4.0.3 ISO is too large to burn to DVD

Attempts at burning the 4.0.3 to dvd with K3b or cdrecord failed with an error that the iso is too large (about 200MB over). Can the iso be reduced to < 4.4GB to allow a standard burn to complete?

Yes, if you read the Install instructions, you’ll see that you need to
use a dual layer DVD. This is because the installer includes numerous
(large) template images.
You could rebuild the iso image without some templates, but it’s much
easier to write to a USB.

After careful consideration of the costs and benefits, we decided that we will no longer target single-layer DVDs as an installation medium. Please see the discussion on this issue for details:

There should be a way to just provide a bootstrap version just to install the absolute minimum to access the web and run the downloads. I’ve worked in a highly security regulated environment for many years and usb drives in new packaging were found to be compromised. We even went as far as installing kiosks to test drives. We never found CDs or DVDs with “added features.” At least not while I was working. Thanks for the prompt reply.

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I side with the dvd option. USB drives for dynamic storage and +/-R discs for permanent storage and emergency boots. Thanks for the link and quick reply.

I’d even pay a couple of bucks to have a dvd sent to me. This could be and income opportunity for the team:)

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This was discussed and considered on the issue linked above. Short version: We need the large ISO so that vulnerable users can bootstrap Tor safely. Having an additional minimal ISO that fits on a single-layer DVD for users with no Tor bootstrapping need would be ideal, but we lack the funding and workforce to support two separate installers.

This is also considered and discussed in installation security.

And that is still very much an option with dual-layer DVDs.

This idea has been raised and considered several times over the years. I suppose the reason it never took off is that we don’t have the workforce to manage global on-demand shipments ourselves (our expertise is in software, not selling physical goods over the internet), and we’re not aware of an acceptable third-party solution where the time and effort to set up and maintain everything would be worth the likely-paltry income we’d receive from a few bucks per user times the fraction of the user base that is willing to wait for physical media to arrive through the mail instead of creating it instantly themselves (whether on a disc or USB drive).

It’s worth noting that, from a security perspective, such an option wouldn’t necessarily provide you with much assurance that the installation medium is trustworthy, since the disc could have been replaced with a malicious copy at any point before it reaches you. You’d still want to verify its authenticity.

Oh, I just remembered that, when this topic came up before, someone pointed out that there was a website that sells installation discs for a large variety of open-source operating systems, including Qubes. However, I can no longer find such an offering. Nonetheless, I’m sure there are shops and individuals out there who would be willing to burn a disc and mail it for a reasonable fee.

Is there any future possibility to give Qubes iso with minimal templates which can be configured to access network by offline packages available in iso and user can progress with any other templates as they prefer after configuring sys-net etc.

The link to the previous discussion is helpful, even though I don’t agree with the logic to dismiss the DVD iso.
CDs/DVDs were an inexpensive ‘business card’ used by many to promote their wares and get the message/software into the hands of as many people as possible for them to try out. This was done by several linux distributions (Slackware is the most impressive, text based install no xorg stuff) and many non-profit orgs and even for-profit companies. Ex. SUSE, Novell, Oracle, Firefox, Thunderbird, …
even evilCorp put out very nice (but useless) eye-candy CDs/DVDs. If the idea is to get the Qubes OS into as many hands as possible so they can see how it can work for them, then committing to Blue-ray, Double-Sided and USB install mediums is a big barrier. Making DVD coasters is much less expensive than Blu-Ray and Double Sided wind chime ornaments. Using USB is complete overkill for a temp storage medium better applied to other tasks. Especially if all that is at hand are 256GB usb ssds.
I appreciate what the development team does and has done. This looks like something worth giving a try. But this whole installation work-around is a royal PITA. No disrespect intended.

Absolutely right - they were an inexpensive ‘business card’. Times
move on, and DVD drives are bring increasingly hard to find.
Where they can be found, then support for double sided DVDs is common.

I’m not against the idea of producing a stripped down installer, but I
doubt it’s the barrier that you seem to think.

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I found one in the basement! I’ll create a boot drive.

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I’d even pay a couple of bucks to have a dvd sent to me. This could be and income opportunity for the team:)

PM your name and address. I will not charge you to send you DVD of Qubes.

I can manage with options available. My comment was more rhetorical than pragmatic, to vent a little frustration. Thanks for the kind offer.

the other option is to do build of qubes and disable templates

eg i did build of 4.1 with only fedora template. no debian or whonix and iso is 2 gb. then you can install templates later after install. i dont need tor for my qubes installs

Excellent idea, Thanks

For security reasons, the installer is completely offline. No network drivers are even loaded. So a “net install” as seen in some other OSes is not possible with Qubes. It’s unclear what you mean by “access network by offline packages available in iso.” I guess you mean installing from packages that reside on a disc, but that wouldn’t reduce the amount of data that needs to be burnt onto a disc, and it wouldn’t be network-based.

This is already how it works. You simply download and install any templates you like after you have internet access.

For better or worse, I think those days are long gone. Part of the reason for mailing out and handing out physical media back then was that internet connections weren’t as fast or as ubiquitous. It’s been years since I bought a new laptop that had any kind of optical drive. Nowadays, people learn about something like Qubes through the internet, especially (for better or worse) social media. I highly doubt we’d see any appreciable uptake by blanketing the world in DVDs, keeping in mind all the reasons I listed above for why it’d be difficult for us to do so.


What I was saying is that iso contains minimal templates and package that can be picked up without networking i.e. local packages that can be useful to just create sys-net and sys-firewall.
Obviously this can not be default but it can definitely reduce size of iso. I don’t even know if that’s possible. This was just an idea.
Btw I am not at all concerned about dvd as I have never used them at all.

I believe I already discussed this above when I wrote: