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aveilleux edited this page · 4 revisions
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Welcome to the Ubuntu-Minimal-Desktop wiki!

Background
This project aims to make it easy to install minimal versions of Ubuntu. Minimising the number of packages included during the initial installation reduces system resources load and the amount of hard drive space required. Carefully selecting which packages are installed should leave the user with a faster and lighter system, without compromising usability.

Current Status
Users download the Ubuntu minimal .iso, use it to install the Command Line Installer, and then use wget to download a shell script. When run, the script prompts the user for responses to a range of questions concerning optional packages, then installs the necessary base packages and selected optional packages.

Future Development
Ideas:

  1. Continue the project in its current form, updating the script for every new version of Ubuntu.
    • Pros:
      • Relatively easy to maintain (I guess…?)
    • Cons:
      • Involves a large number of steps for the user (certainly would scare off inexperienced users).
      • Low flexibility; one script has to contain all the possibilities of commonly used optional packages, without being too long or confusing.
      • Selections cannot be saved or shared.
      • Separate Ubuntu variations (Xubuntu, Kubuntu, etc.) require separate scripts. (10.04.2 and up are combined into the same script)
  2. Move the questions section into a web based application (similar to the Linux Distribution Chooser), which then provides the user a custom download link to use as above. This would allow: users to research their choices while they are making the selection; the integration of Ubuntu variants (as one of the selection options); … ?
    • Pros:
      • More user friendly, and users can review options while choosing.
    • Cons:
      • More work to maintain (but can this be split up; an Xubuntu maintainer, etc..?).
      • Still a large number of separate steps for the user; the only difference is a more conducive and informative selection environment for the user.
    • This idea has been implemented as of 2010/09/27
  3. Integrate the project into a Live CD (minimally sized – just containing: the minimum base packages common to all variations included in the project; the minimum required for the Live CD; and network and internet access). The user downloads the Live CD, once at the desktop they click the ‘Install Minimal Ubuntu’ icon, and then are walked through the installer wizard (similar to the normal wizard, but with more questions and options, as above, and the ability to use the internet for more information), the wizard then downloads and installs the desired packages…
    • Pros:
      • Very user friendly, users can review options.
    • Cons:
      • A lot more work to maintain; has two components, the Live CD and the selection (which can possibly be split up; an Xubuntu maintainer, etc..?).
      • Large number of steps (but the Live CD can be used multiple times – if the wizard is able to update itself), but more graphical and user friendly.
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