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 All versions on one DVD

Created 8 years ago, edited 8 years ago.
Status changed 6 years ago

134 votes

Since we're starting to go into DVD-size ISO's now, I think it would be interesting to have, in addition to individual version CD's, a LiveDVD that includes all versions (Gnome, KDE, LXDE, etc.) to choose from at first boot. You can put in one disc, play around with all the versions, then install the one you like best.


1 year ago

Podría ser, pero siempre que se conserven las versiones individuales. Francamente no creo que sea muy útil.  
2 years ago

Some useful links:
2 years ago

Great idea, I promoted. I was thinking about this a few days ago. Good one.  
3 years ago

Creating a Multiboot ISO is easy, I have one too, but downloading a whole 4 gigs os ISO just to install a personal taste of choice is not so good idea  
5 years ago

should be implemented already.  
5 years ago

I'd rather see a DVD with videos presenting the various flavours of Mint that is available.  
5 years ago

6 years ago

@RayWoods, no problem. Completely understood.  
6 years ago

I have had a long think over this idea, I even supported it but, we have to think practically. The idea is great for areas of the world where there is established economical broadband however, this is not true for many areas of the world where throughput is restricted, data quantities are restricted and the cost of exceeding preset levels are excessive.

Even if we went ahead with the unified ISO the Development Team would still need to produce the individual ISOs, for those with restricted data connections and I feel it would be unfair of us to demand this additional work from the Team.

I therefore Reject the idea for now. Sorry @mikefreeman.

7 years ago

This would be really nice.

Is it possible to have a display manager within the live boot that allows the user to choose between desktop shells? This would allow the user to log out to try the others without a restart. (Except presumably going between the Ubuntu and straight Debian fork)

This unfortunately would pose a separate issue to be addressed; the guest account would require the ability to log back in from live boot.
7 years ago

I like the idea  
7 years ago

Restricted to the 32 bit variant and excluding the LMDE's  
7 years ago

Excellent idea. But leave Gnome 3 Mint 12 off of it!  
7 years ago

I definitely think the 32/64-bit variants should be combined. Arch Linux does it this way. I'm too frugal to waste DVDs on 1GB disc images.  
7 years ago

Why not instead creating a mini LM iso that ships without any DE, and when you first boot it you're downloading your favorite DE directly from the repos?  
7 years ago

That's a good idea. I think OpenSuse does that with Gnome and KDE.  
7 years ago

Great! Thanks, @kip-! Until they release an "official" ISO, this could nicely fill the gap! I will try it out soon!  
7 years ago

Hi all,

I've just wrote small and easy "how to" for this :)

@mikefreeman btw great idea! here you go son:
7 years ago

7 years ago

including the 64bits version too..
it also nice if the iso is updated weekly, very helpful for slow connection user like me..
7 years ago

Yeah. lets make it so it defaults to the best distro to handle the hardware of the machine installing it.
7 years ago

yes - a downloadable swiss-army knife type of disc - so if one cofig don't work on a machine - the others might still have a chance to function.  
7 years ago

Wonderfull idea  
7 years ago

Maybe this could be arranged neatly - a common base-bundle, boot-scripts and pre-installed software, and then you slap the DE-specific stuff (and alternate display managers?) on top? I confess I know bugger all about squashfs/cramfs/whateverfs.  
7 years ago

Sounds nice but I prefer to keep it simple. Like others said just install the packages or maybe an additional install script to grab such DE/WM for you on install?  
7 years ago

What about creating a multiboot USB drive?

We can use an automated tool like Xboot and MultiBootISOs USB Creator.

There is a tutorial on "How to create a multiboot USB drive".
7 years ago

You can do that now, by simply installing whatever additional desktop environments you want. After you enter your username in the GDM login screen (but before you enter your password), there is a menu at the bottom of the screen (in the default GDM at least) that lets you select which DE to use. I believe it remains persistent with each specific user, so if you select KDE for this session, for example, then logout, next time you enter your username to login, it will still be set to KDE.

