Shrinking SolydX ISOs

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ilu
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Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby ilu » 20 Feb 2016 22:21

I was thinking about suggesting to remove LibreOffice from the SolydX ISO default install. It's overhead many people don't need and it's easy to install afterwards (might go into Solyd Welcome). Would the ISO shrink too?

I'm just curious: Did anybody ever try or calculate how much the SolydX ISO could be shrinked without loosing important functionality?

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Zill
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby Zill » 20 Feb 2016 23:38

What would be the point? Even if all the LO packages (and dependencies) were removed from SolydXK, I suspect the resulting ISO would still not fit on a CD (but I could be wrong!). How many users only have a CD drive, rather than DVD and/or USB? If a DVD or USB is still required then there would be little to be gained by LO removal.

Although "default" applications for any distro are always a never-ending discussion, I suggest that a good office package is a pre-requisite for many, if not most, users. IMHO, this does justify LO as a default application for any distro claiming to be fully functional out-of-the-box.

balloon
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby balloon » 20 Feb 2016 23:49

When I have seen the other Jessie fork distribution,
also on distributions that do not include the LibreOffice exceeds the CD size.
Perhaps that fit the ISO to CD size would have been difficult.

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Arjen Balfoort
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 21 Feb 2016 07:26

May I point you to the mission statement on the main site:
SolydXK is an open source operating system for small businesses, non-profit organizations and home users. SolydXK focuses on stability, security and ease of use and will help new users make the transition from Windows to Linux easier.
You see that SolydXK is focussed on businesses and organizations as well as home users (in that order). It's not SolydXK's focus to create small ISOs.


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kurotsugi
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby kurotsugi » 21 Feb 2016 08:06

LO isn't the only 'big' stuff in solydxk. I recall we didn't use it on early release but the iso size was already bigger than cd. LO was added later when some user suggested it. That being said, I saw some distro offer "net" version which only contain desktop+music player+firefox and fit into a cd. It might be a good idea when we have lot of user base and some user demands it, but, at this time, I think it's better for us to focus in our current main product :3

Just my opinion.

Anyway, if you need a comparison, mine is a minimalist system with about 4gb disk usage for system partition. The compression used in iso is about 80% so my system used as the iso base we'll got ~800mb.

SolydForEver
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby SolydForEver » 21 Feb 2016 10:54

ilu wrote:I was thinking about suggesting to remove LibreOffice from the SolydX ISO default install. It's overhead many people don't need and it's easy to install afterwards (might go into Solyd Welcome). Would the ISO shrink too?

I'm just curious: Did anybody ever try or calculate how much the SolydX ISO could be shrinked without loosing important functionality?
I would even say the opposite: add as many packages as will fit on a 4.7GB DVD. Burn the damn thing completely full.
Make the choice which package yes and which no after a really long think. It should be useful, it should be handy, it should add something to the OS.

Another way of looking at it is quite the opposite:
make the ISO as small as possible by only add the kernel and some needed packages. Make the installer very extensive so during installation you can choose exactly which package you want and which you don't want. That way the result is an installation which suits your needs.

Just my thoughts.

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Zill
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby Zill » 21 Feb 2016 11:19

SolydForEver wrote:... Another way of looking at it is quite the opposite:
make the ISO as small as possible by only add the kernel and some needed packages. Make the installer very extensive so during installation you can choose exactly which package you want and which you don't want. That way the result is an installation which suits your needs.
Err... this already exists. See "Debian netinstall".

balloon
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby balloon » 21 Feb 2016 13:54

BunsenLabs has net installation means using a Debian netinst ISO.

https://github.com/BunsenLabs/bunsen-netinstall

This is a means that has been provided from the CrunchBang yet informal.
This can be installed from the CD drive.

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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby SolydForEver » 22 Feb 2016 18:13

Zill wrote:
SolydForEver wrote:... Another way of looking at it is quite the opposite:
make the ISO as small as possible by only add the kernel and some needed packages. Make the installer very extensive so during installation you can choose exactly which package you want and which you don't want. That way the result is an installation which suits your needs.
Err... this already exists. See "Debian netinstall".
Sorry, but this is not what I meant. I just installed the netinstall version in a virtual machine and I have ended up with a complete install. Seems all other things which are not on the cd are downloaded during installation. What I wrote was:

Code: Select all

make the ISO as small as possible by only adding the kernel and some needed packages. Make the installer very extensive so during installation you can choose exactly which package you want and which you don't want.
Now I don't see any difference between a normal installation and this one, the end result is the same and I have all these programs installed which I never use and therefore don't need and want.

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Zill
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby Zill » 22 Feb 2016 20:44

SolydForEver: A Debian netinst should install a minimal system if you ensure everything is deselected at the Software Selection screen and, in particular, you should deselect the "Graphical desktop environment". The resulting system should then be fully functional from the CLI and you can then use the normal apt-get commands to install the packages of your choice.
debian_netinst.png
debian_netinst.png (47.9 KiB) Viewed 3242 times
It should also be possible to selectively install some packages during the installation if care is taken in selecting only those packages actually required.

