantage.

Don't drop, Diversify!

arubislander's picture

I feel that there should be a <= 700 MB iso image available for burning to a CD. As many have mentioned it's easier to share out CD's than it is to share out USB sticks. That on it's own is reason enough to insure that such an image remains available. Should it be a fully featured desktop? Yes, in the most ideal situation, but that requires choosing one library suite (GTK / Qt, etc) and tailoring your apps to it. The route Ubuntu has taken is to mix and mach apps from different libraries. This gives you a broader range of apps to choose from, and the best of all worlds, but it also bloats your install image.

But I also believe that there is room for a more feature filled larger image for USB thumb drives.

users Technically Challenged

paulparker's picture

IMHO the need for a DVD installation of system and basic services will remain for a while.

Many people around the world either do NOT have good internet services, or can NOT afford services available to them. Fro them to be able to obtain then use a system to do basic things is important.

When self moved from Microsoft XP to linux, had four versions to try, only one installed and worked to where was updated itself without my needing to be technical, or understand linux.

IF linux only for technical types, no problem, however most computer users like self, are "Technically Challenged".

Issue of whether easier to

paulparker's picture

Issue of whether easier to share out CD's than it is to share out USB sticks will be decided by those who do the sharing so need carry production costs for USB sticks versus CDs.

May USB sticks soon be as cheap as CDs ?

I do agree to a point here,

deckoff's picture

I do agree to a point here, but my relatively new desktop PC, bought 2009, has a really buggy BIOS which prevents from booting off USBs with GRUB2 or syslinux. I have 2 options:
1) CD
2) Find out what Grub4DOS is, learn to use it, learn how to do bootable freeDOS USB, learn how to chainload the Ubuntu USB from the Grub4DOS usb, or hwo to boot off Ubuntu ISO from Grub4 DOS
(Option 2 took me the best of 3-4 days)
Personally, I the CD size does not affect me - internet connection is kind of fast here, and DVDs are not expensive.

When a really buggy BIOS

paulparker's picture

When a really buggy BIOS prevents from booting off USBs with GRUB2 or syslinux self firsts thought were:

(a) how hard to replace the BIOS ?

(b) was BIOS problem identified ?

Simply simple

ElGato's picture

I agree to keep it as simple und "un-geeky" as possible (=> CD!).

Where is Linux in the market of OSs? - small, guerilla-like although we all would like it to see rising. More and more forks and different distros do not make this easier for the average user (I would think that 99% of Linux users are NOT average but clearly over-average interested in technology and computers)

How can we make Linux grow more and be a _real_ competition for Win and Mac (20+ % market share on desktops)? K_I_S_S - keep it small and simple.
Think about people in developing countries with older hardware, but also people like me with netbooks (not older but slower than probably many of your computers).

I also think that many distros seem to get too bulky, thus giving up one of the main marketing points of Linux over mainstream OSs.

USB is fine, get with LIVE Persistence

I2k4's picture

I consider myself a new and transitional user, experimenting with Ubuntu variations, Mint, etc. against the day I can / want to ditch Windows. While dual booting W7 and Lubuntu 10.10 on my netbook, I've been using the PenDrive installer with a 4GB USB with Persistence to try out various "LIVE" iterations on my main PC.

I have to say, the so-called CDROM .ISO that is usually promoted as the trial / installation version of the software is a very phony construct, because it does not support LIVE Persistent installation and therefore prohibits a realistic trial run of the operating system. Anybody with enough wits, will investigate and learn about LIVE Persistent install on USB, that permits a lot of trial and error without any risk to the main machine, before committing hard drive, partition space and the complications of GRUB and whatever other installation hazards.

I think LIVE Persistent USB installation for trial ought to be the recommended way for newcomers to dip their toes into Linux, and be honestly convinced by it, and not have it treated by the developers as some kind of dirty hidden secret. Obviously developers want to flack their little CDROM sized .ISOs with their own preferred preinstalled software and no way to change the default installation between boots, but they will have to get real about their situation in the industry.

Here's your live Persistant setup

tacra's picture Or rather, this site will tell you how to take most any live iso and turn it into a usb flash drive based functional machine with the ability to save your data between reboots.

