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Ubuntu Net-Install

last updated: 26. February 2008 The Ubuntu server install is actually not only intresting for servers, but can also be used as the base for a net-install.
Such might be interesting for you if at least one of the following applies

  • you want to install a newer version but only have an old CD
  • you have the wrong install CD for your desired DE
  • there is no install CD with your desired DE (Fluxbox, E17)
  • you want to only have the things installed you really need

Lets go

You will need the alternate CD in order to do the server install. In order to do the server install just select it it on booting the CD instead of the ordinary install.

The install will run as usual with the little difference, that you will be thrown to the console instead of the desktop in the end.

If you are directly connected to the internet, now is a good time to set up your DSL connection by executing

# pppoeconf 

Next we have to alter the /etc/apt/sources.list and enable the universe and multiverse branches in order to gain access to additional packages like gnome-core, which we will need later.
If you need additional repositories, like you will if you want to install E17, you can do it now too.

For Edgy it should look something like that:

deb  gutsy          main restricted universe multiverse
deb  gutsy-updates  main restricted universe multiverse
deb gutsy-security main restricted universe

Now the local package list has to be updated, which can be achieved by

# apt-get update

If you are using an older CD-image than the version you want to install you also have to run

# apt-get dist-upgrade

Installing a desktop

In order to get any graphical output, you need to install a X-server first.
Since is the only one in Ubuntu, which can run standalone, the choice is an easy one:

# apt-get install xfonts-base xserver-xorg-core xserver-xorg-input-all xserver-xorg-video-vesa

You most probably also install a specific driver for your graphics card, since the vesa driver offers no hardware accelleration.
For ati it would be xserver-xorg-video-ati respectivley for nvidia xserver-xorg-video-nv.

You can get a list of all avaible drivers with

$ apt-cache search xserver-xorg-video-*

Now you have got the core for graphical output, which you can test by running startx, but we have no GNOME yet - so it is what we will install next

# apt-get install gnome-core gdm

If you dont want to have GNOME, you can as well choose a different desktop now.

Alternative Desktops

Instead of doing a minimal Install of Ubuntu, you can also just install a different Desktop.


Full Xubuntu install
# apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

if you only want to have the minimal System with XFCE:
# apt-get install xfce4 gdm


full Kubuntu install:
# apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

minimal system with KDE
# apt-get install kde-core kdm

Enlightenment DR17

Since Enlightenment DR17 is not stable yet, it is neither in the official ubuntu repositories.
But if you want to try it anyway add the following line to your sources.list

deb gutsy e17

Note that this is a development version, so that you have to bargain for instabilites and bugs.

Now you are ready to apt-get enlightenment :-(|)

# apt-get install enlightenment


The system is really bare now, so if you are not that familiar with the console, you might want to also install the following packages (for GNOME)

# apt-get install synaptic gnome-system-tools file-roller