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[bug#40514] Should we shrink the installer by a gig or so?

From: Tobias Geerinckx-Rice
Subject: [bug#40514] Should we shrink the installer by a gig or so?
Date: Wed, 08 Apr 2020 22:56:27 +0200


I've met at least someone who was worried that Guix wouldn't support their System ‘because the installer fell back to text mode’. They didn't mean nomodeset: obviously a 1.5-GiB ISO must be hiding a full desktop somewhere, not just the interface of a text-mode netinstaller image about 2.5% its total size:

 $ du -h Downloads/trisquel-netinst_8.0_amd64.iso
 37M    …

 $ du -h /gnu/store/l005v0ssz34gz5mrg3vpr51sq8sry8wp-image.iso
 1.5G   …

Now I'm not suggesting we add Gnome (yet), but how about reducing the size by 60% for 1.1.0?

 du -h /gnu/store/jcpg5wsflpymiq3vx929wq2cr0qbw44f-image.iso
 561M   …

Our CD image finally fits on a CD!  Remember those?  I try not to.

It also fits onto the ~100 1-‘GB’ USB drives I have in a box and can now finally give away as Guix installers.

Zisofs is a somewhat obscure, Linux-specific extension to Rock Ridge that transparently (de)compresses file data using zlib. Our linux-libre already supports it. As far as the system is concerned it's just a regular iso9660 file system.

Unlike squashfs (with which I'm currently playing) it requires zero further changes to the creation or boot process that could introduce new bugs. Hence I'm hopeful that this can be tested and merged in time for the next release.

Kind regards,


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