I was running some stats on the Fedora 11 release, and an interesting thing caught my eye. Very few people are downloading the six (or in the case of PPC, seven) CDs to perform a “Fedora” install. Very Very few. In fact, at most, six people downloaded split media CDs using the Fedora mirror servers in the first few days. This in contrast to the over 234,000 direct downloads of DVDs and LiveCDs in the same amount of time. BitTorrent statistics are a little better for CDs: 908 completed downloads of the split media CDs, out of 41,235 total downloads (or ~2.2 %).
Which leads to the question, “Do we really need split media CDs for Fedora 12?”
A few more points lend credence to this idea.
Looking only at the BitTorrent stats for Fedora 9, 10, and now 11, we see an interesting trend. Figure 1 shows that the interest in split media CDs has been decreasing over the past year.
I have a suspicion. As the number of x86_64 users grows, it’s more likely that x86_64 systems will have DVD readers as opposed to older CD readers. Figure 2 shows the growth of x86_64 vs x86 over the past year, again extracted from BitTorrent statistics.
The entire Fedora 11 release as sent to the mirrors is ~143GB. Of that, CD and DVD ISOs represent ~34GB; the split media CD ISOs represent ~15.5GB of that. As most of the rest of that 143GB is all hardlinked, we’re really only transferring out all these ISO files. 10% of the disk space, and 45% of the time/bandwidth needed to get a release out to the mirrors, for about 2% of the user base, and declining.
CDs had their place, back when DVD readers weren’t commonplace, and before we had LiveCD/LiveUSB medias. Now, DVDs are fairly common, the LiveCDs work great for a lot of installs, and we have both a small (158MB) network-based bootable CD installer for new installs that would require a CD, and preupgrade for upgrading from an older distro version to the next. Let’s kill off split media CDs for Fedora 12.