Before I start blogging about OSX Leopard itself, I have to voice one short rant:

During the installation (I opted for a fresh install rather than an upgrade), I selected “Customize”, and I’m sure glad I did. It turns out that the default installation includes all printer drivers. This in itself isn’t a bad thing (or at least it shouldn’t have to be), but then I noticed how much space some of these drivers occupy on the hard drive. The worst offender are the Epson drivers, which weigh in at an unbelievable 1.5GB! Next in line is HP with 722MB, then Canon with 488MB. I have a hard enough time understanding how something as simple as a printer driver can take up more than 20MB or so, but several hundred MB and even over one GB is simply insane. Back in 1985, I had no problems using a dot matrix printer on my Commodore 64, and the whole computer only had 64KB of RAM (and no hard drive). So why in the world would a printer driver now take up 1.5GB (this is over 24,000 times the size of the C64’s RAM)?

Thankfully, my printer is a Brother, and the Brother drivers “only” take up 64MB (still unreasonably much if you ask me…). The Fuji / Xerox and Samsung drivers only take up 3.3MB and 5.7MB respectively, so it clearly can be done. Also, the Gutenberg printers (which I’ve never tried myself, but which are supposed to support most common printers) only weigh in with 15.3MB.

Anyway, by deselecting the printer drivers I don’t need, I was able to save 3.3GB of hard drive space and bring the footprint down from 11.4GB to 8.1GB (yes, this means that more than one quarter of the default installation consists of frickin’ printer drivers…).

The next thing I noticed was that the default installation also includes all languages, and each language takes up between 107 and 122MB (German, being the most verbose, takes up the max of 122MB ;) ). Deselecting all unneeded languages (I left German in there even though I doubt I’ll ever use it) brought my installation size down to 6.3GB, which is only a little over half of the original size. I have saved a total of 5.1GB compared to the default. I normally wouldn’t care about a few gigs, except on my laptop, where space still comes at a premium.

If anybody has any ideas what could make these printer drivers so large, please let me know. In the mean time, you may want to take a close look at your printer drivers and languages and uninstall the unneeded choices if you would like to save some hard drive space.