I am currently running Ubuntu Server 10.10 through a virtual machine to use as a stack for web development and a chance to get to grips with the Ubuntu command line, however I'd really like to set up a clean, minimal install with only the bare minimum of core utilities so I can get only what I need as I go along.

The Ubuntu Server iso seems to install a lot of extras already and I'd prefer just the bare minimum so I can spend more time aquainting myself with the installation and set up of the packages I need. Can I obtain an image that does this?


This is what the ubuntu-minimal images are for. ~15MB of lean, mean Ubuntu. But if you're anything like me, you'll likely just end up installing it all back. Quite a few things require ubuntu-standard which layers on most of what the server disk installs.

You can read more about ubuntu-minimal and download it from the official help page.

Edit: Okay I've just done a minimal install. It does download extra packages as part of the installation and it's more that it really needs to run a base system.

The output of du -sh / is 632MB. It's a bit heftier than the previously advertised 15MB but it does install ubuntu-standard which I'm sure there is some way of avoiding. I've experienced it first hand because one of my server companies offers bare-minimal Ubuntu installs without ubuntu-standard.

I'll keep looking.

  • Oh, apologies if I'm mistaken but reading similar FAQs gave the impression that the ubuntu-minimal installation worked like the normal one but grabbed all the packages from online rather than off the image? Or is there an option to specify no extra packages to be installed at install time?
    – persepolis
    Apr 5 '11 at 9:49
  • @persepolis Errm, it's been a while. Let me download it and see in a VM.
    – Oli
    Apr 5 '11 at 10:13
  • @persepolis, minimal's generally grab packages from the net if you're connected, or else you need to mount and get the repo on the CD recognised.
    – Oxwivi
    Apr 5 '11 at 10:54

Have you tried any of lightweight ubuntu based distributions like lubuntu or xubuntu or lxle? There is a lot of information about these distributions on askubuntu and on other sites e.g. http://www.techdrivein.com/2011/05/top-4-lightweight-official-ubuntu-based.html

Also consider looking for other lightweight linux distributions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightweight_Linux_distribution

  • 3
    Although your answer is 100% correct, it also links to other questions here on the site without adding value (except more links to somewhere else). That is a bit frowned upon here. Please edit your answer and improve the quality before the system deletes it automatically...
    – Fabby
    Sep 26 '15 at 12:15
  • @Fabby : I have edited my answer, and removed links to other akubuntu questions (when answering this question I believed these links were really useful). However I still think that 2 other links (especially the one to wikipedia) are valuable and might help the author of this question to solve his issue.
    – running.t
    Sep 27 '15 at 22:20
  • @running.t: now your answer is still a link-only answer... Have a look around the site and look at some other answers that refer to other sites: we copy things over and then leave the source to our material at the bottom (like in a scientific document: you cite your sources) ;-)
    – Fabby
    Sep 28 '15 at 21:38

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