Ubuntu has made its minimal images even more minimal for the upcoming release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
Canonical’s Dustin Kirkland says the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic minimal images have been shrunk by 10%, down to just 28MB (as a compressed root filesystem), versus 37MB for the 16.04 LTS base image, and over 65MB for the 14.04 LTS base image.
So we’re talking seriously titchy, here!
Now, don’t confuse these Ubuntu minimal images with the new Ubuntu minimal install option which has been added to 18.04 LTS.
The latter is a desktop-specific feature that slings a stack of pre-installed software out the back door to provide you with a cleaner, leaner, and itty-bit blander default experience.
The former is …Well, I’ll let the Ubuntu wiki explain:
“Ubuntu Base is a minimal rootfs for use in the creation of custom images for specific needs. Ubuntu Base strives to create a suitable minimal environment for use in Board Support Packages, constrained or integrated environments, as the basis for application demonstration images, or Linux containers such as LXC or Docker.”
Ubuntu Base offers a fully working user-space environment with complete access to the Ubuntu repos.
Which means it’s perhaps a tad more versatile than Ubuntu Core (formerly Ubuntu Snappy Core). That’s yet-another super-slim version of Ubuntu, but that is built around the ‘Snappy’ transactional package model …Or something. To be honest I just pretend to know what all that “embedded” malarkey is about. I haven’t a clue.
While there theoretically no reason why you can’t take an Ubuntu minimal image and build up to create your own fully graphical, app-loaded version of Ubuntu it would a lot of effort and likely cause you more than a couple of headaches along the way.
But if you have a saner itch you think Ubuntu Base can help scratch you can download a daily build of Ubuntu Base from the Ubuntu cdimage server:
Usual caveats about trying ‘development’ software apply here, unless you’re reading this after April 26 in which case hello from the past!