Subject: Re: Suggestion: NetBSD source official ISO image
To: None <>
From: Carl Mascott <>
List: tech-install
Date: 12/12/2001 00:41:33
> From: Todd Vierling <>
> Since I built the OS images on, I'd be happy to explain why
> doesn't currently ship multiplatform or source-code-laden ISOs at
> this time; "bandwidth".  There's two issues at work here:
> * Network bandwidth increases quite a bit at release time -- particularly
>   for mirror sites pulling down fresh data via a ftp-crawl or rsync.  We
>   chose single-platform ISO images to partition the data so it will be more
>   likely to be relevant to the downloader.  (With this scheme, a separate
>   ISO image with only source code is rather pointless, since the source is
>   just 5 gzipped tarballs.)
>   However, network bandwidth isn't the real killer; it is....
> * Disk/memory bandwidth.  Were we to offer several different kinds of ISOs
>   as has been requested, given the various FTP mirrors' known load, we'd
>   basically be ordering a bunch of NetBSD FTP sites to hand over their core
>   RAM and page themselves to death.
>   The problem lies in the fact that there is redundant data -- both in the
>   ISOs and in the standard release directories.  As a straw example, if one
>   person is downloading the sparc64 ISO, one is downloading "Multiplatform
>   1", and one is downloading sparc64 tarballs, all three of these users are
>   accessing different parts of disk and buffer/page cache, even if the data
>   is identical.  Add that up with the typical number of downloaders we have
>   seen at a release, and even striped disksets have a very hard time keeping
>   up with the load.

Please reconsider having a source-only official ISO image.
Just one ISO would cover all platforms.  This would not be
redundant with any other ISOs.  It would be redundant with
the release directories, but so are the current ISOs.
Would one more ISO really break the back of the FTP sites?
Think of it this way: it's like adding 1/4 of a packages

As for downloading the source, consider my case, which is
common.  My 56K modem gets 45.3K connections and I can
download about 5000 bytes/sec.  The source, including xsrc,
totals 153.9 MB gzipped.  This works out to 8.97 hours of
download time, the largest chunk of which is 4.55 hours.
I would much prefer to order an additional CD-ROM from
Edmunds or CheapBytes for $2.50 - $3.00 than to spend 8.97
hours downloading.

If you had a source-only ISO I think that Edmunds and
CheapBytes and others would produce CDs from it, and that
this would put NetBSD source in more people's hands.
I think that the NetBSD Project would benefit from the
widest possible distribution of source.

Thanks for taking the time to explain your position.
Please let me know if I've gotten anything wrong.

NOTE: I'm not subscribed to this list.