Minimal Ubuntu 8.04 Server Install
I find myself removing packages that I don't need, especially if the packages belong to processes that are using processor resources. There is a way to start from the ground up, you can have a minimal system and just add what you need. This has the added benefit of extra security, your system doesn't have services running that you don't use. You won't use a Ubuntu Server CD, but the Desktop Live CD.
1 Partition and Format drives
The tutorial is targeted for Sysadmins and more experienced users, so you probably know how you want to configure your storage. You could create a software RAID, my RAID 10 tutorial can guide you how to set up a RAID array in a Live CD environment.
Create your partitions, this example has a 50MB boot partition, a xfs formated root partition, and a 2GB swap partition.
2 Use debootstrap to create a minimal system
Mount file system and install debootstrap:
mount /dev/sda2 /min
mount /dev/sda1 /min/boot
apt-get install debootstrap
By default debootstrap will download about 100 MB from ubuntu.com. Change the url on the third line to the best mirror you have access to.
case $ARCH in amd64|i386|sparc) default_mirror http://mirror.xmission.com/ubuntu
Use debootstrap to create the minimal install:
debootstrap hardy /min
3 Configure your install
A few settings not configured in the install can just be copied from the Live CD environment:
cp /etc/hosts /min/etc/
cp /etc/network/interfaces /min/etc/network/
cp /etc/bash_completion /min/etc/
cp /etc/bash.bashrc /min/etc/
Set up mount folders for your optical drive:
mkdir -p /min/media/cdrom0
ln -s cdrom0 /min/media/cdrom
Configure your file system table:
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0 /dev/sda2 / xfs relatime 0 1 /dev/sda1 /boot ext3 relatime 0 1 /dev/sda3 none swap sw 0 0 /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0
4 Chroot into your minimum install to prepare it for booting.
Set up and enter your chroot enviroment:
mount --bind /dev /min/dev
mount -t proc proc /min/proc
mount -t sysfs sysfs /min/sys
Install tools for your file system, unless you're only using ext2 or ext3.
Say yes at the verification prompts:
apt-get install xfsprogs
Set your timezone, match the zoneinfo directory to your location:
cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Denver /etc/localtime
Install your favorite config editor.
apt-get install nano
Update your sources.list to have all the packages and updates from your favorite mirror.
deb http://mirror.xmission.com/ubuntu hardy main restricted universe multiverse deb http://mirror.xmission.com/ubuntu hardy-updates main restricted universe multiverse deb http://mirror.xmission.com/ubuntu hardy-security main restricted universe multiverse
Update your system.
You can ignore the locale warning.
Set root password and set up a user:
Set up sudo for your user:
adduser maxbash admin
echo "%admin ALL=(ALL) ALL" >> /etc/sudoers
4 Make the minimal system bootable
Install the kernel and boot loader:
apt-get install linux-image-server grub
Make sure all of the needed kernel modules are installed in the inital ramdisk.
Exit your chroot:
Install grub to the MBR:
grub-install --root-directory=/min --no-floppy --recheck /dev/sda
Reboot into your new system.