Every attempt I've made to install via the Minimal Install has resulted in a full blown Unity Install, whereas I simply want the Base System, the Repositories, and i3WM installed (of course flash and such would be lovely but that can always be installed through the restricted-extras package) and then basically configure my system from there (install my own File Manager, music player blah blah blah) Is there something im doing wrong when using the Mini iso or is it simply built that way?


Try this:

  1. Start with a mini ISO on a CD or USB stick.
  2. Start the installation.
  3. Choose the default language.
  4. Select the keyboard settings.
  5. Select the geographical configuration.
  6. Wait for the system to configure the network.
  7. Write the name of the host.
  8. Choose the installation mirror for Ubuntu packages.
    • If you use a proxy server, enter it's details. Otherwise, leave it blank and continue.
  9. Installation of basic packages starts. It will occasionally stop to ask you some details.
  10. After downloading the required packages start partitioning.
    • I suggest choosing manual and manually create partitions as needed.
  11. When finished partitioning, the system will ask you to confirm the changes made ​​on the computer, including formatting and editing the partitions.
  12. The system will start the download and installation of packages; including the kernel, required for the system to function.
  13. After downloading and installing, configure user accounts, writing full name, username and password.
  14. After analyzing the reply, it will ask if you want to enable automatic updates.

Now comes the most important, the selection of programs:
Do not select anything other than the server!

Then, it will proceed to download and install the files, and then download and install Grub, set the time zone, and warn you when you are ready to restart.

Restarting from the hard drive, it will start in a terminal.

There you can install programs to your needs via apt-get.

Example of installation with minimal Xfce desktop:

sudo su
apt-get update
apt-get install software-properties-common
apt-get dist-upgrade
apt-get install xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-core xfonts-base xinit x11-xserver-utils x11-apps x11-session-utils x11-utils xinput xorg lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter oxygen-icon-theme qupzilla flashplugin-installer gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg libcurl3 libnotify4 libtag1-vanilla dkms gvfs gvfs-backends policykit-1 udisks2 synaptic xfce4 xfce4-goodies thunar thunar-volman

dpkg --configure -a
apt-get autoremove
apt-get clean
  • I'm going to have to try installing via CD as opposed to USB tonight. When installing GRUB, it was trying to install to /dev/sda which was the USB stick. I've used LILO in the past so I tried to install LILO as opposed to GRUB and when I booted the system up, I got the dreaded flashing Caps Lock light. – Jbuch14 Sep 4 '14 at 10:02
  • 1
    For future readers, all you need is xorg, that's it. Then just install i3 or any other WM, and run startx (which can be added to .bashrc, if you want it on every login; make sure to limit it to /dev/tty1 or something like that). – Alec Mev Mar 13 '15 at 8:30

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