Subject: Re: Suggestion: NetBSD source official ISO image
To: None <,>
From: Carl Mascott <>
List: tech-install
Date: 12/13/2001 13:09:39
> From: Brad Knowles <>
> At 1:11 AM -0500 on 12/12/01, Todd Vierling wrote:
> >  : 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.
> >
> >  ...any of these companies can simply download the tarballs, run "mkisofs"
> >  (Un*x) or Nero (Windows) on the directory, and end up with a source-only CD
> >  in mere seconds.  Putting it on the FTP site just wastes diskspace.
> 	While they certainly could do you, you and I both know that they 
> almost certainly won't.  IMO, if we gave them a source-only ISO, they 
> would be much more likely to add that to their sets of NetBSD 
> CD-ROMs, because we wouldn't be asking them to take any additional 
> steps than what they're already doing for the other NetBSD ISOs.

I agree with Brad.  The budget CD vendors can't afford to invest
the time in activities like this when they sell CDs for only
$2.50 - $3.00.  All they can afford to do is download ISOs and
burn CDs from them.  You won't find many, if any, custom CDs
in their catalogs.  Also keep in mind that NetBSD is hardly the
biggest seller for any of these outfits.

> 	I really think that Carl has the right idea here -- while it may 
> be somewhat wasteful of diskspace (not that much, really), the 
> benefit to the NetBSD project (and all of the volunteer mirror sites) 
> in terms of saved bandwidth would almost certainly more than pay for 
> this slight increase in additional disk space.

I'd like to expand on this, if I understand Brad correctly.  I
think it's an important point and one that I missed.

If source CDs were commonly available for $2.50 - $3.00 I think
many people (especially those using modems) who now download
source would stop doing so and buy a CD instead.  This would
actually reduce traffic on NetBSD FTP sites: a handful of CD
vendors instead of a lot of end-users downloading source.

I asked Edmunds Enterprises of America if they would add a
NetBSD source CD to their product line if an ISO were available.
They said they would.  They did not say whether or not they
would be willing to make a custom CD from tarballs.  They did,
however, confirm that their standard modus operandus is indeed
to download ISOs and burn CDs from them.