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Do we need split media CDs for F12?

(Reposting to f-d-l from my blog post last night.
http://domsch.com/blog/?p=85 includes a couple nice graphs to help

CDs are Dead. Long live CDs.

I was running some stats on the Fedora 11 release, and an interesting
thing caught my eye. Very few people are downloading the six (or in
the case of PPC, seven) CDs to perform a Fedora install. Very Very
few. In fact, at most, six people downloaded split media CDs using the
Fedora mirror servers in the first few days. This in contrast to the
over 234,000 direct downloads of DVDs and LiveCDs in the same amount
of time. BitTorrent statistics are a little better for CDs: 908
completed downloads of the split media CDs, out of 41,235 total
downloads (or ~2.2 %).

Which leads to the question, "Do we really need split media CDs for
Fedora 12?"

A few more points lend credence to this idea.

Looking only at the BitTorrent stats for Fedora 9, 10, and now 11, we
see an interesting trend. Figure 1 shows that the interest in split
media CDs has been decreasing over the past year.

Figure 1 shows % of bittorrent downloads that were the split CD set,
by version.  F9: 6.32%.  F10 4.58%  F11 so far: 2.2%.

I have a suspicion. As the number of x86_64 users grows, it's more
likely that x86_64 systems will have DVD readers as opposed to older
CD readers. Figure 2 shows the growth of x86_64 vs x86 over the past
year, again extracted from BitTorrent statistics.

Figure 2 shows x86 vs x86_64 bittorrent downloads.

Arch    F9      F10     F11
x86	72.99	63.55   57.52
X86_64	27.01	36.45   42.48

The entire Fedora 11 release as sent to the mirrors is ~143GB. Of
that, CD and DVD ISOs represent ~34GB; the split media CD ISOs
represent ~15.5GB of that. As most of the rest of that 143GB is all
hardlinked, we're really only transferring out all these ISO
files. 10% of the disk space, and 45% of the time/bandwidth needed to
get a release out to the mirrors, for about 2% of the user base, and

CDs had their place, back when DVD readers weren't commonplace, and
before we had LiveCD/LiveUSB medias. Now, DVDs are fairly common, the
LiveCDs work great for a lot of installs, and we have both a small
(158MB) network-based bootable CD installer for new installs that
would require a CD, and preupgrade for upgrading from an older distro
version to the next. Let's kill off split media CDs for Fedora 12.

Your thoughts?


Matt Domsch
Technology Strategist, Dell Office of the CTO
linux.dell.com & www.dell.com/linux

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