See "How to install Debian 8 “jessie” Xfce using netinst/minimal iso"

rokytnji
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby rokytnji » 23 Feb 2016 01:51

Burn a PLOP CD

Use Unetbootin or Rufus or Lili to install SolydXK to a usb drive.

Boot the PLOP cd. Pick usb from Menu. Boot the USB drive.

No need to shrink iso. This works because I have done this many many times, Even with a PLOP Floppy disc on a Panasonic CF-48 and IBM T23 with no dvd boot support but they have a cd or floppy drive that allowed me to boot as a usb.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q3zsYCE5gA

rokytnji
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby rokytnji » 23 Feb 2016 02:07

I am pretty good at running stripped installs.

http://forums.solydxk.nl/viewtopic.php? ... ard#p17831

I have 2 isos on file that weigh in at about 200 MB +

Code: Select all

harry@harry-Latitude-XT2:~/Isos/AntiX/64bit_sid$ ls
antiX-16-a1-xorg-sid_x64-core.iso  md5
harry@harry-Latitude-XT2:~/Isos/AntiX/64bit_sid$ 
harry@harry-Latitude-XT2:~/Isos/AntiX/i386_Sid$ ls
antiX-16-a1-xorg-sid_386-core.iso  md5
harry@harry-Latitude-XT2:~/Isos/AntiX/i386_Sid$ 
Those core isos come stripped except for
These are for experienced users only. The isos are labelled as alphas.

Basically it is antiX-core plus xorg (needed to keep it free from systemd). eudev replaces udev.

It even installs a systemd-free xfce and kde.

*sysvinit - no systemd!, no libsystemd0!, no udev-systemd!
*kernel: 4.3.0-custom
*gcc5 and cpp-5
*xorg: 1:7.7+13
*xterm
*ceni and dhclient to connect to net
*elinks browser
*irssi chat
*antiX live remaster and persistence scripts
*rsync
*smxi/inxi scripts
From Here

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ilu
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby ilu » 23 Feb 2016 17:22

This is the suggestions/ideas/projects section and when I put up this topic for discussion I did not neglect the mission statement.

Regarding ISO size: I probably used the wrong word "ISO" but thank you kurotsugi for answering the question anyway. (And thank you rokytnji for the PLOP link.) What I meant was install size. I think the ideal SolydX install should be small - a working desktop with small apps for every major task like it was in 2013. The installation of big apps should be left to the user (I don't think this necessarily has to be handled by the installer). I'm not talking about SolydK here, only about X. It seems to me that the once notable difference between X and K is getting more and more reduced.
Other distros with smaller ISOs without a working desktop are no alternative "for small businesses, non-profit organizations and home users" so no need to discuss them.

Regarding Libre Office: I installed several new machines lately using newer images of SolydX and realized that I can't really recommend it anymore. I originally chose SolydX because it had a working desktop and NO office suite. Office suites come with macros and macros are bound to cause desaster sooner or later for unsuspecting citizens. If you don't need macros (and most small offices don't) then why install office packages that handle them? Abiword and Gnumeric handle daily use just fine for a lot of offices if you give them a chance.

There was a lot of discussion on some forums whether Linux is vulnerable to an attack like Locky. After considering the arguments I think it is vulnerable if it has LO onboard and if somebody takes the trouble to target Linux. It's just a question of market share vs. effort. So, considering the horrible risk at stake (complete data loss, worst case scenario includes backups) I decided to purge LO everywhere - which is annoying because if I used the 2013 ISOs, it would not even have been there.

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Zill
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby Zill » 23 Feb 2016 20:48

ilu: From the SolydXK home page:
[SolydX] intends to be as light-weight as possible without giving up any of the expected functionality.
IMHO, this means that SolydX should have the same major applications as SolydK. The main difference is that SolydX does not have the same overhead of glitzy eye-candy as SolydK, making it more lightweight.

Personally, while I am happy to avoid bling and wobbly windows, I do require high quality, fully functioning, office applications.

On this basis, while both Gnumeric and AbiWord have their merits, they do remain inferior to LibreOffice. AbiWord in particular is far buggier than LO Writer and cannot really compare when working with files from other systems.

While embedded viruses can be a risk to any application running macros, I suggest most of these will target Microsoft systems and so will generally be ignored by LO. Unless things have changed, LO macros are not compatible with Microsoft macros.

My vote is to keep LO in both SolydK and SolydX. Users can easily remove it with one command if required.

kurotsugi
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby kurotsugi » 24 Feb 2016 08:36

Well...regarding office suite, our choice is limited to open office, libre office, and wps suite. Due to the license and other reason the best choice is libre office. User can disable macro stuff if they're concerned with it. I'm not against the idea to make solydxk smaller and simpler but I think removing LO would be bad for our OOTB experience.

On my previous experiment we can squeeze the disk usage size upto 1,5 gb from stock solydxk installation without losing much functionalities. In fact, most of the removed parts were libs and rarely used tools so user won't notice it. If we really want to make solydxk smaller i think we can start from this point.

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ilu
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby ilu » 27 Mar 2016 17:27

I see that LibreOffice is going to stay. No problem I can deinstall it on every new machine (ransomware risks being my main concern) and install gnumeric and abiword instead. Annoying but not really a problem.

