simplify-ubuntu - Project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.* LTS installations.

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Termy
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simplify-ubuntu - Project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.* LTS installations.

Post by Termy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:34 am

https://github.com/terminalforlife/simplify-ubuntu

Just something I started recently. Although this is the Mint board, there's a good chance this program will be handy with a Mint setup and other setups based on Ubuntu; I've not yet tested it, however, so I couldn't say for sure. I thought it might be something y'all would want to try out.

Let me know if you have any ideas for packages (or files linked thereto) which you feel should be up to the user whether they have or not, even if it's Mint-specific. At a later date, I will likely focus on support for Mint (if people want it), despite it not quite matching up with the Mint paradigm (most things being there, just in-case), but hey this is Linux; the land of choice! :P

At the moment, just so it's clear, this is a work in progress I've not yet had the chance to fully test, so please keep that in mind.

EDIT:

This now works swimmingly and has been greatly updated! Here's a quick couple of lines to run one-after-the-other to download and install simplify-ubuntu with insit (software manager for many programs I've written and put on GitHub):

Code: Select all

wget -q https://github.com/terminalforlife/installit/raw/master/insit && sudo bash insit -S
sudo insit simplify-ubuntu
Stay updated with sudo insit -U simplify-ubuntu, or check out the latest (probably unstable) changes by installing straight from the dev branch: sudo insit -B dev -U simplify-ubuntu
Last edited by Termy on Fri May 25, 2018 3:46 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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jwrober
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Re: simplify-ubuntu - Small project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS installations.

Post by jwrober » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:26 pm

This is an interesting concept. It assumes the person put a desktop edition on the box I guess. What I find interesting is how you determine what to remove by looking for an executable. However, there is to dependency tracking going on. One that jumps out at me is the prompt for GIMP. If a person installed an app that has a dep on GIMP (for example gscan2pdf) then they would accidentally break the app. So one improvement would be to do some dep checks before remove and error out.

Some of the questions lead me to think that what you really want is more of a "server" like configuration with a basic GUI. The prompts to remove wireless, bluetooth, scanning, printing, fonts, libreoffice, braille, transmission, pidgin, etc. are what get me thinking this way. Not sure what the difference is between the desktop and server ISO's for Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS. You "could" add a option for "server" that pre-selects a number of the options. LM is supposed to be a fully supported desktop that "can" be a server is one wants to. There are some things in the script that are good for a laptop vs a desktop. An example is a desktop is not going to need touchpad support by default. So another improvement could be having command line options for laptop and desktop that pre-selects some things making it more automated.

Thanks for the work. Looks interesting.

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Re: simplify-ubuntu - Small project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS installations.

Post by Flemur » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:55 pm

That's a great idea, but there's always some trade-off between getting too much stuff and hassling with set-ups.

I've found that it's a lot easier to start with something like Mint or Ubuntu and remove stuff, rather than start with a minimal Arch or Debian installation and add stuff.

I'm always deleting and shrinking stuff - here's what I get at boot to an active graphical fluxbox GUI (better than any "light" distro I've tried):

Code: Select all

$ free -m
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:           3944         104        3612           6         227        3607
Swap:          1999           0        1999
$
$ systemd-analyze 
Startup finished in 5.083s (kernel) + 1.718s (userspace) = 6.802s
Not bad for a low-end, 8-year old computer. (SSD replaced HD).
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 18.3 Xfce/fluxbox/pulse-less
Xubuntu 17.10/fluxbox/pulse-less

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Re: simplify-ubuntu - Small project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS installations.

Post by Marziano » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:05 pm

Hi Termy!

Manjaro guy is back! They have put in a place a method that simplifies the installation called Manjaro-Architect ISO that does pretty much what you are trying to do here for Ubuntu:
Compared to traditional unpack-installation with a graphical installer like Calamares this has some apparent advantages:

The install media can be very small. In this case the download is less than 500MB. Also since no video-drivers are needed for the text-only environment it is unlikely that you will run into problems booting the M-A ISO.
The packages installed to the resulting target will be the latest available on the chosen branch and no matter how old your install media might be, you will not need to update the fresh install.
Like that the manjaro-architect ISO will basically never be outdated. Even the installer itself will be updated automatically when you start the launcher.
The same install media can be used to install any desktop environment - even those DEs and WMs not maintained as an edition by Manjaro.
Options for customization are basically unlimited. You are free to choose your kernel(s), drivers, desktop environment (or none) and any other packages and you will have many more and very detailed ways of configuring the target install to your liking.
At the same time, if you prefer, you can use mhwd’s automatic driver installation and access the pre-configured iso-profiles of Manjaro’s supported editions to install an environment of identical configuration with what you would get by unsquashing one of our ISOs.

from: https://forum.manjaro.org/t/installatio ... -iso/20429
So, it's perfectly feasible and I believe many people would appreciate it.
Wish you all the luck with your project.
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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Re: simplify-ubuntu - Small project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS installations.

