Neil Both­wick

Linux Format - - Coding Academy -

I can’t re­mem­ber the last time we had only two distros on the

Lin­uxFor­mat DVD, but that is the case this month. The DVDs aren’t get­ting any smaller, of course − it’s the distros that are def­i­nitely bulk­ing up.

While this size in­crease is ev­i­dent in all ar­eas, from the ker­nel to the desktop, it’s def­i­nitely the lat­ter that’s no­tice­ably grow­ing. Ubuntu 18.04 is 300MB larger than the last LTS re­lease, 16.04. You may think this is be­cause of the switch from Unity to Gnome, but Unity still ran on Gnome Shell.

Fur­ther­more, Fedora has grown by the same amount in just one re­lease and that’s still us­ing Gnome. Yes, we could have found room for a third dis­tro had we used a vanilla Ubuntu, but the desktop remixes are pop­u­lar and this one has only two ad­di­tional desktops. Pre­vi­ous remixes also in­cluded KDE, which is large in it­self be­cause it makes use of a dif­fer­ent graph­i­cal tool­kit for the other choices.

So Gnome (in this in­stance) is get­ting big­ger − a lot big­ger, as it turns out. The ques­tion that we have to ask our­selves is: is a larger dis­tro worth the ef­fort? Only you can an­swer that, by look­ing at the lat­est Gnome re­lease and de­cid­ing if you want the new fea­tures and if they are worth the hard drive real-es­tate price. Or is there a price at all? Af­ter all, hard drives are big­ger and cheaper then ever, so what does the odd 100MB here and there mat­ter?

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