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What I am looking for is something that has the essentials to get online through WiFi, with Firefox and Synaptic and none of the bells and whistles other than what ...
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  1. #1
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    Almost (but not quite) barebones distro


    What I am looking for is something that has the essentials to get online through WiFi, with Firefox and Synaptic and none of the bells and whistles other than what I specifically want. I can get my own Gimp, Open Office, don't need 3 office suites, or even 2. I can get my own media player, and I don't need 7 of them.
    What I have is a netbook that won't allow me to set up for dual boot. I'm tired of messing around with that. I want my Linux. I have a 4g flash drive, that won't hold a full install of UNR and have enough room for improvements.
    Alternatively, I suppose I could take a UNR, install it and then strip it down to where I want it. But I don't know what I can remove without breaking it. And I am so tired of trial and error! I just want to get it done.
    I've looked at the linux distro lists and read so much my brain feels like mush. I'm not even sure I know what to ask for.
    Can anyone help me here?
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Hi and Welcome !

    You can try Debian Netinstall. You will have barebone distro and can install packages selectively. Wifi will not work with netinstall and you have to use wired connection during installation. You can install necessary packages/driver for Wifi later on.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

  3. #3
    oz
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    Welcome to the forums!

    Arch and Gentoo are also good for barebones type netinstalls, although Gentoo is often considered a bit too difficult by new users.

    Good luck with your barebones installation.
    oz

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    Ubuntu also has an alternate installation disk that will allow you to do a minimal installation. This guide is a bit old, but the principle is the same with whichever version of Ubuntu you use. Or another similar one.

    Or as Ozar mentioned, Arch is quite good, since you build your desktop up as you want it by default. I use Arch on my netbook and it's great.

    Although, with only a 4 GB drive Arch can be a little tough. Depending on how minimal you go. I have a friend with Arch on a eeepc 900 with a 4 GB drive, and she needs openoffice for compatibility with some documents from school. Sometimes when a big update comes down the pipe, I have to remove openoffice, upgrade everything else, clean the cache, and then re-install openoffice, or we run out of room.

  6. #5
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed9 View Post
    I have a friend with Arch on a eeepc 900 with a 4 GB drive, and she needs openoffice for compatibility with some documents from school.
    Ouch... that sort of blows the term minimal right out of the water!

    I've heard that one of the upcoming releases will have split packages for OpenOffice, which will allow a user to install only that part of the OO.org suite that they actually want/need. In the interim, I've been using AbiWord, but of course it doesn't satisfy the needs of many Linux users.
    oz

  7. #6
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    Yeah, openoffice is a beast. I wish there was a lighter alternative that worked as well as OO. We tried abiword, we tried the koffice stuff, they just didn't work. The formatting was all off and unreadable in some cases with various school files. So it's OO or bust. Modular packages would be great but she pretty much uses all everything, including the presentation software.

    Frankly, I think it's ridiculous for a State college to use anything but open formats. Seems kind of counter to the whole idea of learning and disseminating knowledge.

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