One problem I've discovered with that, though, is that having more DE's installed slows down your system. At least it did for me.
7 years ago

Love the idea, but I think that you can take it one step further.

There should be a way for different users on a single machine to be able to load whatever desktop environment they wish. For example, I am User1 and I use GNOME. I log off, then User2 logs in with KDE. Then they log off and User3 loads up LXDE.

I'm not sure if there is a way to already do this, and I'm also not sure how complex that would make the system or how broken it would be from all the different mixing of packages.
8 years ago

AlbertP: I actually wasn't thinking about quite as complicated a system. I was thinking about booting the DVD into a menu, where you would then select the equivalent of each individual LiveCD/DVD available. For example, you select the "Main Edition" from the menu, and it loads the exact version you'd see when you boot into the Main Edition Live CD/DVD. Select "KDE Edition" and you'd be in the KDE CD/DVD. No other files than exactly what you'd get with each individual version would be available.

Perhaps store individual ISO's on the DVD and have a sort of virtual disk loader boot into the selected ISO. Or, if it's easier to do, have each version held in its own folder (containing the entire CD/DVD in each folder, or even creating symbolic links to files that are common between each to save disk space). Or maybe do something similar in the DVD equivalent to a partition.

I did not want to suggest having them blended together, because that might have the potential of causing all sorts of problems.
8 years ago

I am already planning to do this on a USB. Since my 4GB stick has died I have to buy a new one, but when I've done this I will install as much as possible Mint's on it thru Multisystem ISO.

By the way, you will be getting the same problems that has, webbrowsers that does not support files above 2 or 4 GB (for example, 4GB support was new in Internet Explorer 8 and many Windows people that want to switch to us might still be having 7 or even an older version.

When you are doing this on DVD, you can let them all use the same kernel and other things, just a desktop choice after boot (when normally the login screen would appear).

There are packages out in the KDE and XFCE repos, that conflict with Gnome ones. We should try to avoid this in future releases, and when that's done we can: 1. make a DVD with one system but all versions, 2. add a 'switch to KDE/XFCE/LXDE version' package in our repository, for users to be able to use all versions on one system.
8 years ago

This is a great idea, instead of having to download every single different version I'd just be able to download a DVD image. The core is still the same, and only the things wich are different in the chosen version should be installed/loaded seperately.  
8 years ago

Interesting idea but I'd add additional feature on the web like Slax crew have it on their web: custom managing aka adding additional packages which you have to install after booting after regular booting - meaning those apps which aren't included in the current base distros...  
8 years ago

agree, all linux desktop so one = all in one.! and can try changing the desktop for comparing - comparing them with others.  
8 years ago

well... the different release-dates will be a problem, but for the beginning a dvd-iso after all editions are released will be nice! ...and maybe downsize the traffic from and the mirrors!

a good chance to start will be now with the LTS-versions!!!
--> my idea: maybe release Linux Mint 9.1 (i hope there will be updates for the LTS-versions) as a dvd-iso with all desktop environments available!
8 years ago

I would make sure there were still smaller iso's for each desktop. I like being able to try different desktops. That is what I love the most about Linux (choice). For me the drawbacks of one large dvd iso would be how long it would take to download (rural area, still on copper dsl) and it would take up more room on my thumbdrive than I care for (I run my from a thumbdrive so I can switch computers).  
8 years ago

True. In order for this idea to work, there would have to be more focus on getting all the editions released closer to the same time. That might be the biggest drawback to this.  
8 years ago

It obviously would have to come after all the editions are to the same release number...
Given the differences (like between Gnome and KDE, what depends on what...) and the sizes (could they all fit on one DVD?) should there be a slightly narrowed selection? Maybe both Gnome/Xfce/Fluxbox DVD and a KDE/LXDE DVD? I don't particularly know what combo would work best.
I think this idea would be best for say, distributing in a magazine or the like.
8 years ago

Alexio, your idea with 32/64-bit DVDs of all Linux Mint edition was great. The latter is simply overkill. There's no point into taking this to such a level. The 32-bit disk would be pretty complete anyway.  
8 years ago

@Alexio: Well, my idea was not about all environments, but all current LiveCD disc image versions in one DVD. Maybe I didn't make that as clear as I should have.

