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I want to know the difference because I want to install a base system only (without all the bloat that comes with the standard Desktop edition). Using the alternative install CD gives me an option to do a command-line install and I read that using the server edition will install the base system + some server related packages (e.g. web or mail servers).

The computer is a personal laptop which I will use for personal purposes. I feel that using the server edition is a bit of an overkill (given by the name -- server edition) but I fear that if I do use the alternative command-line install, some drivers may be missing.

So, which should I use? Server edition? Or Alternative Desktop edition with command-line install?

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related to: – Takkat Jun 19 '11 at 17:31
You know, installing Ubuntu (in what flavor ever) doesn't take longer than 20 minutes. Why don't you just install the command-line edition and see what's eventually missing. If there actually is something missing then install it. If you can see that this will cause too much trouble in terms of installing this and that and foo and bar then try another edition. Waiting for an answer here takes much longer. -- Just my 2 cents. – dAnjou Jun 19 '11 at 18:33

The only difference between different "editions" of Ubuntu is which packages are installed by default. Once the system is installed, you can add or remove programs as you wish--potentially even making a "Desktop" install look exactly like a "Server" install after the fact.

If you're wanting a minimalistic install, then do a minimalistic install... then install only the packages you want.

Which installation you chose to do should make no practical difference, though, as you can always remove the packages you don't want as well.

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