But if for some very specific reason you wanted a stripped down install with just the XFCE desktop, the SolydX settings and maybe some very basic programs (not even a web browser) how would you go about this?

1. Installing SolydX and deinstalling everything does not work cause of limited space so scratch that.

2. I thought about installing the debian net installer and build up from there (like in the link Zill provided) - but I would miss all Solyd configs wouldn't I? Same with the above-mentioned AntiX systems. I don't really want to dig to deep to get things working the way they are on my desktop. Or is the SolydX-specific stuff on top of debian bundled in the Solyd-system-adjustments package so that I could just cange sources and install that on top of debian net or antiX?

3. Building myself an ISO out of the existing one - if that is even possible - would most certainly also mean "digging to deep" although I would probably learn a lot while doing that. Where would I have to start?

The resulting system should use minimal memory and minimal disk space. What would be the easiest way to get some micro-SolydX?

kurotsugi
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby kurotsugi » 28 Mar 2016 13:08

I thought about installing the debian net installer and build up from there (like in the link Zill provided) - but I would miss all Solyd configs wouldn't I? Same with the above-mentioned AntiX systems. I don't really want to dig to deep to get things working the way they are on my desktop. Or is the SolydX-specific stuff on top of debian bundled in the Solyd-system-adjustments package so that I could just cange sources and install that on top of debian net or antiX?
the loss isn't bigger as you thought (you can install solydxk tools on top of vanilla debian then configure the theme and desktop. done). however, using net installer could result into unnecessarily big system if you didn't know how to use it properly (apt is enabling recommended package option and will drag lot of stuffs). my preferred method is actually trimming down an existing proper debian/solydxk desktop. it faster than starting from net install.
Building myself an ISO out of the existing one - if that is even possible - would most certainly also mean "digging to deep" although I would probably learn a lot while doing that. Where would I have to start?

solydxk constructor is supposed to handle that. you can start with a vanilla solydxk, then :
1. generate a list of installed packages "dpkg -i > list_packages.txt".
2. open that file and mark anything outside "libs" section which you think unnecessary.
3. if you got doubt on (2) do a simulation "aptitude -s purge <foo>" to see whether if the package is safe to remove. make sure you know the package function and it safe to remove.
4. remove all unnecessary packages from (3). using aptitude is better since it autoremove all unused packages. else, use "apt-get purge <foo>" as usual then continue by "apt-get purge autoremove".
5. use "sudo apt-get purge $(deborphan --guess-all)" to remove all unnecessary packages. repeat this command until nothing removed.
6. generate the new iso. done.

it's also possible to use debian's tool to create custom iso. but I don't know how it works.

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ilu
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby ilu » 28 Mar 2016 17:39

So I decided to go both ways on a virtual machine.

1. Debian netinstall resulted in a basic xfce system sized 2,2 GB without anything fancy and without software. Nice size but it took endless (nothing you'd like to do often) and a lot of things are missing where I don't know whether they are needed (the guide mentioned firmware-linux and amd64-microcode which are not in the sources, also display drivers). On the other hand a lot of xorg stuff for every imaginable input and output hardware was installed. At that point I decided to give up on netinstall.

2. I installed the 64bit nightlies (which worked flawlessly btw - 4,9 GB) and removed LO, vlc, clamav, firefox, thunderbird, luckybackup, remmina, usb-creator. Synaptic keeps notes for me. I ended up with 4,4 GB which is still to much for my taste. I tried some of the xfce-utilities but they wanted to deinstall xfce. So what else could go? Firebird maybe?
Is there a way to list installed packages sorted by size so I could see what would make a difference? dpkg -i > list_packages.txt did not work at all, it says it needs one package name minimum.

Thanks for the apt-get purge autoremove and deborphan commands kurotsugi. I'll use that at the end.

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Zill
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby Zill » 28 Mar 2016 19:32

ilu wrote:Is there a way to list installed packages sorted by size so I could see what would make a difference? dpkg -i > list_packages.txt did not work at all, it says it needs one package name minimum.
I use the following code to list all installed packages but this doesn't show sizes:

Code: Select all

dpkg --get-selections > installed-software
A quick websearch (thank you Ubuntu forums) reveals this code which does sort by size:

Code: Select all

dpkg-query -W --showformat='${Installed-Size;10}\t${Package}\n' | sort -k1,1n
However, I suggest this information is of doubtful value as such a list cannot show how many dependencies are related to each package. :?

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Arjen Balfoort
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Re: Shrinking SolydX ISOs

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 29 Mar 2016 13:18

I've created a 600MB ISO by using the latest Debian Live standard ISO.

In the attachment you will find the bash file I created to Solydify the ISO and two files with the installed packages of both the normal SolydX ISO and the newly created base ISO.

It's not perfect, but perhaps you can use it as a base for the further development of a new CE ;)

I've used the SolydXK Constructor and some files from a regular SolydX ISO (check the bash file in the attachement).

If you want to try it out: http://downloads.solydxk.nl/dev/solydx-base/
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solydx-base.tar.gz
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