When will we see a monster HD-DVD/Blu-ray Linux Live disc?

When will we see a monster HD-DVD/Blu-ray Linux Live disc?

Summary: My guess is that the way to promote Linux is to give people a safe, secure and no-fuss way to try out different distros before committing to one.

TOPICS: Linux, Open Source

My guess is that the way to promote Linux is to give people a safe, secure and no-fuss way to try out different distros before committing to one.

Assuming that the average Linux distro is about 600-700MB you could get about five onto a DVD.  That's cool but given the number of distros out there you'd only get a small taster of what's on offer (and it would only include the most popular ones ... Ubuntu, Kubuntu, PCLinux ...). 

But Blu-ray and HD-DVD could change all this.  Assuming that the price of discs falls to a point where it's sensible (say the cost of a DVD) then you could squeeze a good selection of Linux distros onto a single disc and make a monster Live disc.  In the past few weeks I've downloaded a handful of distros and having them on one disc sure would have made the process of wading through all the different distros a lot quicker and less hassle.

Finally, a use for HD-DVD and Blu-ray!  ;-)


Topics: Linux, Open Source

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  • Nevermind

    I'm still trying to manage with DSDD 5.25" floppy diskettes.
    Everything is going fine. Oh, excuse me--I have to break away to mount another for a big backup job I am doing.

    OK later!
    D T Schmitz
  • My list

    Good idea! My suggestion for the content:
    - Ubuntu
    - openSUSE
    - Fedora
    - Puppy Linux
    - Damn Small Linux
    - Debian
    - Freespire
    - Edubuntu
    - FreeBSD
    - Mandriva
    - Ubuntu Studio
    - Gparted LiveCD
  • That's a good idea, but...

    It would take a monstrous task(pun intended) to create such a disc. Let's assume a single layer, single sided HD-DVD is to be used. You have 15GB to play with. Assuming that each distribution to be included fits on a single CD, you can stuff about 20 bootable distros to choose from. It's tough enough to create a DVD that can boot 4 or 5 distros within a month(Ask anybody who does this for a Linux magazine publisher). How about an HD-DVD disc that boots a few distros, but has more as ISO images, running the gamut from general-purpose desktops to mini-distros to rescue discs, with a sprinkling of extra software on the side?
    Tony Agudo
  • good idea but...

    Must of the time I'm testing older machines w/ only CDROM drives.
    I've never used this... thought about it.

    Multi Distro

  • First things first.

    Has anyone seen a PC-compatible HD-DVD drive for sale? I certainly haven't yet.
    • I have and hereis a few

      Michael L Hereid Sr
      • Bargains!!

        Who could resist, at a mere $600-$900? I'm sure that anyone considering buying any of these older DVD drives


        could stretch their budget just that [i]little[/i] further ;-) ...
    • HD DVD makes no sense for PC

      HD DVD has significant limitations as a writable format. Blu-ray makes far more sense (higher capacity, rewritability, broader support, better roadmap, etc.). Pioneer's released a $299 MSRP Blu-ray reader; writable drives are still north of $500, but likely will drop fairly quickly.
      • I'm sure. But that's not my point.

        I'm not greatly concerned about the technical merits of HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray. For the sake of this article, the only real point is their greater capacity when compared with ordinary DVDs.

        [i]Pioneer's released a $299 MSRP Blu-ray reader[/i]

        That's still 6x more expensive than a DVD drive. Do you think that any High-Definition DVD format can become mainstream at those kind of prices? Because [b]that's[/b] my point: We will see a "monster Linux Live disc" when a typical PC user can be expected to have a drive than can play it, and not before. Perhaps when the OEMs start shipping these drives as standard on new machines?
        • Good point.

          Of course, I'm impressed with most of the responses, including the first one about double-sided floppies. I'm trying gentoo on an old thinkpad 760XL right now, and as a luddite I don't see myself as in the market for the latest and greatest hardware. Once one or more of these formats become cheaply accessible, we may well see four or more distros repackaged on one disk. On the other hand, a couple of years ago Open Source Stuttgart gave us the chance to test a SuSe KDE desktop on the internet ( the page is http://opensource.region-stuttgart.de/test_linux_desktop.php but I haven't even tried to make it work lately) and despite the Evil Empire's best efforts I have no doubt that any machine with an internet connection will be able to have linux installed much more easily than it is today real soon now.
  • Or...

