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[alpine-devel] On the relevance of alpine-standard.iso

ScrumpyJack
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Poking around the alpine ISO, there seems to be a healthy selection of
packages in there geared toward the assumption that the user will be
building a switch, a router, or a voip appliance, SIP or something
similar.

This seems to show a bias towards network appliance building, and is the
result of a choice in packages to include, and that choice implies a
preference, or a bias. This would be fine if network appliances was all
Alpine Linux was good for, but, of course Alpine Linux is much more
than that.

The obvious question is why exclude or omit this or that packages?

In addition, that makes the ISO an edited version of the ever growing
Alpine Repositories.

To avoid this sort of limiting experience, or bias, or edited selection, I
wonder if there is a use of a large Alpine Linux ISO build/distribution.

At risk of sounding like a sales person, the alpine-mini ISO, which 
contains the essential packages to boot a basic operating environment, 
set up wired/wireless networking and an ssh server, allows the user enough 
to go find the exact packages she needs to build her environment and 
choose the software she'd like.

In addition, it was pointed out to me that perhaps packages in an ISO
might deter some from connecting to, or setting up, a repo, which has 
implications on keeping up to day with security patches.

Would there be value in ceasing to provide the current Alpine Linux
"standard" ISO, and replacing it with the Alpine Mini ISO (and dropping
the mini label)?

Apologies for the lengthy, sometimes eye-rolling email.

Jack


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Natanael Copa
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Sorry for late reply.

On Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:46:33 +0000 (UTC)
ScrumpyJack <scrumpyjack@me.com> wrote:

> Poking around the alpine ISO, there seems to be a healthy selection of
> packages in there geared toward the assumption that the user will be
> building a switch, a router, or a voip appliance, SIP or something
> similar.
> 
> This seems to show a bias towards network appliance building, and is the
> result of a choice in packages to include, and that choice implies a
> preference, or a bias. This would be fine if network appliances was all
> Alpine Linux was good for, but, of course Alpine Linux is much more
> than that.
> 
> The obvious question is why exclude or omit this or that packages?

Good question.
 
> In addition, that makes the ISO an edited version of the ever growing
> Alpine Repositories.
> 
> To avoid this sort of limiting experience, or bias, or edited selection, I
> wonder if there is a use of a large Alpine Linux ISO build/distribution.
> 
> At risk of sounding like a sales person, the alpine-mini ISO, which 
> contains the essential packages to boot a basic operating environment, 
> set up wired/wireless networking and an ssh server, allows the user enough 
> to go find the exact packages she needs to build her environment and 
> choose the software she'd like.
> 
> In addition, it was pointed out to me that perhaps packages in an ISO
> might deter some from connecting to, or setting up, a repo, which has 
> implications on keeping up to day with security patches.
> 
> Would there be value in ceasing to provide the current Alpine Linux
> "standard" ISO, and replacing it with the Alpine Mini ISO (and dropping
> the mini label)?

I think you have good points.

I gave it a bit thought and realized that the bigger iso is for typical
live/diskless/tmpfs installs. I think this is the only reason for using
the alpine.iso.

In all other setups I would think that the alpine-mini.iso  would be to
prefer.

But to avoid confusion. I would like to avoid re-use the alpine.iso
name. (also, why do we call it alpine.iso and not alpine-linux.iso?)

So what i think would make more sense would be to rename
alpine-mini.iso to alpine-bootonly.iso (or maybe
alpine-linux-bootonly.iso) and alpine.iso to alpine-livecd.iso (or
alpine-linux-livecd.iso) or similar.

I do think it makes sense to promote the alpine-mini or alpine-bootonly
iso on the frontpage instead of the bloated image.

Does anyone else have better ideas?

-nc


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