Personally, I prefer to grab a copy of VirtualBox, download the install iso, and built a virtual machine (usually several) for all my testing. It's not perfect but you'll get a very good idea and if you decide you like the VM, you can keep it.


suse studio

markh's picture

Suse studio lets you roll your own and then download the iso.......

personally I like having the CD size because I can A download it quickly and B I have resurected a few older laptops that only had cdroms & USB 1...try booting a live image on USB1 sometime.....youll pull your scalp off with your hair by the time you get to a desktop.

personally I usually install off of debian disc one or a mini cd.

This is one thing that REALLY ticked me off with centos5 because you had to download the whole friggin thing just to do a basic setup.Granted I can understand that since its primarily servers they would want you to have everything availible during an outage.

Minimal Install ISO

Anonymous's picture

Just started using the Ubuntu minimal install (about 20 meg) to setup some Lubuntu workstations for ticket printing at a local stadium. Works like a charm. A short setup to prompt - then 'sudo tasksel' and pick which ever Ubuntu derivative you want. Don't think I'll download a full Ubuntu iso again at any size. Solves any future problems with cd vs dvd vs flash drives for me.

Most distos with dvd iso downloads also present them broken down into individual cds. Slow/no internet connections should try to get their media via some other source - I'm sure some user groups out their are always willing to help.

I remember back in the early nineties spending a long evening downloading the updated emulator software for my LaserMaster printer from their bbs. It was broken down into 5 floppy discs files - long distance too!

Now that's going way back

tacra's picture

BBSes and long distance calls. I remember those days. For some, that's still all they have and it is for those that I can see making the all inclusive DVD or USB images but they really shouldn't try to download them.


Personally I think mainstream

Anonymous's picture

Personally I think mainstream distros should do what Slax does, the user has the ability to pick what he/she wants on the CD (or usb drive). I realize this may not be feasible because of server loads, but until then the net installs will be what I will use.

CDR-size +PLUS+ easy USB-install capability

flourdin's picture

While it may make sense for Canonical and other distro maintainers to transition to the creation of an ISO that won't fit onto a CDR, I think as others do above that it makes even better sense to KEEP the 700MB CDR around.

You see, CDR represents the current Lowest Common Denominator for standard PCs, as opposed to for netbooks and for other handheld devices.
Nearly ALL standard-format PCs, including desktop workstations/servers and laptops seem have AT LEAST ONE optical device.
Standard optical drives on such PCs are CDR drives, CDR/W drives used to burn ISOs to CD, DVDR drives for watching movies, and DVD R/W drives with all their "+" and "-" variants.
The point I'd like to make is that EVERY SINGLE ONE of these optical drives just listed has the capability to use a 700MB CDR for booting and eventual Linux installation.
This same point is simply untrue for ISOs which just won't fit onto such a CDR due to their larger sizes, and which thus require DVD R/W drives and/or USB drives instead.
There is even the Smart Boot Manager boot floppy disk available that ultimately allows such 700MB CDR's to boot and install Linux on the diminishing number of remaining PCs which can still boot from those older 3.5" floppy-disks but not directly from CDRs due to ancient BIOS issues.

It ALSO makes good sense to incorporate within these 700MB ISO CDR's the ability to easily create Linux installation USBs.
Once such Linux-installation USBs are created from CDR, these USB drives can then be used to install Linux onto modern USB-only netbooks and onto USB/CF-capable handheld devices.

Therefore, Canonical and other distro maintainers will best serve we many desktop workstation/server and laptop owners by keeping that Lowest Common Denominator 700MB CDR ISO-format around.

Go ahead fill the hard drive up.

twogun's picture

Yeah let's make the Distros even bigger so that I get to uninstall even more junk after a fresh install! Instead of iso are they going to call them CHD (compact hard drives)

The installer should just install the base system and then allow you to choose your software from a list (click boxes) that will be installed from the repositories. This will not only keep the CD smaller it would also make installs lighter for those who don't want certain software. A tool should be include to allow you to burn a disc (or flash, etc) of the distro, but with your packages. Thus preventing you from downloading the same packages over and over when installing one several PCs.

Oh and for people saying Disto's should push USB flash. I don't know one that does not support it. The problem is it require having users that know how to properly put the data on the disc.

I think that having choice

Jason's picture

I think that having choice and options is the best way to handle the many ways that people want to install Linux Distros. I personally have changed the way I get distros. I used to burn them all onto CDRs until recently when I started using my jump drive because I was sick of buying the CDRs. But there should be many ways, netinstall, cdr, dvd, mail-order, flash drive.

