No compressed file system option in the installer

Bug #204187 reported by John McCabe-Dansted on 2008-03-20
20
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
debian-installer (Ubuntu)
Wishlist
Unassigned
ubiquity (Ubuntu)
Wishlist
Unassigned

Bug Description

Having a compressed file system available in Ubiquity would be useful to Install onto small devices (say a 1-4GB Usb drive)

The jffs2 filesystem is in the Ubuntu kernel, but is missing from ubiquity (as of Mar 08 Daily LiveCD). Jffs would presumably be ideal for flash based devices.
Userspace support seems to be poor. and mtd-tools is in universe rather than main.

Other options exist, but seem less optimal.
compFUSEd is userspace. Might be OK. Probably not as good as JFFS2.
Reiserfs4 is not in the Ubuntu Kernel.
e2compr is very old and not in the kernel.

Changed in ubiquity:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed
John McCabe-Dansted (gmatht) wrote :

Given that bug #106741 has now been fixed, but this one has not, I doesn't seem this bug is a duplicate anymore.

Given that Btrfs is already an option, I understand it is now trivial to add a "Btrfs (compressed)" option to the GUI.

Use cases:
  Joe wants to install Ubuntu on an old Eeepc with only 4GB of SSD. Minimising the size of the install is vital
  Alice finds that Ubuntu doesn't support her machine properly, and goes back to windows. However, she wants to keep a *small* Linux partition installed so she can help debug the bugs she reported in the Linux drivers.
  Fred finds that given his combination of a slow SSD and a fast CPU, compression improves performance as well as space usage.

Walter Lapchynski (wxl) on 2014-11-13
no longer affects: debian-installer
Walter Lapchynski (wxl) wrote :

this is not an ubiquity issue, but an installer issue. probably best to focus on debian-installer first.

no longer affects: debian-installer
Changed in debian-installer (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
summary: - No compressed file system option in ubiquity.
+ No compressed file system option in the installer
Changed in debian-installer (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged

I did some testing on this issue with Lubuntu 14.04. As I don't have a eeePC (or simmilar) with 4 Gigs hard disk, I used Virtualbox. On a real machine, it's possible to cheat Ubiquity about the avaible space with a pendrive, as that isn't working in Virtualbox, I made a virtual disk with 4,75 GB space. I gave the VM one of my four cores (mobile Intel i5, third generation) and only 512 MB RAM, to simulate the first eeePCs as good as possible. My steps:

* normal boot to the desktop with 14.04 live iso
* install btrfs-tools
* created 3 partitions with GParted: 128 MB /boot (ext2), 128 MB /swap and the rest was for the btrfs root partition
* I applied the workaround in [1] (see above) and did the installation more or less normally
* before the reboot, I edited the /etc/fstab of the new installation to reflect the compression
* finally: only reboot, no virtualbox-guest-dkms, no updates, nothing

The installation only uses ~1 GB disk space (df -h showed 980M). 3,3 GB shown as free. Subtract the additional 0,75 GB I needed to let Ubiquity work, the fictional eeePC would have at least 2,5 GB free disk space. I think this is really awesome! The VM is quite responsive, too. Firefox opens in 2-3 seconds.

Here a screenshot of df -h directly after the install.

I forgot to include the link mentioned in #3, so here it is, for completeness sake:

[1] http://askubuntu.com/questions/6197/trick-installer-to-use-btrfs-root-with-compression

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