Ultra light windows?



  • Not exactly coding, but in the ongoing saga of prototyping my idea I wanted to see how certain features scale out, rather than scale up.

    I really don't want to scale out using a Linux distribution, as that would require a pretty heavy rework of things I've already completed.

    So here's the question: is there any version of windows (7, server, whatever) that is 'ultralight' as in, 10..20gb fully installed? It doesn't need windows entertainment stuff, it just needs the most bare bones platform, plus .net 4.5.x (yes, I'm aware additional size comes here)

    Right now the smallest I've gotten win 7 pro is around 90gb for windows plus .net plus my app, and 75 of that is windows. I want to virtualize several computers to stimulate network traffic between full client/servers. It's a bit more involved then just launching additional apps.

    So any ideas? A 10gb install would be amazing, I could launch several dozen images at once. (They might not be particularly fast, but they will serve their purpose)

    Does not need official support, and only needs lan Internet, but it must be legal to use in a business setting.


  • SockDev

    if XP is an option there's tinyXP by eXPerience (i trust you can find the torrent yourself)

    full install fits on a CD.

    i think another team is trying to trim 7 down to fit on a DVD but i wouldn't call the result stable.

    edit: i stand corrected. eXPerience made tiny7 and that's been getting good reviews. it is bootleg though so there's that.



  • .net 4.5.x doesn't support xp.



  • I'll check out tiny 7, I have legal versions of 7 so if the activate windows works... I'll have to check out how legal it is.


  • SockDev

    true enough. I don't think you're going to get an install down to ~10GB without going bootleg.

    although i'm a bit hazy on this (READ: TALK TO A REAL LAWYER) you may be able to use bootleg editions so long as you actually have the licences for the installed instances...

    although i repeat: CHECK WITH A REAL LAWYER BEFORE YOU USE MY ADVICE HERE



  • I'd never take your legal advice, no offense intended. Business legal is its own brand of monolithic beast.


  • SockDev

    given that i explicitly told you not to trust my advice in a legal setting i think that's warranted.

    no offence taken.

    related: business lawyers are SCARY



  • @Matches said:

    Right now the smallest I've gotten win 7 pro is around 90gb for windows plus .net plus my app, and 75 of that is windows

    That's a mistake right? Windows is about 20GB.

    I assume you've looked at Windows Embedded? I have no idea myself how close it is to normal Windows (and how easy it is to install), but you might get lucky.



  • My windows is coming out way bigger than 20gb, even when hibernation and page files are addressed.



  • Keep in mind, WinSxS over-counts disk space by 5 GB-ish due to it using NTFS features that Windows Explorer isn't aware of.


  • SockDev

    Surely that's kind of stupid to have a file manager that doesn't understand the fuckery it's doing to the file system?



  • I don't think there's been a file manager in history that completely, 100%, understands every feature of every possible filesystem on the OS it's running on. Even old-school HFS for Classic Mac, the simplest filesystem I'm aware of, could have infinite "forks" for each file, but the file manager only recognized the Data fork and Resource fork.

    WinSxS usually contains an assload of hardlinks. Hardlinks create a lot of interesting problems for a file manager. For example, if you could the WinSxS folder size and add the size of every non-WinSxS folder in the Windows folder, it won't total to the size of the Windows folder. Because the hardlinks get double-counted. Hey look! You've just broken almost every piece of backup software out there.

    So Explorer doesn't bother trying to solve the mystery of the sphinx here and just double-counts them all the time.



  • You can use a tool like RT Se7en Lite to remove the unwanted stuff from your own install disc.

    EDIT- or Win Reducer if you fancy something a bit less discontinued.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    My appservers (2k8r2) weigh almost exactly 30gb with .net, parts of sql 2008 and IIS.

    Server Core is smaller, since it omits all the UI stuff.



  • @Matches said:

    I could launch several dozen images at once.

    Is it possible to run multiple instances of Windows on the same kernel? I know you can do that with Linux because that's how Discourse works.



  • Yeah, it's called Hyper-V. I don't think it's very popular though.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    HFS for Classic Mac, the simplest filesystem I'm aware of

    FAT16/FAT12 was simpler, so much so that it's almost arguably not a filesystem. It was simple enough that nobody fussed around with things like resource forks. As long as you remembered to check for hidden- and system-flagged files (which the Windows file explorer was definitely aware of) you could see everything.