    Let's see, use to be the case a 1.44 MB floppy was enough to boot a computer. Then along came CDs with their 700 MB of space and now Linux LiveCDs uses every bit of that space. Then along came DVDs with their whopping 5 GB of space and of course full blown DVDs exist with everything under the sun, so you don't have to download any software.

    My guess is a distro maker will find a way use all that space on a HD-DVD/Blu-ray rather than crowd another distro on it given the turf wars.
    • But think about Fedora...

      A full installation of Fedora comes on 4 CDs or one DVD, but there is still a "Live" CD version available. I'd hate to say something silly along the lines of "640K ought to be enough for anybody", but a Live CD only [b]needs[/b] to provide enough functionality to boot, provide a desktop and do the basics like surf the web. Hence I can't see why someone couldn't "trim" even the most bloated distros down to the point where several couldn't fit onto a single High-Definition DVD.

      Actually, are we missing something obvious? Have any computer magazines put a DVD on their covers containing multiple Live CD installations yet? Because there's no reason why that couldn't happen [u]right now[/u].
  • A stupid idea

    If you are a college or younger person, the ability to test a multitude of distributions is a nice idea. The students could spend weekends installing and test booting the distributions. They could certainly kill a weekend of two or three.

    However, except for computer scientist students, or developers, most individuals want a single distribution. So, the idea of supplying a single distribution is best. The distribution is loaded, a few scripts to generate passwords and configure some paramters, and that is that.

    Do not make the update automatic. Leave that to the gurus who want the latest and greatest patch.

    Only provide the facility to download and install software. If the user actually needs a full update, he/she could do it from there, but most users will probably go after games, or certain programs necessary for their interests.

    KISS Keep It Simple Silly
  • blue ray is impractical for the linux

    It comes as no surprise that the linux does not yet find itself deployed on the blue ray HD DVD, for a number of reasons.

    I think you will find after some investigation that the blue ray HD DVD is a patented invention that requires special decryption codes to be utilised.

    Therefore it would not only be illegal for linux to use the blue ray (not that minor questions of legality have ever stopped the Linux in the past), but more so that linux does not yet contain the decrypter codes required for this operation.

    And so for now, the linux finds itself constrained to the somewhat prehistoric CD-ROM format.
    • You've got to be kidding

      I know I shouldn't be feeding the trolls but...you've got to be kidding. The decryption only come into play when it comes to MOVIES. It doesn't apply otherwise.
    • Re: blue ray is impractical...

      The [i]video[/i] on a Blu Ray is encrypted (a la DVD's CSS, but much more secure). He's not asking about video. He's asking about the data storage of BluRay, which would probably be relatively simple to get to work with linux. After all, reading data DVDs is no problem in Linux. It's Video DVDs that are a pain.
      • Already works

        It works already. Growisofs can write to Blueray disks, and Nero Linux can as well. At least that's what is claimed - I have no Blueray drive to test with. As far as reading goes, that doesn't present more of a problem than it does for ordinary DVDs. Or that's my understanding of it at least...however, since writing is possible it almost goes without saying that reading most likely already works. And probably has for some time.
    • Are you suggesting

      that any of your hardware was not a patented invention at some point? That is probably the silliest post I have ever seen. Oh, sorry - it was MEANT to be funny? ha ha

      I'll go back to my DVD of Linux now...
  • not sure it would do me any good.

    I down loaded a copy of Suse10.x and have copied them over to some CD's. Having done that I have no idea what to do next. I bring this up because while a monster disk with many distro's would be nice, I am not sure the newbies like me would know what to do with it. For most of us to drop Microsoft is a frightening concept. If we find we do not care for Linux, or can not get it to work on our applications can we get Windows back? I know the alternative is to create a dual boot system but realistically how many newbies can do that? Having said that I still hope to see Linux take off.
    • Easy answers

      Many of the 'friendlier' versions of Linux come as bootable Cd's - so you can try them (at a reduced speed) without affecting your other OS (or anything else on your HD) in any way.

      Further to that, most of those same versions are expecting a dual boot, and make it much easier than it probably SHOULD be (given how many people have lousy/no backups) - so that wouldn't slow you down much either. Oh - and if downloading a free CD image file, and burning the .ISO file is a problem - then there are versions that will ship you FREE CD at no charge to try it that way. Ubuntu is one of those...