Personally, I've had some difficulty with installing too many environments on one system (even just Gnome and KDE). All environments slow down to a crawl if I install multiple environments. It'd be better to have individual disc images, perhaps, which could be chosen from at startup. That would keep the environments clean, fast, and separated, and give the user a clear idea of what comes with that particular installer.

Anyway, I think sticking with what Clem and the Mint team has already put together would be the best start. If they want to branch out into more environments, then those images could be included as well.
8 years ago

@mikefreeman - This idea is about creating a DVD with all the environments that can be installed from the official repositories.

Using the Main Edition of Linux Mint, one (like myself or anyone else interested in this kind of project) can install most of the desktop environments and use a remaster tool to create and distribute a DVD.

Of course, there are some issues related to the installation of a large number of X Window System desktop environments together and how the installed apps work in each environment.

I think this kind of DVD may be useful to show the broad choice of environments that are available for the new users.
8 years ago

I think we should just stick with the Mint versions that are currently available. Don't want to overload Clem and his team with 20 different environments to maintain.  
8 years ago

What do you think about a DVD with all the X Window System desktop environments available as options at login?

There are different classes of desktop environments:
- Full environments:
2. KDE
4. ROX *
5. Xfce
6. Étoilé *
7. EDE *
- Shell (semi-environment):
8. Enlightenment *
- Window manager only:
9. awesome
10. Blackbox
11. Openbox
12. Fluxbox
13. Icewm
14. Ratpoison
15. wmii
16. dwm
17. xmonad
18. WindowLab
19. Ion
20. jwm

* Not yet available in the official Ubuntu repositories.

Reference used: Comparison of X Window System desktop environments
8 years ago

I like this! I promote Linux all the time, and have installed it on several (happy) peoples computers. This would be an easy way to show, test, and play around with the different versions.  
8 years ago

Alexio, that sounds like a great way to do it!  
8 years ago

I think that there should be one DVD for each architecture group (32-bit or 64-bit) including all editions as boot options.

The 32-bit DVD with:
1. Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox (608 MB)
2. Linux Mint 9 KDE (1.3 GB)
3. Linux Mint 9 Xfce (696 MB)
4. Linux Mint 9 LXDE (595 MB)
5. Linux Mint 9 Gnome (763 MB)

The 64-bit DVD with:
1. Linux Mint 9 KDE (1.3 GB)
2. Linux Mint 9 Xfce (689 MB)
3. Linux Mint 9 Gnome (757 MB)

There is a How to create a Multiboot ISO with Grub2 that may be useful to create a working LiveDVD.
8 years ago

Good to know that some methods of achieving this are available, Alexio! I guess part of my intent is for new users and places that might distribute Mint LiveCD's and DVD's. It would be easier for stores to stock a single DVD rather than multiple versions, and it would be easier for those who wish to purchase them to only have to get one instead of multiple DVD's. Also, for the non-Linux person (aka Windows user), using shell scripts might not be an easy thing to accomplish. I've found that it's hard enough for the average Windows user to understand that you can't just drop an ISO into Windows' built-in CD-writing window and make the CD/DVD. Anything more complex would send them packing and never looking at Linux again. So Mint making a single multi-boot DVD ISO would facilitate things a little better, I think.  
8 years ago

These multiboot facilities seem to have a fruitful and long living! +1 to any multiboot initiative!  
8 years ago

To combine several CDs into one DVD there is "a shell script designed to build a multiboot CD image containing many different Linux distributions and/or utilities" called .  
8 years ago

Maybe a tool to create such a DVD from the various ISO files is the best approach. See in PDF format the article “Creating a Linux Multi-Boot DVD” by Lawrence Wellman from the Computer Information Technology, Brigham Young University – Idaho to learn about "combining of many Linux live CD’s onto a single Multi-Boot DVD".  

Other ideas from mikefreeman