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I just want to determine whether my installed Ubuntu system is a minimal system or not. Is there any command thay can do this?

I use an image from google cloud. Seems there is no dir called /var/log/installer.

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    After installation, it's a Ubuntu system of the release that was installed. The minimal, desktop, server etc are just different install options that install the Ubuntu base system with different packages on top of it (this applies to flavors too). – guiverc Oct 14 at 8:59
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    It doesn't make very much sense to call an OS minimal post installation. The user may have used a minimal image to install, but then added a bunch of packaged. At this stage, it is purely subjective and arbitrary to call it minimal. – mikewhatever Oct 14 at 10:15
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    Why do you want to check for this? – vidarlo Oct 14 at 10:16
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    How are you going to distinguish between a system that was installed using the minimal installer and a system that was installed using the normal installer and then had all extraneous packages un-installed that are not part of a minimal install? How are you going to distinguish between a system that was installed using the normal desktop installer and a system that was installed using the minimal installer and then had all missing packages installed that are part of a normal desktop install? – Jörg W Mittag Oct 14 at 18:23
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    What are you trying to accomplish? – WinEunuuchs2Unix Oct 15 at 2:45
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  • This answer is relevant only to a subset of systems installed via .isos for Desktops. It does not apply to servers.

  • It applies to Ubuntu and to those flavors that provide their users a "minimal" installation from the full .iso. Covered are Ubuntu itself, Kubuntu, Ubuntu Mate, and any other official flavor offering the minimal install option.

  • Further, the minimal install option was first made available in 18.04. So this answer is not for versions older than 18.04.


The file to look at is /var/log/installer/telemetry:

See the relevant bits in bold: "Minimal": false, or "Minimal": true,.

For my Kubuntu 18.04, which is a "full" install:

{"Media": "Kubuntu 18.04 LTS \"Bionic Beaver\" - Release amd64 (20180426)",
 "Type": "KDE",
 "PartitionMethod": "manual",
 "DownloadUpdates": false,
 "Language": "en",
 "Minimal": false,
 "RestrictedAddons": true,
 "Stages": ...}

For an 18.04 install with the minimal option:

{"Media": "Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS \"Bionic Beaver\" - Release amd64 (20180725)",
 "Type": "GTK",
 "OEM": false,
 "PartitionMethod": "use_device",
 "DownloadUpdates": false,
 "Language": "en",
 "Minimal": true,
 "RestrictedAddons": false,
 "Stages": ...}

For a 19.10 Ubuntu Mate minimal install option:

{"Media": "Ubuntu-MATE 19.10 \"Eoan Ermine\" - Beta amd64 (20190926.2)",
 "Type": "GTK",
 "OEM": false,
 "PartitionMethod": "use_device",
 "DownloadUpdates": false,
 "Language": "en",
 "Minimal": true,
 "RestrictedAddons": false,
 "Stages": ...}

After an edit the question became about

google cloud

Google calls that the "Image family". That one is not available from command line. I do not believe you can besides opening the google cloud console. The only command where I see "image family" used is when you "create" an instance.

  • Not found file /var/log/installer/telemetry on my System on server.iso. – nobody Oct 14 at 12:49
  • AFAICT, the choice of minimal/full doesn't relate to the server edition at all and so it's not surprising. Of course, if the question were clearer we'd all be better off! – Justice for Monica Oct 14 at 12:51
  • @nobody, it would appear in the OP's installed system, which was the question at hand. – K7AAY Oct 14 at 17:09
  • /var/log/installer/telemetry does not exist on my Xubuntu system. Is it specific to freshly-installed servers (as opposed to upgraded desktops)? – RonJohn Oct 14 at 17:27
  • Not available on 16.04 either. What does lsb_release -a display on the systems mentioned? – Hannu Oct 14 at 18:58
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cat /var/log/installer/media-info

There you can see which media was used for installation.

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    it's doesn't tell you which media was used; the release yes - but not server/desktop/minimal/flavor/.. (maybe some do, my own system reports release info & dailies date, but not which ISO I downloaded & installed) – guiverc Oct 14 at 10:13
  • are you sure @guiverc ? cat /var/log/installer/media-info Ubuntu-Server 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" - Release i386 (20160420.3) I use server iso xenial xerus. – nobody Oct 14 at 10:47
  • On the just completed 19.10 Xubuntu QA-test install it works; I'm still not convinced it works for all releases and all ISOs. Flavors don't always have reliable detail (are reported as Ubuntu instead of the flavor). It's a good answer though – guiverc Oct 14 at 11:11
  • I use image from google cloud. Seems no dir called /var/log/installer . – maple Oct 14 at 11:57
  • "Ubuntu-Budgie 19.10 "Eoan Ermine" - Beta amd64 (20190926.1)" Does not work on google cloud, not on azure, aws, alibaba cloud but for those you really need to use the console of that cloud :) – Rinzwind Oct 15 at 17:42

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