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Minimal Ubuntu Precise

Minimal Ubuntu Precise

The purpose of the minimal Ubuntu installation is to server as a base that can be customised and configured automatically and reproducibly using a configuration management tool (in my case Chef in its Solo incarnation). For virtual machines, these manual steps can be easily automated with tools such as Vagrant or Ubuntu's JeOS VM Builder, but since my virtual server plan only supports booting the VM from a CD as the deployment method, I chose the minimal Ubuntu installation as the simplest alternative for the base installation.

These instructions are based on the installation of the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) Minimal CD and assume that the installed Ubuntu system will be the only one on the machine. After booting from the installation medium with the minimal CD image, the following steps were executed:

  1. On the Installer boot menu choose: Install
  2. On the Select a language screen choose your desired language.
  3. On the Select your location screen choose your country, territory or area.
  4. On the Configure the keyboard screen use one of the available methods to choose your keyboard layout.
  5. On the Configure the network screen specify your hostname.
  6. On the Choose a mirror of the Ubuntu archive series of screens choose the desired Ubuntu mirror to download the packages required for the installation. The best mirror is usually the one geographically closest to you. If you need to specify an http proxy this should also be done in the respective screen (leave the prompt blank for no proxy).
  7. On the Set up users and passwords series of screens specify the account details for systems default non-root user: full name, username, password and whether the user's home directory should be encrypted or not. This user will be able to use the sudo command to execute commands as root.
  8. On the Configure the clock confirm if the suggested time zone is correct or choose the desired one.
  9. On the Partition disks series of screens choose the desired partitioning method, and the disk you use to partition for installation, doing if necessary any manual adjustments. In the end confirm your choices and write the new partitions to the disk.
  10. On the Configuring discovery screen when asked how you want to manage upgrades on the system choose the option to install security updates automatically.
  11. On the Software selection screen, choose only the OpenSSH server as the software to install.
  12. On the Install the GRUB boot loader on a hard disk screen, when asked if you want to install the GRUB boot loader to the master boot record, answer Yes.
  13. On the Finish the installation screen, when asked if the system clock is set to UTC, answer Yes.
  14. The installation will now be finished. Follow the instruction on the screen to reboot the machine into your new installation.


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