Why are the download ISOs so big?


#1

Do not be fooled by appearances, Elive takes deep care in making the system fast even in old computers.

To have a big ISO doesn’t necessarily means that your system will be big, and even less to be slow, but we want to provide an amazing operating system instead of an empty one.

Going through the details, the main reasons of why they are big is that includes:

A full suite of applications shipped, making the system ready to be used and fully functional

You can remove any application that you don’t want in the installed system, and apart of that, the installation has special features to make the system lighter, this means:

  1. Normal installation with everything included: 7.45 GB
  2. All the options selected for have a smaller installation: 2.68 GB

So not counting how it can be if you remove unneeded applications

Cached things to have a smooth installation and without the need to have a connection to internet

There’s many reasons to do it this way, but to understand it correctly you must think in Elive as a system to install more than a Live system

  1. It allows the possibility to install extra drivers or needed things in live mode without internet
  2. No need to wait downloading huge extra drivers or packages in every live mode
  3. Downloading them will also increases twice the RAM usage because they are saved in the overlay filesystem (stored in RAM)
  4. A thousand years can pass, and the ISOs will be always working, no matter if Elive dissapears or the repositories doesn’t exist anymore

All the cached things are not included in the installed system unless your specific hardware, country/languages, or special cases, requires them to be included. The installed system only includes the needed things

So in short, the DVD of Elive is the suite to install a beautiful and complete operating system, to turn your computer in a useful and powerful tool.


#2

And it’s not even that much bigger than some other main distros. I think your approach is the best one, great job! You have no idea of how cool it has been being able to run a live session even on a '01 P4 with 256 mbs of ram when I needed to!