Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would like to install a CLI-only version of the latest Ubuntu (currently 12.04), with as few packages as possible.

(Note: I am not looking for stripping down a GUI system -- I want to add the components I need, not remove the components I don't need.)

Which image do I need to download, and how do I proceed to install from that image, assuming I do not have a network connection during installation?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You should download the Alternate Installation CD or the Ubuntu Server CD.

If using the Alternate CD, you should be able to press F4 after choosing your language and select "Install a minimal system".

share|improve this answer
Hmm I'll try that again, but the last time I looked around I couldn't find that option. (Also: Is this not possible with the regular CD?) – Mehrdad May 26 '12 at 2:01
@Mehrdad You have to press F4 to make the menu appear that contains this option. It is (and has always) been on the alternate CD. You can also use the mini CD for this, though if you have no Internet connection that's not such a good choice because you'll want a CD with lots of packages on it. – Eliah Kagan May 26 '12 at 2:15
@EliahKagan: Ah, those are great comments, thanks! And yes, I found the option -- it says "install a minimal system". I think I was probably looking for the option on a regular CD, which is why I didn't find it originally. – Mehrdad May 26 '12 at 2:20
@EliahKagan: as of 12.04, there is no -server kernel any more -- you get the same generic/generic-pae as the desktop version. – izx May 26 '12 at 13:04
@izx Then what's this? – Eliah Kagan May 26 '12 at 14:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.