Use the Minimal CD

I’ve used Ubuntu for almost a year now.  I started out knowing nothing to very little about Linux, and I’m glad I started with Ubuntu. In spite of its bloat, the odd direction (in some people’s opinion) that Canonical seems to be taking it, it is still quite stable, good looking, and requires minimal configuration and knowledge to run.

I’m still very much a Linux novice, but I’ve come to the place where I am no longer satisfied with a vanilla Ubuntu system, nor any of the remixes. Too much software I’ll never need or want comes along and clutters things up- and butchering an existing installation is usually an effort in futility, as far as speed gains and cruft removal go.

Enter the Ubuntu Minimal CD. This ISO image installs a core operating system, CLI only, that you can build your X components on top of. It’s rather like Arch, one step up. You can build your Ubuntu system from the first story up (the ground floor is already laid. :)).

I am an unabashed Gnome Shell fan. At first I was aghast at what Gnome had done with their DE, but after installing a few extensions and tweaking a few features, I enjoy using it a lot. So on my main laptop I installed Gnome Shell as my DE, and gdm for the login manager. Those wanting a more lightweight system can go with lxdm for login manager and any number of the lightweight WM’s or DE’s. When it comes to lightweight I’m of the opinion that Openbox is hard to beat. I’d like to try some of the more esoteric ones such as Awesome or JWM some time as well, but that’s as I have time.

The list of packages I installed to get a functional Gnome/Ubuntu system running is quite small:


That’s all it takes. If you’re installing a more minimal WM, you’ll need more- terminal emulators, text editors, panels, etc., to suit your taste.
But now that I have my Ubuntu installation just where I like it, the Arch Side is tempting me… 😈