I dont understand whats in 5gb of os x and windows installation dvds when ubuntu fits on 700mb cd and just works with every hardware! I am not criticizing i am just curious. I'm expecting answers like comparing webgl with dirextx or graphics library whatever mac uses and comparision between frameworks used by these oses.

  • You generally want a network connection to pick up what did not fit on the cd – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen May 14 '13 at 8:01
  • Jai vasa1 Mitch @maggotbrain basharat-sial i don understan why this question is of no research importance. I'm expecting answers like comparing webgl with dirextx or graphics library whatever mac uses and comparision between frameworks used by these oses. – Necktwi May 14 '13 at 14:39
  • From the FAQ: "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page." – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen May 14 '13 at 14:52

They are two very different operating systems and have quite different architectures. Mac OS X has many softwares installed by default.That takes up most of the space of the installation disc.

Now, coming to Ubuntu we have a 700MB CD because of the lower size of bundled softwares and the kernel/GNU utils. There are lots of DVD variants of Ubuntu which are upto 4 gb in size and they comes preloaded with Softwares.

Another important thing is that, It is the Linux kernel that gives support for wide range of hardware, not the size of the CD/DVD. You can't equate the installation disc size with variety in hardware support.

Hope that helps.

  • In addition Linux also uses a squashfs which has a much higher compression level than do Windows or OS X methods of storing files on CD – Taylor Ramirez May 14 '13 at 6:39
  • change in architecture don increase size of os. compared to unity graphics those are in osx are not too high, they jst got better artists i think, not so sure. and darwin kernel dont support wide range of hardware and that increased size of os x!! @TaylorBioniks pointed out something interesting and reasonable. I'm still curious about what additional packages in 5gb of osx thats not in my ubuntu. – Necktwi May 14 '13 at 7:41
  • @neckTwi As i said earlier since OSX has a lot of bundled softwares with it which are of higher space requirements. That is most probable reason. Lets say, hypothetically OSX used the same better compression(sqashfs) it would still not be smaller than 2.5 GB. Also, it is rhetorical that if a you don't have to support a wide range of hardware you don't need much kenel code for them. So that argument doesn't makes sense. – Vinit Kumar May 15 '13 at 3:18

Well this isn't strictly true anymore, see OMG Ubuntu

Ubuntu 12.10 will increase the maximum size of its disc image from 700MB to 800MB, thereby making it too big to fit onto traditional CD-R media.

As for why OSX and Windows don't support it, the reason is that they never really had that as a goal as it wasn't in their interest as they were going to sell it commercially in retail stores on DVD media anyway.

It is only recently that OS like Mountain Lion became downloadable content. Until then, there was no need for OSX or Windows to worry about being smaller as they were always going to come on DVD media anyway so they basically made the most of the space available to them on that media since it was their target media.

It might become a bigger concern for Apple now they sell OS updates through the App Store too.


It is a matter of goals.

Both Ubuntu and OS X was originally designed to ship on cdrom media (e.g. OS X 10.4 came on four cd or one dvd), but OS X is dvd or network only today.

Ubuntu has a different target audience than OS X, so they have stayed with the cdrom distribution method for a lot longer than OS X. Going for the cdrom media allows the largest possible audience to download and burn the installation ISO. If they only shipped a Bluray image, only those with Bluray drives would be able to download and install Ubuntu.

Personally I think that breaking the 700 MB limit should be equivalent to "we now create dvd images only". They download a lot of software anyway to keep up to date.

  • "we now create dvd images only" Use USB pendrive as alternative – Aryo Adhi May 14 '13 at 8:43
  • @AryoAdhi most pendrives can hold dvd images. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen May 14 '13 at 8:45
  • Exactly. I just want to say that. – Aryo Adhi May 14 '13 at 8:46

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