Post by Termy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:18 pm

Thanks for the feedback, y'all. Nice to see a post from you again, Marziano. :) I've not looked into Manjaro again, by the way, but I believe I did download the latest ISO. I'm unable to get into VirtualBox VMs until they fix a bug with kernel 4.13.0-26-generic. :(

Remember, simplify-ubuntu is a work in progress. :) Just getting the core stuff done, and once that's finished or I'm happy with it, I'll start fleshing it out. The reason for the warnings dotted around the project is that things can somewhat break, for just the reason that someone mentioned (getting tripped up over dependencies), so in a way I've covered that. I'll do what I can to mitigate those issues later on, though.

As for Mint, I know it's one of those distros that like to have everything, but I don't see why a user shouldn't have the option to go a different route, per the Linux spirit, but still keep what they love about Mint, such as the ease to configure the visuals.

As it is though, it's pretty useful. Hope some people will find a use out of it as well.
That's a great idea, but there's always some trade-off between getting too much stuff and hassling with set-ups.
I get you, but it's not an issue with me. I prefer to go the extra mile to get a setup I like, and have been doing that a lot. Once it's all down and you know what you're doing, it doesn't take long to get it up and running again. GitHub helps, too. :D
What I find interesting is how you determine what to remove by looking for an executable. However, there is to dependency tracking going on.
Did you mean there is no dependency tracking going on? I've checked for actual dependencies (for the shell program itself) at the very start, as per the usual for all of my stuff. The check for executables is just a way to see if it's there. I should probably add a note somewhere that this isn't for those who compile.

It doesn't determine what to remove, by the by, so much as determine what is an option to remove. When you install GIMP in Ubuntu, for example, you're going to get the executable /usr/bin/gimp, so it's a good way to check for things.
I've found that it's a lot easier to start with something like Mint or Ubuntu and remove stuff, rather than start with a minimal Arch or Debian installation and add stuff.
That's my approach, too. I used to use the mini.iso (Ubuntu), start with the CLI, without even man installed, then work my way up. (not a fan of rolling distrubutions, so Arch isn't for me) In the end, I found it easier to just, as you said, start with a standard Ubuntu installation, then strip it down. It's something I've done a bazillion times, so I thought maybe I could turn that process (or part thereof) into something useful for others. Here's hoping.
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Re: simplify-ubuntu - Small project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS installations.

Post by Marziano » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:40 pm

Termy wrote: As for Mint, I know it's one of those distros that like to have everything, but I don't see why a user shouldn't have the option to go a different route, per the Linux spirit...
That's a very nice outlook!

PS. sorry about that kernel bug :|
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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Re: simplify-ubuntu - Small project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS installations.

Post by Flemur » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:06 pm

jwrober wrote:If a person installed an app that has a dep on GIMP (for example gscan2pdf)
My system doesn't think gscan2pdf depends on gimp.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 18.3 Xfce/fluxbox/pulse-less
Xubuntu 17.10/fluxbox/pulse-less

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Re: simplify-ubuntu - Small project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS installations.

Post by Termy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:08 pm

Flemur wrote:
jwrober wrote:If a person installed an app that has a dep on GIMP (for example gscan2pdf)
My system doesn't think gscan2pdf depends on gimp.
Oh yeah, I forgot about this. I just checked and I don't have it installed, yet I have GIMP, so I'm guessing it was a mistake, or it's different for some reason in Mint.
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Re: simplify-ubuntu - Small project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS installations.

Post by Termy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:42 am

Okay, I've spent some time today on supporting Mint, somewhat. Thanks to kernel 4.4.0-109-generic, I'm able to load up VirtualBox, so I've been testing simplify-ubuntu. It works on Linux Mint 18.3 with the Cinnamon desktop environment. I've added quite a bit. Is quite useful, even if I do say so myself. xD So I can happily say you're welcome to use it on your Mint installations, just, as always, be careful and mindful.

if you installed it via insit, be sure to run: sudo insit -U simplify-ubuntu to get the updates.
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Re: simplify-ubuntu - Small project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS installations.

Post by sammiev » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:37 am

Very interesting, was just looking at the code.

May take this for a flip after the weekend is over. :D

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Re: simplify-ubuntu - Small project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS installations.

Post by Termy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:16 pm

That would be awesome. Let me know how you get on with it, please. No doubt by the time you get on it, I'll have updated it lots more. :)
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Re: simplify-ubuntu - Small project to lighten standard Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS installations.

Post by Marziano » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:06 pm

:D
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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