gm10 wrote: ⤴
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:16 am
Or at least note down the packages you always remove, throw an
apt purge --autoremove
in front and you're done, too.
The problem with this approach in a VirtualBox VM is that it doesn't permit to reduce the size of the virtual disk file. The size of the file increases as some data is written by the guest OS on the virtual disk. But if some of this data is erased, the size of the file is not reduced.
Example: After a fresh install of Linux Mint something like 6 to 7 Gigs of disk space is used. Hence the virtual disk size will be approximately the same, say 7 Gigs, on the host computer disk. Now, let's say you purge all the programs that aren't needed, and that this operation purges 3 Gigs of data. From inside the VM, you'll effectively see 3 more Gigs of available disk space. However, the virtual disk size as seen by the host computer will remain at 7 Gigs - this number cannot decrease in a dynamic virtual disk.
This is why a minimal install would be so useful - after the fresh minimal install, the virtual disk could be somewhere around 2 to 3 Gigs in size, and with good management, it can remain that size. When you have many VMs, this difference in file size may be quite significative.
For my part, I use Mint as the main OS in 2 of my computers, and I'd love to use Mint also in my VMs, but the fact it doesn't provide a minimal install make it unpractical, so I use another distro (Q4OS in instance) for my virtual machines. With that OS, a fresh minimal install is just 1.7 Gig for the 32 bits version and 1.9 Gig in 64 bits. My working VMs have virtual disk files that may be at around 2.5 Gigs - something unapproachable if using Mint.