Is there a way to discover if an installed OS is workstation or server? Is it just a matter of the packages that are installed or is there some difference that can be detected?


Just the set of packages installed. You can start off with an Ubuntu Server installation and install ubuntu-desktop package to get the desktop OS. There is no guarantee that the absence of a *-desktop package implies a server OS, or that the presence of X11 implies a desktop OS.


I did find some interesting files in /var/log/installer:

media-info says "Ubuntu-Server" for the server and just "Ubuntu" for desktop. syslog shows the same information for the "cdrom"

or from the terminal run:

cat /var/log/installer/media-info

or, if the file doesn't exist, try:

cat /var/log/installer/lsb-release

Both of these are helpful and I can use them in conjunction with hardware information.

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