    There were even simpler ones if we go further back in time, but they really were brain-dead. I remember using the DFS on a BBC B micro (made by Acorn) and that had the “interesting” feature of only supporting max 15 files per (single-sided single-density 5.25" floppy) disk…


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    Hardlinks create a lot of interesting problems for a file manager.

    Is there some sort of identity of the file independent of its name? Unix filesystems have an inode structure (where metadata like the size of the file and its permissions are stored) and you can get the ID of the inode and use that to spot duped files ([spoiler]it's the st_ino field of struct stat for those who care, probably not including blakey[/spoiler]). However, I really don't know NTFS very much so I don't know if there's an equivalent there.



  • When using hard links on Windows you can at least get all the names of a file: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2011/07/20/10188033.aspx
    There is probably a way to get the inode somewhere.
    Explorer probably does not implement this because it slows down size calculations for little benefit (since they’re probably not used anywhere except for WinSxS)



  • @dkf said:

    Is there some sort of identity of the file independent of its name?

    Yes.

    But that addresses the scenario I brought up... how?

    Oh. You mean it doesn't? You mean you just wanted to barf-out pedantic dickweedery all over so you could show off how "smart" you are about Linux filesystems, which completely ignoring the entire fucking point of my post?

    I see now.



  • our company default provides 40 Gig for C-drive.
    that is supposed to be sufficient for:
    A-) win2k8R2
    B-) additional software for each server (backup client, antivir, mgmt, ....)
    C-) generic software , specific for it's use: application, office, IIS, ....
    D-) "disk full" trheshold is 80%"; so A-C only ever use up to 32 Gbyte or below. Including page/hiber*.sys

    seldom I receive complaints....
    () DATA is stored on D:, if necessary...
    (
    ) servers who need more, can get more, but 80% has enough with default


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    But that addresses the scenario I brought up... how?

    It allows code to avoid double counting since you can keep a hashtable with all the IDs that you've already looked at. Which does address things since you're dealing with the true identity of the data and not merely its name. (You've still got the problem of what to do when something appears in two places when calculating the “size” of a containing directory, but that's not really a well-defined concept in the first place once you introduce hard links.)

    It doesn't address the under-counting because of resource forks; that's a different problem entirely.



  • @profke said:

    our company default provides 40 Gig for C-drive. that is supposed to be sufficient for:A-) win2k8R2B-) additional software for each server (backup client, antivir, mgmt, ....)C-) generic software , specific for it's use: application, office, IIS, ....

    We do this as well - including a copy of the install media, Win 2008 R2 and all of the other installed stuff takes up ~20GB.



  • I'm currently using a 13 GB Windows 8 install...

    though it is Windows RT

    I administer a number of virtual machines at work, as part of the automated build/test system. A base install of Windows 7 is normally around 20 GB.



  • Oh. So you didn't address the point in my post because you didn't understand it at all.

    You could have just said that in the first place.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    So you didn't address the point in my post because you didn't understand it at all.

    I understood it. It just wasn't interesting to me.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Matches said:

    Right now the smallest I've gotten win 7 pro is around 90gb for windows plus .net plus my app, and 75 of that is windows.

    How the hell are you doing that? We do a lot of work in virtualization, including installing and administering thousands of seats worth of VDI deployments and our standard install for Windows 7 is on a 30GB VHD (~10GB of free space on the image). I just checked server installs and most of those could pretty easily fit on 40GB disks. How are you coming up with a 75GB for an install?

    Legal to use in a business setting is another matter entirely and probably not one you can navigate by yourself. As we deal with VDI, we had to find a lawyer that works with Windows licensing (it is sad that such a thing even fucking exists, and there are a LOT of them) to keep us on the right side of the law. Or at the very least, firmly in the light gray areas... It is a very complex subject, with a shitload of pitfalls that most people never consider. Also, the thing that surprised me is that if the licensing violation is deemed to be "willful", then the software company could and will seek treble damages.



  • @Matches said:

    It doesn't need windows entertainment stuff, it just needs the most bare bones platform, plus .net 4.5.x (yes, I'm aware additional size comes here)

    Windows Server Core? No idea how much smaller it gets, but I don't think you can get much smaller than that.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.