SUMMARY: 2.6, CDE and /usr space

From: G. Dimitoglou (
Date: Wed Nov 12 1997 - 08:39:28 CST

Dear fellow SM,

The responses were many. Of course there are solutions to the issue but
(to summarize the summaries:))), disk-space is cheap -- lets use it. On
the issue of the half a Gb requirement for the OS, there is no
objective opinion or solution.


George Dimitoglou (SAC)

SOHO ESA/NASA Project Scientist Team
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Bldg. 26, G-1, Code 682.3
Greenbelt, MD 20771

The original posting:
> Dear fellow SM,
> 1. I tried upgrading my SPARC 5 from 2.5.1 to 2.6. It went fine up to
> the point where it started asking for 446Mb of space in the /usr
> partition.(133Mb more of what already I have allocated).
> Not wanting to repartition my drive, I started looking into ways of
> reducing the software size. being adventurous, I wanted to get rid of
> OpenWindows and just use CDE. But unfortunately Openwin and CDE are
> dependent (?!). Is there any way to work with CDE on 2.6 without
> installing OpenWin? Is there any way to reduce this Mb requirement ?
> 2. Do we really like an OS environemnt that requires almost half a Gb to work?
From: Casper Dik <casper@holland.Sun.COM>
No, CDE depends on the X11 part of OW.

(That's alsmost all of it)


From: Gianluca Rotoni <>

/usr/openwindows contains many libraries needed by CDE, therefore
the latter can't be installed without the former.
As for the space allocation problem there are two alternatives :

1) Get an extra disk and make jumpstart installing /usr/openwindows
   on a separated partition on the extra disk. If you use custom
   jumpstart change the rules file to do that.

2) Do not install the entire distribution but only the user one +
   some extra packages (you may want SUNWdtma, SUNWman, SUNWsprot and maybe
   SUNWswoft). This will require less than 200Mb for the /usr and will
   suffice for almost every normal task.

If you want the entire distribution and don't want to add extra disk space,
dunno :-)

PS. Half a giga byte is definitely a huge amount of space, but that's only
required for a server machine which should normally have big disks.
I'm afraid that's the trend anyway :-(

Jim Harmon

I don't see how CDE would run without OpenWindows. CDE is a GUI layer
over OpenWindows. It's an alternative to motif, or other window
managers. You can run Open Windows without CDE though.

The requirement for your /usr partition is based upon existing /usr
information that will be DUPLICATED when you upgrade to 2.6.

If you remove all your existing openwin and CDE stuff before doing the
install, I'd be willing to bet you can get it under 300MB.

I highly recommend backing up /usr to tape first though. :)

From: (Russ Poffenberger)

No. CDE is only the Motif style look and feel, and only consists of the CDE
Motif libraries and window managers. You still need OpenWindows which provides
the core X11 on which CDE runs.

It does seem excessive. My /usr under 2.5.1 (INCLUDING OW and CDE is only
300Mb). Probably why I will stick with 2.5.1 for the forseeable future, 2.6
seems to be too troublesome.

From: Dixon_Ly@BayNetworks.COM (Dixon Ly)

Well, the 446 is just the recommended size. I think if you install
the developer's options, it actually only uses around 340MB of the 446MB
(that's what my system is showing anyhow). CDE is just a user interface,
you still need the underlying X server to have any windowing at all.

2.6 comes with the Java Development Toolkit - since this is constantly
evolving, you probably want the latest and greatest anyways. So you
can take that out (worth almost 20MB).

It's a pain, isn't it? With the apps we run nowadays, the first GB
of drive space is completely devoted to swap and OS.

From: Dave Staggs <>
you might try splitting up the space for /usr i.e.

/usr 295 mb
/usr/openwin 244 mb

works fine for me.

considering the alternatives, i am more than happy to do a little
tweeking in order to make solaris work.

From: (Marc S. Gibian)
Since Sun is now shipping 4gig drives as "standard", they don't seem to care
about space issues anymore. I have a stack of old 1.05 gig disks that I want to
find a use for. The problem is finding enough SCSI controller slots to get them
online in a useful fashion...

From: (Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child})
You may be able to reduce the requirement by getting rid of stuff
you are not going to use, but CDE depends on Openwin. In particular,
the X server and stuff.
More functionality and prettiness means more disk to hold it. All of
the new GUI stuff (look at Windows!!) is pretty diskfull.
In my case, the answer is simple. I don't use CDE. I use the X server
and vtwm, which has a nice small disk footprint and a nice small memory
footprint, as well as being configurable with no great effort.

From: Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services <>

CDE is "just" a window manager and deskset tools. It still uses the
openwin X server, fonts, libraries, etc.

Some things you can get rid of in openwindows to reduce the disk space

 Openwin Sample source
 Openwin Static and lint libraries
 X sample source
 X Static and lint libraries

This will save you some 50+ MB.

As for half a GB, Win95 and NT are both pushing in that direction,
especially once you install all the "must-have" utilities which will
cost you another $200 dollars to buy (antivirus, register editor, etc,

K. Ravi, India Product Engineering Center
 I don't think CDE is dependent on OpenWindows. You'll only need the X-windows
packages, Motif runtime kit (SUNWmfrun) & ToolTalk. I am not 100% sure here
but if u have the time to experiment...

From: birger@Vest.Sdata.No (Birger A. Wathne)
OpenWindows is the actual X windows server, as well as the OpenWindows
applications, window manager, etc. The CDE package only contains
window manager, utilities, applications, libraries, etc. But no X server,
and none of the standard X fonts, X libraries, X utilities, etc.

I usually install /usr/openwin on a shared network drive if disk space is
a problem. CDE also has a network install option. But my preferred solution
is to use AutoClient, and use the local disk on workstations only for
cachefs caching and swap. /usr is installed only on the boot server.
The local disk contains *no* data. In case of a disk crash you only plug in a new
disk, repartition and reboot. The boot server could be a small Ultra 1 with an
external RAID array. Using an external array makes it very easy to
add another server, and set up High-Availability. Patch installation is
a breeze using the Solstice admclientpatch utility, etc. recommended.
But you need a fast network. We use 100Mb switched all the way to the desktop
using Cisco 5000 switches.

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