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Now that Xubuntu needs 4.3 GB of storage to install, I can't install it on my 4GB Eee PC any more. The alternate installer just crashes spectacularly no matter how I try to install it. Is there any way to get a more minimal install on this somehow?

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Since I already tried the alternate installer several times and failed, I will be redownloading it to see if the disc image was somehow damaged. Thanks for the reply. –  DaVince Jul 20 '12 at 4:11
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Instead of using the xubuntu, or indeed any if the standard live or alternate *buntu iso's try a minimal cd.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/MinimalCD

Make sure you are connected to the internet and then get the packages you want.

You can make it as minimal as you want to.

Boot with the livecd, once you have got past the start screen you will get options for language, location and keyboard layouts.

enter image description here

The installer will then detect hardware and ask for network configurations. Choose a mirror and select and appropriate archive for your locale.

After more configuration you will be able to add users and passwords, enable encryption if required.

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Next setup your partitions as required

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The installer now installs the base system, you will then be shown a software selection screen - I picked manual package selection, but then quit from aptitude when it was available. Wishing to install my packages later. You can if you wish select your packages here if you wish.

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The installer will complete the install including grub install.

Once finished, reboot when asked removing the install medium.

You will boot into a command line at this stage.

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Login and enter your password.

Here I installed the packages I wanted

sudo apt-get install xorg xterm lightdm firefox menu gksu synaptic --no-install-recommends

once installed those have installed, start the gui with startx and you will boot into the xfce system. You can then complete the installation with the apps you want to use.

This install used 1.2Gb.

enter image description here

More information on installing with a minimal cd can be found here

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/minimal

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