In order to save space, is it possible to make the CD English-only, and put the other languages only on the DVD?

4 Answers 4


Indeed, CDs already do not contain language packs other than English. The language choices you see on CD is just for the translations of the installation process' strings. For the actual language packs of an Ubuntu system other than English to be installed, you should either have a working internet connection during the installation or you should install from a DVD or you should install language packs later.

Its officially stated as below:

DVD downloads

Don't be confused, even though DVDs can hold far more data than the typical Ubuntu CD, the main benefit of the DVD downloads is to get access to all of the available language packs. Most people will be fine with the standard CD installer. There are fewer download locations for the DVD images and this list is updated less frequently than for the CD images.

  • For an analysis of the language data in a CD, see Aleksandr Levchuk's 2nd answer. Commented Nov 3, 2010 at 18:02

My rough estimate is that the language data is occupying 600 MB on the DVD.

Not all files are in packages. Many are inside a squashfs as one flat file-system:

  • On the DVD they occupy about 300 MB (which becomes 822 MB after extraction).

Packages (~ 300MB):

  • Most of it the language related packages are of the "localization" section (195 MB)
  • Packages of the section "translations" (55 MB)
  • They depend on spelling dictionaries and word lists (29 MB)

Here is how I counted:

wget http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/dvd/current/maverick-dvd-amd64.iso    
mkdir mnt
sudo mount -o loop ./maverick-dvd-amd64.iso ./mnt

# Flat files from Squashfs
sudo mount -o loop ./mnt/casper/filesystem.squashfs ./mnt-dvd2/
sudo find mnt-dvd2/ -type d -a \( -name '*langpack*' -prune -o -name '*language*' \) > files
du -hsc `cat files` # 822 MB uncompressed
tar czf files.tar.gz `cat files` # Very rough approximation of squashfs compression
ls -lh files.tar.gz # (305 MB)

# Localization section packages (195 MB):
for i in `find ./mnt/ -name *.deb`; do dpkg -I $i | grep -q "Section: localization" && echo $i ; done | xargs du -hsc

# Translations section packages (55 MB):
for i in `find ./mnt/ -name *.deb`; do dpkg -I $i | grep -q "Section: translations" && echo $i ; done | xargs du -hsc

# Spelling Dictionaries and Word Lists packages (29 MB):
for i in `find mnt/ -name *.deb`; do dpkg -I $i | grep Provides | egrep -q '(wordlist)|(dictionary)|(spell-)' && echo $i ; done  | xargs du -hsc

Details are here http://codepad.org/vVfI44gw

  • Can you do the same for the CD?
    – 8128
    Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 8:19
  • 1
    +1 @fluteflute. This answer contains useful info but it has nothing to do with the CD; question is related with the CDs. Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 15:36
  • I thought it was for DVD. My mistake. Will to the CD right now. Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 18:05
  • Please see my other answer - it's for the CD. Commented Nov 4, 2010 at 13:37

Yes it'd be possible to make the CD smaller that way. Are you worried that language packs are taking up space on the installed system? Only the language you choose as default is installed by default. Not all of what's on the CD ends up on the system.

  • I have enough space on my disk. But there is problem that a lot of good stuff don't appear on CD because of not enough space.
    – Hillar
    Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 20:56

My rough estimate is that the language data is occupying 30 MB on the CD.

The CD does not have any .deb packages related to language, everything is in the squashfs filesystem.

Here is how I counted:

wget http://mirror.yellowfiber.net/ubuntu//maverick/ubuntu-10.10-desktop-amd64.iso

mkdir mnt-cd mnt-cd2
sudo mount -o loop ubuntu-10.10-desktop-amd64.iso ./mnt-cd/
sudo mount -o loop mnt-cd/casper/filesystem.squashfs  ./mnt-cd2/
sudo find mnt-cd2/ -type d -a \( -name '*langpack*' -prune -o -name '*language*' \) > files2

du -shc `cat files2`
149K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions/[email protected]
149K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions/[email protected]
149K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions/[email protected]
148K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions/[email protected]
159K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions/[email protected]
163K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions/[email protected]
160K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions/[email protected]
161K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions/[email protected]
159K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions/[email protected]
160K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions/[email protected]
148K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions/[email protected]
5.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/lib/language-selector
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-en
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-en-base
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-es
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-es-base
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-gnome-en
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-gnome-en-base
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-gnome-es
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-gnome-es-base
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-gnome-pt
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-gnome-pt-base
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-gnome-xh
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-gnome-xh-base
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-pt
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-pt-base
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-xh
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-pack-xh-base
14K mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-selector
13K mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-selector-common
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-support-en
1.5K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/doc/language-support-writing-en
25M mnt-cd2/usr/share/gnome/help-langpack
788K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/gtksourceview-2.0/language-specs
63K mnt-cd2/usr/share/language-selector
41K mnt-cd2/usr/share/language-support
54M mnt-cd2/usr/share/locale-langpack
279K    mnt-cd2/usr/share/omf-langpack
81M total

tar czf files2.tar.gz `cat files2`
ls -lh files2.tar.gz # 32 MB

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