My goal is to make my OS lean as much as possible: only basic OS (kernel) and applications I need.

  • Kernel, apt, basic bins.
  • Network manager.
  • Xfce (terminal, file manager).
  • Evolution.
  • Chromium.

What is the best way to manage packages and all dependencies?

apt list --installed


dpkg -l

shows me all installed packages. Is there any command to show this list with dependency structure? For example as a tree?

Or when I uninstall application, is possible to show me what could be disturbed?

Or what is the best way to make leanest ubuntu with xfce for example.

I tried to install Ubuntu mini, but I have problem with wifi driver not being detected: see my question here. But I think better to learn administrate os then reinstalling.

  • 1
    I would build from the minimal install you've already mentioned. Okay your wifi wasn't detected, from your installed system you can work out the module that is required to provide it - and add that to the minimal post-install (if you don't have ethernet; add it from thumb-drive and install via dpkg)
    – guiverc
    Oct 9, 2019 at 10:30
  • 1
    There are many questions on the topic here, and you are welcome to search for them. I doubt there is a best way to do it, or to answer such questions. Generally, let APT manage packages and dependencies, avoid DEs like Gnome, KDE,XFCE, etc, also avoid programs with lots of dependencies, such as Gnome Network Manager, Evolution, Chromium. Oct 9, 2019 at 10:30
  • @guiverc I tried many things, here is my issue. askubuntu.com/questions/1164769/… . :/ I will try to uninstall package by package, I hope it is the way.
    – genderbee
    Oct 9, 2019 at 10:40
  • 2
    Once you mention Evolution, you're no longer going to have anywhere near a minimal system!
    – DK Bose
    Oct 9, 2019 at 10:47
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of How can I strip down Ubuntu? Oct 9, 2019 at 12:54

2 Answers 2


I have no need to do what you are doing but Ubuntu Desktop requires 25GB space (recommended) and Ubuntu Server requires 1.5GB space (recommended) so I would start by installing the server edition.

Next I would install the desktop (not all the apps) onto the server version:

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

Then reboot and run a script to install your bare minimum GUI requirements.


This is exactly what Xubuntu core is made for. It consists of Xfce and essential GUI things but does not install all applications provided in the usual Xubuntu desktop.

Xubuntu core is a slimmed down version of Xubuntu that doesn’t come with all the additional features of a full and modern desktop. We essentially only ship Xfce and the basic look and feel of Xubuntu, so there will be no office suite, media players, et cetera.

Xubuntu core does not have a specialized installer. The recommended way to install it is to download and install the Minimal ISO using the Xubuntu minimal installation task. Then run (don’t forget the final caret):

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-core^

Doing only the Xubuntu minimal installation task would leave you in the state where WiFi drivers might not be installed, see Xubuntu 16.04 LTS minimal installation on Alex's blog.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .