The quasi two-dimensional geometry of the disk laser results in conceptional advantages over other geometries. Fundamentally, the thin disk laser allows true power scaling by increasing the pump spot diameter on the disk while keeping the power density constant. This scaling procedure keeps optical peak intensity, temperature, stress profile, and optical path differences in the disk nearly unchanged. The required pump beam brightness - a main cost driver of DPSSL systems - also remains constant. We present these fundamental concepts and present results in the wide range of multi kW-class CW-sources, high power Q-switched sources and ultrashort pulsed sources.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.