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I'm hosting an application with 1 server for the application and 1 server for the database. I did a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and installed mysql-server on the server, now I'd like to begin removing unnecessary services seems it's important the server has plenty of memory for the DB. How and what can I remove so that all I have is the firewall and database?

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It depends on how you installed the Ubuntu and not recommended to remove basic packages.

For memory critical environment, it's recommended to install Ubuntu by hitting F4 and select minimal system during starting.

Here is another post to discuss:

After the minimal system installed, you can just simply run the below command to install mysql:

aptitude install mysql-server

All the dependencies will be self-resolved to be installed.

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