I have recently installed Ubuntu on my Windows machine using the ~2.8 MB windows Installer. The installer then downloaded the necessary stuffs to complete the setup. This process took around 2 hours on a 5 mbps download speed.

On reviewing the initial installation, I have noticed that a lot of applications are installed, some of which I may or may not use.

My point is, is there a way to setup Ubuntu, so that the minimal amount of applications will be installed, and thus speed up the setup process by reducing the downloaded content.


You can use server installation instead of desktop, then add packages after. That will significantly cut down initial download.

You add GUI (unity, gnome, lightdm, gdm, etc) later. They will function exactly the same as the desktop installation.

The major difference between Server and Desktop installation is all GUI and desktop related packages.

This post provide a simple tweak to use wubi and install as a server, quote as below

That said you can edit c:\wubi\install\preseed.cfg and set the package to "ubuntu-standard".

That will install a minimal set of packages, good enough to get a useful shell and enable you to install other packages, from there you can install any other ubuntu-server specifc package you want

  • Well if I eventually not use the system as server, won't it have unnecessary services running which would slow down the system? – Shamim Hafiz Dec 28 '12 at 4:04
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    OP used WUBI install. can the server version be installed via WUBI? – user68186 Dec 28 '12 at 4:10
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    If you run wubi.exe standalone, it downloads a ~500MB preinstalled disk image, so you have no control over which packages are installed. The only way to control it is if you run wubi with the ISO, which will then trigger an install to the virtual disks using ubiquity (and since the ISO is bigger than the diskimage, this doesn't actually save anything). – bcbc Dec 28 '12 at 9:07
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    @ShamimHafiz Not with Wubi. Use the mini ISO. – bcbc Dec 29 '12 at 6:12
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    This no longer works, Ubuntu 14.04. – Cory Jun 27 '14 at 0:45

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