Besides, thats one of the things that Linux users love, options.


tacra's picture

That's one of technologies' ugly sides. All the choices of how to get data into or out of a computer. With floppy (did I mention that?), CD, DVD, USB HD (and variants), USB Flash, SD cards (yes they are now bootable and big enough), PXE, etc., it's no wonder we're even having this debate.

But the reality is most of us were raised on choice and having lots of it. What would be nice is a download system that let me choose what I wanted and how to package it.

I give Debian the nod today for that. I forget the name of the debs you install but when run, it downloads all the latest packages and assembles them into the ISOs ready to burn. It's a major step in the right direction but doesn't go far enough. If I remember right, you can tell what to download but that's if you know which packages it should fetch and don't mind editing text files.

I know some of you will say that's good enough and perhaps it is for you. But, I would prefer a dependency checker and group packaging just as apt-get/aptitude/synaptic and yum support. And, I want both ncurses/text as well as gui choices. And, while we're at it, I want platform independence in the tool so I can run it from Linux, Mac, and Windows desktops.

Sure that sounds like a tall order but if we're going to put the effort into such a tool, let's make it usable by all. And, make it easy for beginners and powerful for experts alike. I'm not saying idiot-proof it here but ease of use.



Anonymous's picture

Tacra, I agree totally, and will comment only on your final paragraph.

From time to time I have stated essentially the same message. Keep it simple and make it easy for everyone to use.

Sure, the gurus may think it is too much handholding, but please remember that not everyone is a pro.

And not everyone wants to become a pro.

Just fix it so I can use the computer.

In my book

tacra's picture

It is that lack of ease of use that I feel more than anything hurts Linux and the other free unix-like OSes. I used one of those server admin types that would tell others to "suck it up and learn it". But, not anymore. I see now that if we're going to survive, we have to meet the average person at least part of the way and that means easy to use tools, tutorials, etc.

It was my job to learn to use these systems but to ask some one who's day isn't computers is out of the question for them. Many have no inclination to learn the technology beyond simple point and click. Editing files with vi, nano, joe, jed, etc. is all fine for us but really need to make it easier for them.

It is them who go out and buy Windows and Mac OS X because those systems isolate the users from mount -t nfs server:/home /home to get at their home directories so they can listen to music in the living room stored on their computer in their home office.

Keep it small, but not for the CDs

Mozai's picture

First: Don't assume that everyone will have a useful Internet connection. I've been thankful many times because the "default" install of an OS (Linux or otherwise) doesn't have the correct hardware drivers for networking right away, but I can still install enough of the OS to start up the machine and fix it myself.

Second: "Keep It Simple, Silly". By limiting yourself, you are less likely to include bloat or cruft that isn't necessary. I think keeping the install size low is a terriffic idea -- the install package should have some default home/office software, and the means to get more. Things that could be eliminated or moved to alternate install packs could be: extra languages, software that necessarily needs a 'net connection to work, or software that serves the same function as software already in the install (I don't need abiword *and* libreoffice writer).

Stick with 700 MB

tagMacher's picture

Stick with 700 MB, or as some have suggested, smaller; provide option at install time to select more packages; this alone would work for those with high bandwidth connections *and* those with limited connectivity. The important thing is to maintain the spirit of Linux - choice and freedom to the user.

Totally right. The first

littlenoodles's picture

Totally right. The first thing you'll want to do after installing from a CD is go out and grab all the updates. Why download the old versions at all just to put them onto the CD?

My personal favorite distro uses a rolling update scheme. I haven't downloaded a new CD in years, and yet I'm up to date. The only reason for physical install media these days is the ability to boot from them. Just include enough stuff to be able to demonstrate that the distro works on your hardware and to get it to install locally. Throw in a web browser to make the live CD useable for something. Then install and update.

Distro size

John Knight's picture

For something smaller like Mint, stick with the CD-R, but for something like Ubuntu, I'd rather have everything that I need already installed - not downloaded overnight. Ubuntu's already kind of big and chunky, I don't mean to make it flabbier in the slow sense, but install the libraries and applications I actually need from the get-go and I'm a happy man.

John Knight is the New Projects columnist for Linux Journal.

