I have already spent a considerable amount of time researching these fora with respect to this topic prior to posting.
I woud gratefully appreciate not getting replies like "Go to Ubuntu and. . ." If I wanted to do this under Ubuntu, I would not be posting here. Additionally, I have already tried this on the Ubuntu sites. I have asked these questions over there, and have gotten less than steller help.
Likewise, though I am very much new to Mint, I am not new to Linux in general, so please don't flame me with "RTFM!!!" replies. OK?
AFAIK, "desktop" editions of distributions come "fully loaded" with just about everything but the kitchen sink. Server editions, like Ubuntu's server editions, come with virtually nothing installed.
I've messed with Mint and the Cinnamon desktop, and I really like it. It's clean, it's functional, and that's it.
What I want to do, (and this can serve as a suggestion to the Mint team), is create a Mint "server" edition like this:
It would contain absolutely nothing installed except for the absolute bare minimum to have a running system
It woudl contain enough to get on a hard-wired Ethernet network with a DNS client.
It would contain packages like "apt-get" and related package manager packages.
It woudl contain a full set of command-shell 'nix utilities.
It would be able to boot into a "DOS resolution" text based session at boot time, with the option to launch the desktop.
It would contain the Cinnamon desktop, and a web browser with most of the desktop tools.
It woudl NOT contain:
Any audiio or video support, e-mail server or client, IM, torrent, CD burning, Office apps, or all the other stuff that makes a desktop distribution a desktop distribution.
Support for every human language under the sun. Ideally, I would be able to select the default system language at install time, with support for other, unnecessary, languages omitted. (I do NOT need language support for Thi, Tagalong, or Simplified Chinese - etc.)
Why do I want this?
I like the idea of using Linux as a server environment - especially if I can do it using less-than-stellar equipment.
Additionally, I like having the choice - even on a server - of either a GUI or a console environment as IMHO there are certain things that are very simple to do via a console, and other things that are trivially easy when using a GUI.
I used to be able to do something similar to this using Fedora, but then they got bizarre, so I jumped to Ubuntu.
Ubuntu's text based login is all in "micro text" at the monitors native resolution, which I cannot read, and for which there is no reasonable workarond in Ubuntu
I suspect very strongly that this will end up being a "re-spin" to create a custom setup.
So, I guess my basic question is this:
Is it reasonably possible to create a stripped "server" version of Mint that also has a GUI, but without the thousands of dependencies that Gnome or KDE drag in their wake? Or, perhaps, there is another distro that meets these requirements?
Assuming that this IS doable in Mint without resorting to black magic or blood sacrifice, is there some mechanism where I could then offer my custom spin to the Mint community at large, so that others can benefit from my efforts?
Thanks for your patience with my long-winded post.