Minimal Gnome Installation Possible?

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Minimal Gnome Installation Possible?

Postby Carlosinfl » 2011-10-12 13:13

I was wondering if it's possible to perform an installation of Debian Wheezy on my PC but rather than selecting "Debian Desktop Environment" which in reality installs Gnome & all of it's associated packages like Evolution, Ephipany, Liferea, etc etc etc, can I simply install a stripped / minimal version of Gnome? I would simply like to add packages as I see fit rather than having tons of useless applications automatically loaded for me simply because I've elected a "Desktop Environment".

Does anyone know if I can omit the selection options during "Tasksel" & simply install Gnome / Xorg and all necessary packages post installation of Debian?
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Re: Minimal Gnome Installation Possible?

Postby dasein » 2011-10-12 15:28

Carlosinfl wrote:...can I simply install a stripped / minimal version of Gnome?

Of course. Starting from an absolute minimalist netinstall, you can install just about anything you like, any way you like.

Details here: http://www.google.com/search?q=minimal+ ... all+debian
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Re: Minimal Gnome Installation Possible?

Postby ivanovnegro » 2011-10-12 19:58

Yes, you can. Choose the business card ISO and then from the expert install, choose other DE and install just the basic packages, only with Standard System Utilities, do not choose with the graphical DE.
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Re: Minimal Gnome Installation Possible?

Postby ctg60 » 2011-10-13 12:40

Install base system only and then
Code: Select all
apt-get install gnome-core

If I remember correctly, tasksel will install most related packages but apt-get install exclude suggested packages by default that will save you some space.
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Re: Minimal Gnome Installation Possible?

Postby emariz » 2011-10-13 13:20

A system doesn't need the Standard System Utilities to work, and most of the packages included in that task will be pulled as dependencies of Gnome anyway.

Also, gnome-core is no longer a minimal package group but the meta-package used for CD1. One can install a more useful basic Gnome system by pulling these packages viewtopic.php?p=336556#p336556
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Re: Minimal Gnome Installation Possible?

Postby r900 » 2011-10-13 14:33

Also a thing worth mentioning is that you can use the switch --no-install-recommends with apt-get. Or if you want to reverse this behavior (pulling recommended packages only with --install-recommends) you can change it in the file /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99synaptic. If that file doesn't exist on your system you just create one with the following content:
Code: Select all
APT::Install-Recommends "false";
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Re: Minimal Gnome Installation Possible?

Postby Carlosinfl » 2011-11-16 20:42

So I just want to make sure I have this correct:

1. Download the 'netinst' business card ISO.
2. Install Debian Linux.
3. Only install "Standard System" and omit "Desktop Environment"
4. Once booted, install Gnome3 with the following command:

Code: Select all
apt-get install --no-install-recommends gdm3 gnome-core


Am I missing anything else or should that get me a desktop environment up and running with minimal applications? I shouldn't need to install X or Xorg or Xwindows, right?
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Re: Minimal Gnome Installation Possible?

Postby r900 » 2011-11-16 21:21

Well in general yes. But if you really want a minimal installation it's a little bit more work than that.

Here you can see which packages gnome-core pulls (e.g. evince, brasero, etc.). If you think these are too much you could install gnome-session instead of gnome-core. When you use the --no-install-recommends option you'll see a list of recommended packages when you're asked to confirm the action. From that list you can get an idea about other packages that might be good to install.
But before you do that I would install a minimal xserver. To do that you install the packages xserver-xorg-input-evdev and xserver-xorg-video-<drivername>. So you choose which video drivers you want and only install these. If you install gnome-session before that it will most likely pull all video drivers and other things. That's because once you installed ONE video driver the xorg video driver dependency is satisfied but if none is installed it will simply pull xserver-xorg-video-all if another package asks for that dependency.

I think unless you disable the automatic installation of recommended packages in apt.conf, 'apt-get upgrade' might still pull recommended packages.

When you're done with the package installation you should save a list of installed packages to a file with 'dpkg --get-selections > installed_packages.txt'. Then if you want to go back to that state you just do:
dpkg --clear-selections
dpkg --set-selections < installed_packages.txt
apt-get dselect-upgrade

That will remove all non-essential packages not mentioned in installed_packages.txt.
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Re: Minimal Gnome Installation Possible?

Postby dmhdlr » 2011-11-16 21:39

emariz wrote:A system doesn't need the Standard System Utilities to work, and most of the packages included in that task will be pulled as dependencies of Gnome anyway.

Also, gnome-core is no longer a minimal package group but the meta-package used for CD1. One can install a more useful basic Gnome system by pulling these packages viewtopic.php?p=336556#p336556


Nice package list!
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