"For something smaller like

linuxcanuck's picture

"For something smaller like Mint" ???

Linux Mint is larger than Ubuntu for a typical desktop environment. It is distributed on a DVD and not CD. There is a CD version, but it has the codecs and proprietary drivers stripped out which has been the top selling point of Mint for several years now.


istok's picture

last time i had to reinstall my OS(bought a new computer last spring) was from a debian netinstall image of some 150 mb. in retrospect, shoulda used even smaller "business card" version. point is, if everyone has better internet now, just put base systems on downloadable images and let the user pull the rest from the internet.

Keep it on a CD

Calan's picture

Why? I can hand out CDs to friends/acquaintances/random people I meet cheaply and introduce them to Linux. I can't afford to give a USB drives.

By keeping it small enough for a CD you still encourage the free distribution and introduction like I give people that would otherwise not be willing to go through the trouble of downloading and burning an ISO.

Have a robust USB drive version available, but keep the basic CD.

Minimal CD + Torrent style upgrade

Anonymous's picture

Keep 700 CD, but add ability to DL packages from any nearby computer that already has the software. Rigorously check with current server versions. That way, only one local needs to get it and everyone (say at a school or community site) can easily upgrade.

PXE please

Steeve McCauley's picture

A minimal net install with the ability to specify a local repository would make me very happy. PXE is great for this, once you get it working.

There are still a lot of systems that cant boot from USB

Chris Martin's picture

For them, Grub on CD that can then boot from USB is the way to go. This would allow the same CD to be used to load every version, No need to burn a new CD/DVD. Just copy the latest version to USB and then boot via the CD.

There should be no rule

linuxcanuck's picture

When I read the word "should" in the title I cringe. No, they should not. It would be nice as a service to users that they did give us choice. I prefer a minimal net install and ISO that will boot from a usb key.

Nothing is more discouraging to me than downloading a 4 GB ISO that was created ten months ago and then having to download 800 upgrades after a lengthy installation. Give me less and let me choose more.

I like choice. Distributions like to offer a neat package. It makes a statement. This is what we are all about. We are a GNOME distro that offers these default packages and this is our theme this time around, etc. It keeps things moving forward and raises interest, but it is also very wasteful of my time and my bandwidth.

What I would PREFER, is a basic installation and boxes to check for desktop environment, etc. We used to do that years ago, but have got into this idea that users know nothing and developers know what we want and what is best for us. What I will GET is what they choose. I am grateful for that, but would like to see more flexibility and not less.

Making it mandatory with a "should" rubs me the wrong way, though.

CD size - or less!

Madtom1999's picture

Given that almost all my packages seem to get updated after an install I now use the minimum install and a local proxy where possible.
Bloat is becoming a problem in most distributions and many apps seem to need so many other apps 'just in case the user uses this really obscure feature'.

Booting from CD on older equipment...

John Andrews's picture

I refurbish older computers to give to homebound people who cannot afford a computer. Most (all) of these donated computers have bioses that will not boot from USB or a flash drive. Most do not have DVD drives. Most do not have CD-RW drives, but all have CD drives. About half have the hard drive erased. A 700 MB or less distro is the only choice in these cases. The computers are fine, Linux is appropriate, and my time is free as a volunteer for this effort. We need the small distros that can be burned to a CD.

One size fits Al... (the other fits Joe)

Anonymous's picture

There is a market for all of the following:

1) Live CD (not DVD)
2) Live USB
3) Live DVD
4) Minimal (i.e. net install)
5) Minimal (i.e. old hardware)

The current live Ubuntu is already bigger than the CD 700MB, so possible paths are: 1) Take some packages out and fit it into a Live CD, 2) make it a live USB, 3) Add more packages to make it a worthwhile live DVD.

I see no reason as to why these options are mutually exclusive.

No More Discs! USB Time!

Krothie's picture

I think we should abandon discs. USB is faster anyways. If more Distros come out with more USB methods instead of disc disc disc...

Only reason it hasn't been as popular is because the open source software you need to use to make a bootable USB device is a pain. Needs improvement!

Besides, netbooks which are perfect for Linux don't have CD drives. Many laptops don't come with disc drives now anyways.

If we can get more into USB and less CD's we won't have to worry too much about the size of the file.

You guys hear WebOS is now open source?